Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Author: Wendy Higgins. Website|Twitter
Published: 1 May 2012 (HarperTeen)
Book Depository: Paperback
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.
Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?
I bought this book on a bit of a whim when I had a gift card to spend, and didn't know too much about it. It sounded right up my street from the plot summary as I love books about angels and that cover totally drew me in! Sweet Evil follows Anna, a girl who's always been a little bit different due to her ability to read people's auras. When she meets drummer Kaiden Rowe, who is also a bit different, she starts to learn more about her past and her abilities, as well as getting to know Kaiden a little better too.
The story starts with a prologue which explains Anna's birth and how she came to be an orphan. I was definitely hooked at the beginning and got really into the story and the writing. I loved learning more about Anna's history as the world is slowly unravelled around her. I found all the angels and demons stuff intriguing at the start and it seemed like just the kind of thing I would enjoy.
I really loved Anna as a character. She's shy and a bit of a goody-goody, which is something I myself can relate to! I liked how we get to see her at school where she's a bit of a misfit, and learn how her ability to see people's auras and read their emotions has been more of a curse than a blessing. As for the other characters, I really liked her friend Jay, but I think he was wasted as a character. He seemed to be such a nice guy but he was just there in the background most of the time. Then there's Kaiden who's the love interest and the typical bad boy type, which doesn't always win me over. Overall I didn't care for him too much, although I did find certain aspects of his personality interesting. He did seem to care for Anna and I did like their relationship in some parts of the book, as they're getting to know each other. The steamy kissing scenes certainly drew me in! But I think I wanted a bit more from him as well.
As with most books that are the first in a planned trilogy, there was a lot of world building. I did enjoy exploring the powers of the characters and how the demon world worked, but when it domimnated Kaiden and Anna's conversations it got a bit tiring. The book is about 450 pages and I felt that could probably have been cut down a lot to stop it dragging.
After about the halfway point was when I started to have more problems. Anna's adoptive mother Patti starts out being this overly protective caring type who forbids her to see Kaiden, but then for some reason she decides it's perfectly acceptable for Anna to swan off on a massive road trip with him - just the two of them alone. I just felt it was totally out of character for her to allow that and it made the rest of the story a bit unbelievable. When more about the children of demons was revealed I kind of found some parts annoying - mainly their roles and why they had to do the things they do. I don't want to spoil too much as these parts happen later on the book, but I just wasn't sure how I felt about why certain things were the way they were.
The one other thing that niggled at me was the religious aspect of the book. You expect religious elements where angels are involved, but there were a few parts where it didn't feel relevent to the story at all. I didn't mind that Anna was religious, I actually thought it was a nice addition to her character, but there were times where I felt like it was thrown in to try and balance out the drugs, sex and rock and roll. And then there was one conversation on abortion that wasn't relevant to the plot or the characters and I had no idea why it was really there.
This book did feel like it had a lot of potential. The writing was good and I enjoyed most of it. I liked the high school drama and the characters were interesting. I might still check out the sequel because, despite my niggles, I did enjoy reading the book.
What to read next: Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins, book 2 in the Sweet trilogy published in May 2013
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