Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Looking for a book that has a different take of the popular angel vs. demons angle? Well, look no further, because Sweet Evil is one of those books that manages to set some sort of distinction from the crowd. From the sweet deal the author, Ms. Wendy Higgins, scored from an editor in HC finding her work on Inkpop, a former writing website for teens that recently shut down and the way that another book, The Carrier of the Mark got published, you'd think that this is a really epic novel.
And it is. Well, almost. There are a few nitpicks, but we'll get to that later on, shall we?
Sweet Anna Whitt, a girl from the South, has a pretty decent life, like all YA novels these days. Well, she's almost normal, save the fact that she can see other people's auras. But that's okay, since she can handle that element of her life. Unfortunately, she says goodbye to any sense of normality left the day she turns sixteen, where she meets a British hottie called Kaidan Rowe with a dark past and who's more than just a bad boy your mother warned you about (and yes, that part's from the trailer). When she is told that she is not who she thought she was—BAM, just like that, everything changes.
I wasn’t so sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book. Before Inkpop shut down, I was one of its members, and I felt like rooting for the author. I wasn’t given the opportunity though to read it before it got published, since I was a fairly new member. But, there were other factors that kept me throwing a supportive fist pump in the air. One example was . . . as much as I hate to say it, Carrier of the Mark. I literally read the first few pages for that one, and then abandoned it, due to it looking like a Twilight knockoff. The synopsis also looked fairly unoriginal. I mean, come on? Haven’t we all seen that stereotypical girl meets boy story, boy is a sadistic playboy, they kiss and make out despite their love is forbidden, add a dash of paranormal trouble to make the story to have some substance—and tada! The perfect recipe for a generic paranormal story. I just have to thank my lucky stars that Sweet Evil isn’t like those stories.
First off, while I’m pretty sure that I’ll have trouble stumbling upon a person like Anna, she was a pretty good heroine. I wasn’t expecting to like her that much when I first started reading, and gradually, until the story was over, I realized that she wasn’t so bad. She managed to stand up for herself when needed, but she wasn’t any feminist gone overboard kind of character. I can’t say I could genuinely get into her head, but either way, Anna was realistic, slightly flawed, yet had the qualities for a decent person that the fans would like. My other issue with her is that she’s a bit of a Mary Sue at times. It’s not that obvious until you look deep down, but I’ll present one situation: when Anna first meets other Nephilm, all seem to like her, except of course, this person who’s portrayed as a mean girl. It’s almost as if she was made to be there, so that there could be someone to dislike her. There were also another instance that such events that occurred, but for spoiler's sake, I won't say a word.
The supporting characters were also likeable, if you ignored the fact that they were a bit stereotypical at times—like Anna’s guardian, Patti, who was the normal parent figure who loves Anna very much (normal, but not seen in books these days due to the Disappearing Parents Syndrome), and Ginger, a brash, if not slightly rude character. Kopano was also another interesting addition. I wasn’t so sure if I liked him though, or whether I preferred the other romantic interest over him. The other
Speaking of romance, I think I’ll cover it up now. Kaidan is the typical boy most female readers would swoon for. Heck, I fancied him a bit because he was British. Yes, he’s a drummer, hot, has a dark past, a even darker father, AND he’s British! How could you not like anyone like him?
I couldn’t find a better one to represent Kaidan’s demeanour, so here’s a somewhat similar guy. :P
That is to say though, he isn’t that type that’s kills everyone in the room when somewhat stares at Anna. Well, he is sometimes, but it’s not in that caveman style that any second you’re expecting him to say something like, “This is my prey. Do not touch her, or I will bash you with this club.” The romance is enough to satisfy most people—there are a couple of steamy scenes, and the attraction between the two of them seems believable. His feelings for Anna switch between hot and cold, which I actually felt okay with for once. He had real reasons for doing them, and it wasn’t something forced. Some of his actions didn’t make sense though, such as him willingly disobeying his father all of a sudden to go on a road trip with a girl he just met. If he’s used to the life of deceit, it’s a bit unrealistic for him to do such a thing. Come on, why should there be a cold male lead, and every time when a different chick appears, they have to change their mindset so suddenly?
While romance is a main factor in the plot, that doesn’t go and say that it had absolutely no other substance at all. Like what I said above, the way the demon lore was presented was interesting, but it never go too info dump-y. Unfortunately, almost nothing really happens. I was expecting something super exciting to happen, and when the climax came, I wasn’t jumping out of my seat—but at least it wasn’t that bad. It’s definitely set up in the style most paranormal series are going these days, the first book enough to pique the reader’s interest, and only the exciting things happen in the last two books. I wished there would’ve been something more though. The writing style was easy to get into though, and although like what I said earlier, I couldn’t settle into Anna’s narration that much, it flowed pretty quickly.
I’m actually torn with rating this though. My overall score would be 3.5 stars, but I’m not so sure whether to settle for three or four. While I don’t think that it wowed me that much to give it four stars, three stars seems a bit too low for it. Currently, I’m switching through the stars stars, so whatever is presented will be my score.
In a Nutshell
While entertaining and exciting for a fan of paranormal romances and demon lore, others tired of reading a same old storyline over and over again may get a bit weary of this. Since this presents a whole new perspective on the stereotypical of the heaven and hell concept though, I think I’ll give it 3.5 stars.
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