Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Author: Wendy Higgins
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 454 Pages
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Angels/Demons
Source: Bought it
Book Description from Goodreads:
What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
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?
So…admittedly I originally was attracted to this first and foremost for the gorgeous cover. It has the perfect dramatic flare in the flirtatious red dress, and the visually stunning contrast of pure goodness and the dark devil on your shoulder whispering seductions into your ear - this portrayed the characters of Anna and Kaiden perfectly in their roles. Then after reading the synopsis I was intrigued by the concept of Nephilim and what Higgins take on them would be.
I feel like to truly enjoy this book, you need to take one step back from reality because some seriously mind blowing stuff happens that could only apply to teenagers that are the children of fallen angels. A lot of these situations involve some really questionable parental permissions… Without giving too much away, basically these Nephilim all have a pull toward certain sins, and their lives depend on “working” on corrupting others with these sins - which is a particular source of strain for Anna while she navigates the road of her heritage with her new sinful friends.
When we first meet Anna, she takes the label of “good girl” to the extreme. She doesn’t participate in any of the debauchery that comes with teenage unsupervised parties, she doesn’t lie (not even little white ones, although her first big lie is a pretty hilarious one), and she even manages to keep her best friend on the straight and narrow. Anna also has a set of powers that comes with angelic parentage, she can see and feel people’s emotions. She of course deftly avoids exploiting this advantage, but it also causes her to be extremely emotional, she feels for everyone and everything - which causes a lot of unnecessary water works that even her polar opposite and partner in crime Kaiden Rowe cringes at invoking.
In a nutshell, Anna isn’t exactly your strong fierce heroine - she’s just so young and naive that it’s darn near a train wreck to see her in more mature situations, where she blushes from head to toe - and that’s why I think I read through this book non-stop like I was addicted to hard crack. I wanted to see where her story went, how she’d respond to difficult obstacles and every time I set the book down I’d find myself wondering what would happen next.
It also doesn’t help that Kaiden Rowe - following the beloved hot and cold, smooth talking jerk but with a heart of gold, steamy character formula and to top it all off….has a BRITISH ACCENT!! I think I had James Marsters (halfway down the page is his panel, the third video at time 1:25) (aka Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) on the brain, because as soon as he dropped his first “luv” I kind of squealed - Kaiden by trade is coincidentally a drummer for a rock band too, so double score! But aesthetics aside, Kaiden is such an interesting character to follow. He’s intrigued by Anna’s morality, and seeks to be closer to her but it’s a constant struggle with his own particular sin that he *ahem* performs with extreme pleasure and due diligence, much to Anna’s dismay.
Kaiden and Anna’s sexual tension is just freaking unbelievable! Higgins has got the teasing formula down to a science as she lures you in with a free fluffy sample, and then she starts to give you the harder drugs until you’re begging for more, and then wham! She cuts you off cold turkey! *Sigh* All I can hope for is some kind of resolution in Anna's love life eventually...
Higgin’s writing is delightful in that it’s easy to follow, but so richly descriptive, especially when it comes to crafting her characters with some uniquely identifiable quirk. Higgins definitely knows how to snare her audience with an amazing mix of laughter, action, love and even morality. She also weaves a very unique mythology for these Nephilim, set in a very mobster like fashion that incorporates incredibly well into modern society.
I loved seeing the changes and growth that Anna goes through! By the end she definitely seems more mature and better equipped for her situation. There’s a really mysterious back story weaved into all of this self discovery that Anna goes through, and I’m so excited to see what this might entail.
Overall: 4/5 Hot Cups of Tea!
At 454 pages, it may seem daunting, but honestly I got through it so quickly because I just couldn’t put it down! Definitely give this one a read!