I didn’t make it through the book to see whether or not a ridiculously expensive couture dress makes an appearance in the book. Somehow I think not.
You might have noticed that the Trend Spotlights feature went to the backburner for a little while. Well, this was due to numerous reasons. One being finals and the other one being the fact I couldn’t stomach another angel book after reading Halo. Yes, Halo caused me that much pain. However, being the trooper that I am I decided to suck it up and read Sweet Evil.
There were a lot of things about Sweet Evil that interested me. Notably, Wendy Higgins was the second winner of Harper Teen’s Ink Pot contest. Which is pretty cool if you think about it. But after the first Ink Pot book (
Twilight Go Bragh Carrier of the Mark I was a teeny bit skeptical. The optimist in me though still wanted to give the book a try and I did.
General Summary: Good girl Anna has been seeing people’s auras for a long time. She’s also felt a pull towards drugs and bad boys. But being the goody goody that she is, she resists. Until she sees him and his honeymoon water colored eyes–I kid you, this is a description for Kaidan’s eyes (see page 25). It is then Anna learns of her heritage where she’s not quite angel but not quite a demon either.
There was potential here. Lots and lots of potential. However, I was not impressed to the point of not finishing the book. Which is really sad to me. I hate not finishing things, but sometimes you need to learn to cut your losses, especially in YA fiction.
So what went wrong?
Lots of things.
Let’s start with the characterization in the novel. The characters were bland. And contrived. They would often contradict themselves. For example, Anna keeps talking bout how she has to keep her heritage and everything a secret but keeps confiding in Honeymoon Waters who she barely knows.
Dude, if I had a secret heritage I would not want some sex demon knowing about it.
It’s not just Anna whose logic is flawed. Her adopted mother, who she’s lived with all her life but calls Patti instead of Mom (because Patti wants her real mom to know she hasn’t taken her place even though Anna’s real mom is dead…yeah we’re not going to even dissect how flawed that logic is) lets her go on a cross country road trip with Honeymoon Waters after meeting with him for only about an hour and knowing that he’s a demon.
Seriously, would you let you’re sixteen-year-old run off with a sex demon?
The other characters have problems as well. Most of them aren’t fleshed out. There was at one point the author decide to just dump a lot of characters in the middle of that story. You know I enjoy new characters a lot. Like in the Harry Potter series, I always found each book interesting in part because of new characters. But this…this reminded me of the current season of Young Justice where all the good characters are swept aside for Lagoon Boy and other brand spanking new and annoying characters.
The plot was actually better than the characterization. There was some originality here. Although, there are dime of dozen angel books, Higgins’ approach with the whole seven deadly sins thing seemed rather interesting. However, the plot was bogged down by cliche after cliche and it also moved at a snail’s pace which did the book in.
Best Feature: Originality. Although, there were parts of the book (most notably the love story) that screamed cliche there were some very interesting plot twists that haven’t been used to death in YA Lit yet. While it is true there have been Nephilim books done to death, Higgins does add a nice spin to the tale of the Nephilim being eternally damned. I also liked the connection to the seven deadly sins.
Worst Feature: Characterization: I couldn’t really feel the characters in this one. The dialogue came off being stilted and forced. The same could be said about relationships between the characters in book as well like Honeymoon Waters and Anna. I didn’t see the chemistry between those two other than the remark about Honeymoon Water’s eyes and Honeymoon Waters’ response by acting like the typical YA male jerkwad in love.
Appropriateness: No way would I let my preteen read this book. I would even have some second thoughts about letting an older teen read this book too. The drug references were just too much. Anna is encouraged to use in the novel. Grant it, it’s because her father’s the demon of substance abuse (I didn’t know that was one of the deadly sins) and it’s a way for Anna to survive, but I was still shaking my head at how much drug exposure there is. Like in the beginning of the book Anna drink is spike with ecstasy so that she can get date raped and she laughs it off for a good hundred pages or so until she decides to use her anger when she’s training. And yeah, I said there’s an attempted date rape in the book so that’s another reason why I would be weary with having a younger kid read it. Not so much for the attempted rape itself, but for the fact that it’s used merely as a device so that Anna can go all Mary Sue.
Please authors. Don’t use attempted rape as a mere plot device. I’m afraid this is becoming a trend in YA lit and it disturbs me.
Blockbuster Worthy: It could admittedly be a good movie. A lot would need to be done with the screenplay. But this could be a diamond in the rough.
Anna: Britt Robertson. She’s already used to playing paranormal heroines and now that The Secret Circle has been canceled she needs another job.
Honeymoon Waters: Zac Efron. Yes, he’s not doing teen movies anymore. But if anyone has eyes the color of honeymoon waters it’s Zac.
A) Angles and Vampire Lite: This book is clearly not vampire lite. It is dark. Very dark. And deals with tough subject matters like addiction. This isn’t Halo people, poor Bethie would have an aneurysm is she saw what the kids in Sweet Evil were up to.
B) The Ultimate Battle Between Good and Evil: Actually, there’s a pretty good set up for a sweet battle here especially if you consider the fact that this ultimate battle is going on internally for Anna. However, in the part of the book I got through this struggle wasn’t highlighted as much as I like. Maybe later in the book or later in the series this plot is explored more. But for this review, there was just a lot of potential here that was wasted for the love story between Anna and Honeymoon Waters.
C)A Wide Array of Possibilities: Oh, yes. Definitely. I’ve already said it many times before, but there was so much potential in this book. Potential that just seemed to go nowhere.
D) Because Angels Have an Excuse to Stalk: There is some stalking in this novel. Not near the extent as in some of the other not so delightful books I’ve read, but enough to make me wonder if Anna’s been reading Twilight, True Love and You: Seven Secret Steps to Finding Your Edward or Jacob (Yes, such a book exist and I blame it for all the insta-love in YA).
Overall Thoughts: This wasn’t a cliche angel book I’ll give it that. And in a lot of ways the mythology in Sweet Evil really worked. Perhaps, if the rest of the book would’ve been just as strong I would’ve liked it better.
Overall Rating: I’m going to give this four out of ten wings or should I say horns. It’s true I didn’t finish it, but it’s better than some of the stuff I’ve finished. I feel like there was a lot of good setup here, only the execution fell flat.