Review: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on May 21, 2012 | 10 Comments

Review: Sweet Evil by Wendy HigginsSweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Series: The Sweet Trilogy #1
Published by HarperTeen (5.1.2012)
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Paperback, 464 pages
Source: I own it

1.5 Stars

Embrace the Forbidden

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?

My thoughts

I knew going in that this book involved bad influence. What was I expecting? I dunno, maybe just a short walk on the wild side. Some drinking, steamy makeout sessions with a bad boy. Not drugs, sex, cheating, lying, and excessive underage drinking. This book really should not be labeled YA. I would NOT want my 13 or 14 year old to read something like this. As an adult book, it would have been somewhat alright. I say somewhat because, let’s face it, God awful morals aren’t the real problem I had with this one.
In the beginning, this book was a solid 3 stars for me. It was a bit boring, but the premise sounded interesting. You’re aware of the seven deadly sins, yes? Pride, Envy, Greed, Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, and Wrath. Well, there are 7 demon Dukes that lord each of those sins, and 6 more for an additional 6 sins: Lying, Murder, Hatred, Theft, Adultery, and Substance Abuse. (Which really, those just stem from the original 7) Brilliant, right? Then when those demons have children, known as Nephilim, said children have to go forth and spread the sin of the father. 
Sure, all that sounds interesting, but I felt that the delivery was lacking. There were too many things that rubbed me the wrong way.

Let me just make a few statements here.
1. DRINKING AND HAVING SEX DOES NOT MAKE YOU A BAD PERSON. I just felt like at the beginning the general feel of the book was to look down on those people. It portrayed virgins as ‘beautiful people’ and non-virgins were lowly and sinful. Being ‘deflowered’ is the first step on the ‘road to sin.’
2. BEING A VIRGIN DOES NOT MAKE YOU PERFECT. Ugh. Just because you’re not a perfect, straight-edge, goody-two-shoes doesn’t make you less than anyone who is.
3. HAVING A FEW DRINKS FROM TIME TO TIME DOES NOT MAKE YOU AN ALCOHOLIC. It’s okay to enjoy a drink sometimes. Really. This also does not make you a ‘bad person.’

Now that I got that out of the way…

No, wait. One more statement. FOR THE LOVE OF KITTENS, YOU CAN’T BE IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE AFTER KNOWING THEM FOR FOUR DAYS. Spending four nights in a hotel room with them and almost having sex does NOT equal love. This was where the book really lost me. I despise instaluv with the fire of a thousand suns; if the L word rears its ugly head anywhere before the very last 1/4 of the book, it’s likely to lose my interest very fast. Especially if it’s in the first 1/3. Yup. I wanted to chuck the book at a wall. I almost put it down right then and there, but I pushed through with valiant effort in hopes of improvement. Alas, my struggle was in vain.

After that, I started to develop a hatred for Anna that bordered unhealthy. I mean, I wanted her to be a real person just so I could beat the living crap out of her and then gouge her eyes out with a rusty spoon. Oops, the Duke of Wrath is rubbing off on me. She was a whiny, sniveling, dependent little girl. After being shot down by the buttface Kaidan (after knowing him for FOUR DAYS), she goes into a ‘depression’ and shuts out the rest of the world in favor of crying in a fetal ball, wondering how she’ll ever get over him. Shuns friends, skips school, fails tests, loses weight. Can someone please hand me a rusty spoon? Anyone?

I don’t even know what she saw in Kaidan. His redeeming qualities were: he’s hawt, and…..hmm, let’s see….he’s…….hawt. Nevermind that he’s a bipolar asshat. I swear that dude had more mood swings than a girl. It’s like a freaking Katy Perry song. Oh, and did I mention he’s also a man slut? That’s such a quality trait right there. I’d be throwing myself at him too.
Every time he said he had to ‘work’ (aka go screw some random chick’s brains out), I threw up a little in my mouth. Being a female, how could this not bother you? What reason could you possibly have to still want a chance with him in these circumstances?! Oh right, because he’s so totally dreamy. I forgot.

The relationship – if that’s what you want to call it – between Kai and Anna gave me major mental whiplash. They ‘broke up’ 3 or 4 times (seriously, with the fetal crying and snot and all), and things were so complicated I couldn’t even keep track of whether they were on speaking terms or not. For example, after the 2nd (or 3rd? Who the hell knows) ‘breakup,’ desperate little Anna says, “I can’t keep living like this, Kai. I need to know how you feel. I need to know one way or another so I can have some sort of closure.” And what does Kai say? “I thought you’d be over it by now.”  
The next page – literally – he grabs her in his sweet embrace and tells her he wants to ‘introduce himself to every freckle on her body.’ (ralph) Um what? Huh? *stares at ceiling for answers*
No kidding, this is how the last half went. “I can’t be with you, we need to stay away from each other…but let me give you really confusing mixed signals then drag you into a dark alleyway and kiss you stupid!”

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse: enter Kopano and an almost love triangle. I say almost because I’m not really sure what was going on between Anna and Kopano. Most of the time they were just staring at each other sentimentally. Then Kai gets all jealous because she’s looking at him – God forbid she look at anyone – and throws a sissy fit and starts acting like even more of an asshat, if that’s even possible.
He almost gets in her pants, then tells her to go away, then kisses her passionately, then tells her to go away, then gets jealous over another guy staring at her like a creepy stalker. Again with the whiplash. Somebody call a lawyer, my neck hurts.

But wait, it gets better! Anna catches Kai having dry sex with another random chick, then goes and gets totally schmammered and kisses every guy she sees. The first part wouldn’t have bothered me at all had she not gone super skank.

Another bad portrayal: Motherhood. Anna’s mom, Patti, tells her to stay away from Kai. So what does Anna do? She blatantly defies her, going to see him immediately and then bringing him home to meet mommy. Instead of getting angry, Patti sends her on a road trip with him. Huh? What mother on Earth would let her 16-year-old daughter go cross country with a stranger? And this same mother freaked out because Anna had some nightmares. But it’s okay to be in a hotel room alone with some guy she just met.

A lot of the interactions and happenings were just absurd. Patti and Anna were driving, and Anna noticed they were being followed. She tells Patti she’s going to tuck and roll and to go on without her (of course, Patti’s fine with it). So she jumps out of a moving vehicle in favor of footing it away from the bad guys chasing her. Who end up being Kai’s friends, and one of them tackles her to the ground. What’s wrong with just yelling out, “Wait! I’m Kaidan’s friend!” And maybe it’s just me, but if someone were following me, I’d floor it and call the police, not jump out of the safety of the car.

Something else that rubbed me the wrong way – aside from looking down on non-virgins, the looking down on non-beautiful people.
Apparently Pharzuph was not the only demon to choose an attractive body to inhabit, and an attractive mate to give him a child, which was smart. Charming, good-looking people could get away with a lot.

Now, I’m not so naive that I don’t believe this statement is true to an extent, but it just irked me. Then later on with the daughter of Gluttony and all the fat gibes such as attempting to taunt her with a candy bar, commenting on ‘rolling her to the stage,’ and calling her a “salad dodger” (which is really a pretty lame one anyway but you get the idea). That part just pissed me off. I was unsatisfied with the whole situation with Gluttony in general though. Why was she in trouble? The Nephilim are supposed to sin, and Gluttony is her specialty. It made no sense to me. The daughter of Substance Abuse didn’t get in trouble for getting trashed. The son of Lust didn’t get in trouble for boning a different bimbo every night. I just felt like the book was trolling with the fat people hate. It’s okay to be a slut, but it’s not okay to be overweight.
Plot: 1/5
Was there one? I mean, unless getting drunk and crying over Kai counts as a plot.
Writing style: 2.5/5
Characters: 1/5
Characters were one-dimensional and vapid.
World-building: 3.5/5
The idea was fantastic.
Pace: 2/5
Cover: 5/5
Don’t mind me; I’ll just be sitting in a corner, staring wistfully at the beautiful cover.
Overall rating: 1.5/5 starfish
The thought was great, but not the delivery. Or the characters.
Not recommended for anyone under the age of 17.


Jessi (Geo)

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10 responses to “Review: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

  1. Huh, I really wasn’t expecting this. I’ve seen so many people praising it like crazy, but this just sounds ridiculous! I’m amazed it even got published! But, I admit I still want to read it, just to see what the big deal is myself.

    Really great review. I love how you say it so honestly, and you really explain why you didn’t like it.

  2. I was really curious to read you review after you mentioned it on twitter. I’ve been reading great things about this book over the internet and, let’s face it, the cover was so gorgeous I just HAD to have it. The premises were interesting, so I thought I might like it. I haven’t started yet (and probably won’t till I’m done with all the freaking books I have to read and review), so I can’t say my personal opinion, but…I’m so fed up with dreamy boys, whining girls who cannot make anything but sit and cry and stare and the aforementioned pretty boys. And your fantastic review points out this is exactly one of those books. THANKS so much!

    Also, you really made me laugh and I loved the introduction about how having sex and drinking doesn’t equal bad. Good point there!

  3. Wow. Reading all sorts of reviews on this one. A shame you didn’t like it all that much, I did buy this one earlier because I read good reviews.

    Wondering now if I can return it, it’s been a few weeks. Store credit would work for me in this instance.

    I do not like instaluv either. Sometimes it can work, but its foundation still annoys me, but I am having doubts about this one now.

    I think I might try returning my copy. Good honest review! Sometimes those can be harder to write than ones about books you like.

  4. Hi!
    Thanks for sharing your honest opinion! I’ve read so many good reviews about this book that I was convinced I had to have it – now I guess I’m gonna reconsider buying it…

  5. OMGILOVETHISREVIEW!! I couldn’t agree more with the last paragraph. I was pulling my hair out in different directions during that scene! And ugh, I can’t believe I overlooked that scene with Patti and Anna AND Kaidan’s a-holeness. You are SO right though!

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