Thursday, 12 July 2012

Sweet Evil

Wendy Higgins
8 / 10

From the blurb: 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?

Anna was surprisingly likeable for such a good girl. She struggles against the lure of alcohol and drugs, stronger in her than other people. Once she lets loose, the effects are terrifying and hilarious. And the friends she makes along the way are even more compelling. Kope is a sweetie, if a little safe - hopefully we'll see him truly explode in the next book. I adored Blake, though I wish he'd done a little more. And the twins, Marna and Ginger? One you love to hate, the other you want to protect. 

I never truly fell for Kaiden, though. Some of the moments between him and Anna were truly heartbreaking, but I couldn't bring myself to root for him. Partly because I was reading as an English girl, I think; he's the epitome of clich├ęs that Americans apply to Brits. Some of the things he said sounded so forced or old-fashioned that I found myself wincing. 

The idea of Nephilim has been approached in a lot of books I've read lately, though Wendy Higgins adds another fresh twist. I love stories that examine the differences between each demon, and there's a whole cast of fallen angels in this book - that will only expand in the sequel! 

However, it's only now that I'm thinking back that I realise the plot was maybe a little thin. There's a high school party, a road trip, another party and then... the end. It also felt like it was cut off rather suddenly and harshly, as though it was too long and the end was lopped off to become the beginning of the sequel. It's mostly a novel of character exploration - which, I like, don't get me wrong, but it didn't have the same fierce intensity of similar books. 

Teaser quote: We were damned for simply being born. So why was I holding fast to rules that didn't really apply to me anyway? Why shouldn't I take from this life what I could in the time I had? This had nothing to do with what Pharzuph demanded of us, and everything to do with what Kaiden and I had become to each other. 

This was reminiscent of Brenna Yovanoff's 'Smoulder' and Nephilim also star in Becca Fitzpatrick's series, the first of which is titled 'Hush, Hush'. 

The sequel, tentatively titled 'Sweet Hope' is under consideration with the publishers. Check for up-to-date news.

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