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Review: Sweet Evil

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins will be released in the U.S. on May 1, 2012 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 464 pages.

Sweet Evil is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

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Goodreads description:

What if there were teens whose lives depended on being bad influences? This is life for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.

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 it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

A cross-country trip to meet her father forces Anna to face the reality that hope and love are not options for her kind. When she confronts her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

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Anna Whitt always knew she was different. Being able to see and feel the moods and emotions of everyone around her made it pretty hard not to realize just how different she was.

But until the day she met Kaidan Rowe she thought she’d kept her abilities a secret. And yet he knew. With just one look it was as if he was able to see everything she’d been hiding her entire life.

And she wanted answers.

Even if being around him was dangerous. Even if she felt inexplicably drawn to him in a way she had never felt drawn toward anyone else.

And even if it meant losing her heart to someone who didn’t ask for it, didn’t want it and didn’t care if he broke it.

Because finding answers to questions she’d had her entire life seemed worth the risk of a broken heart.

But in her search for answers, the stakes will be raised and she’ll be forced to choose between good and evil. And this time it won’t be only her heart she could lose, but her life and the lives of those she loves.

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Perfectly titled, Sweet Evil is exactly that. A deliciously wicked, sinfully good and all-consuming story that readers will devour every morsel of and still be hungry for more.

Author Wendy Higgins’ debut novel is absolutely riveting. The introduction is enticing. The story is intense and enthralling. And the characters are alluring, intriguing, lovable, despicable, maddening and totally unforgettable. They’re characters readers will want to know and want to know more of.

With every page, the author draws readers deeper into the world of good and evil that she created. A world where demons roam the earth masked in human form, using their offspring to do their bidding – spreading chaos, fear, hatred, lust, envy, violence.

And then there’s Anna. A girl who battles against the evil within. Choosing light over darkness. Good over evil. Right over wrong. Until the day she meets Kaidan Rowe and her entire world changes.

Always knowing that she was different, but never really knowing why, Anna hid her abilities from her best friend Jay and from Patti, the only mother she’d ever known. Keeping them in the dark made her feel at least somewhat normal, even if she knew she wasn’t.

Yet from the moment Kaidan set eyes on her, he somehow knew she was not like everyone else. He could see what others couldn’t. He could sense things about her that she didn’t even know about herself. And she was immediately drawn to him.

But learning the true nature of who she is and who he is comes at a price. She will be forced to choose sides. And if she chooses not to embrace her darker nature, she will not only be putting her own life in danger, but the lives of everyone she cares about. Including Kaidan.

Even at nearly five hundred pages, Sweet Evil is an easy one-sit-read. With a blistering pace, an intoxicating storyline, and a fascinating world the author built around her characters, this book will be impossible to put down. Even after the last word on the last page.

It’s addictive. It’s delectable. It’s dangerous. It’s sexy. It’s dark. It’s gorgeous. It’s unpredictable. It’s torturous. It’s pure, sweet evil.

Reviewer gives this book…

Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

On a personal note:

Sweet Evil was my most anticipated debut of 2012. From the moment I heard the title my expectations were high. When I read the description they were elevated to such a level that I started to get nervous that this book couldn’t possibly come close to what I hoped it would be. What I thought it should be. And what I needed it to be.

I was so worried that I overhyped this book. But once again I worried for nothing. This book blew me out of the water. So much so that it totally destroyed my ability to read the next book on my pile. I just had to go back and re-read it. So I did.

And it was every bit as good and torturous and twisty-turny and exciting as the first time.

Flawed? No way. Hot? Yes. Definitely yes. Sexy? Oh you bet it is. This book totally lives up to its name. It is all sorts of wicked deliciousness.

Before I even cracked the spine I knew I’d love Kaidan Rowe. He was everything I expected him to be – the dangerous, sexy, conflicted bad boy. But he was also way hotter than I’d imagined him to be. And he was a musician. And on occasion he was even reluctantly good.

I had no idea who his father was or what would be required of him. And I was totally surprised that I still loved him even after I knew who he was and what he did. And I was even more shocked that in spite of it all I still thought he’d be perfect for Anna.

I was also surprised at just how much I adored Anna. I actually loved how good she was. I didn’t expect to. But she wasn’t condescending or preachy. She was understanding and kind and patient. She wasn’t judgmental. At all. And she was just so perfect for Kaidan.

I knew this story would be about good and evil. But I never thought I’d be as enchanted by the evil as I was in this book. The level of detail the author built into her demonic characters, even the ones who didn’t take center stage, made them completely captivating. I was transfixed. From their names, to their purpose, to their treatment of their progeny, to their total lack of humanity, I found them utterly fascinating and disturbing and strangely appealing.

Just getting a glimpse at that world made me want to know more about them and the Nephilim who either embraced their jobs or despised what they did for their fathers.

These demons were truly demonic. The things they did and made their children do were bad, bad things. There was no sugar-coating on it. The author didn’t “nice” this up to be less brutal. And it made me love this so much more because of that.

I actually loved everything about this book. Especially the jealous and moody Kaidan parts. But I even loved the parts that made my heart ache and made my insides get all twisted up in knots.

And if I were to actually list every single thing I loved about this book, I’d just be reprinting the entire book here in my review. I loved it that much. Every little bit of it. Every word. Every moment. Every. Single. Thing. Except…

…The fact that it had to end. But you know what they say about all good things….

So, yes, Sweet Evil totally blew my mind. Twice. Would I recommend it to anyone? I’d recommend it to everyone. Would I read it again? I’d read it again and again and again and again. It is totally sweet. It is absolutely evil. And it’s the perfect mix of both.

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There were way too many perfectly swoon-worthy passages to just choose one. So, I decided to share a favorite passage that made me grin evilly instead:

“I assure you she’ll be in good hands.”

“Mm-hm, that’s part of what I’m worried about.” She pointed at his hands. “Hands off, mister.”

His eyes widened, and so did mine.

Patti!” I said.

She crossed her arms, fierce and serious. We both shrank back a fraction.

“Bring her back to me safely, with her virtue intact.”

I closed my eyes. Someone kill me now.

This review is based on an ARC I received from the publisher, HarperTeen, in exchange for my honest review.

21 Responses to “Review: Sweet Evil”

  1. Cheryl says:

    I’ve seen this book, but it really wasn’t on my TBR list. I’m gonna have to rethink that after you’re review. Thanks.

  2. It seems like you had lots of fun with this one! I’ll be honest. I have this in my TBR list but wasn’t planning on reading it ASAP or anything because it seemed a little bit cliche the whole good vs evil blah blah. But after reading your review, I think I should reconsider. This sound too deliciously wicked to pass up.

  3. Ina says:

    What an amazing review, Rachel!!! I thought this book could be good, but thanks to your off the charts rating, I’m now CONVINCED of its excellence. 😀 It’s already on my TBR list, but I’ll have to bump it up and hope to get it when it comes out. 😀

  4. Love love love your review! My fave…”Flawed? No way. Hot? Yes. Definitely yes. Sexy? Oh you bet it is.” That could have been your whole review!!! That says it all!

  5. Irene says:

    This har been on my tbr list for ages! I cannot wait to get my hands on it! Like you, my expectations are very high

  6. Michelle says:

    I’m glad I pre-ordered the book! And my excitement about the book rocketed sky high by your review! Can’t wait!!

  7. Ana Lucía says:

    I have to admit I wasn’t that interested in this book at first…I don’t know why. But after three reviews that say how good this book is, I’m convinced!

    Excellent review Rachel, now I want it even more….if that’s even possible!
    Anna seems like a great character (and with a lovely name 😉 haha) and Kaidan……I love conflicted bad boys AND he is musician!!! Double win!
    It definitely sounds like an intense book!

    It’s a big book huh? Nearly 500 pages! <3 it LOL I like that kind of books.
    "It’s pure, sweet evil" Perfect! Can not wait!!!

    P.S: That passage is so funny! LOL I've read intense and sexy passages but this one is funny. Perfect combination of everything in this book.

  8. Oh Rachel, you’re breaking my heart. This is one of my most anticipated reads of 2012 and while I have pre-ordered a copy of it already, I’m dying to get my hands on it so badly. And waiting until it’s going to be in my mailbox and then in my greedy little hands is pure torture. And your review just made everything worse. I wish I could find a review that would make me want this less, but instead all of these amazingly positive reviews appear.

    But of course I’m glad that you loved it so much. And while I’ll still be scared that I’m completely overhyping it, too, it gives me a lot of hope that it is as awesome as it sounds. (Just wondering… can you be in love with a fictional character (aka Kaidan) without having really read anything about him yet… or does that make me plain weird?)

    Thanks a lot for your review and soooorry for the melodrama. 😉

    Carina

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Now that my review is posted I’m going to be stalking all those reviews. And I think they are mostly – if not all – positive. I’ve been totally jealous of everyone who read this before I had a chance to, too. Fortunately the wait isn’t too long! Though I think if I ever saw a negative review of this before I’d read it, it would have made me want to read it more. 🙂

      No, you’re not weird! I loved Kaidan before I met him too. His name. his bad boy-ness. Everything. And while I didn’t reveal much about him in this, just you wait until you meet him. His abilities are very, very swoon-worthy. And his is so incredibly dangerous in the best ways. Patti was right (in that quote) to make sure he kept his hands to himself. 😉

      I wish you had a copy in your hands right now! But I can’t wait to see what you think when you do get a copy!

      • Hmm… now that you’re saying it, I have to agree. One negative review among so many positive reviews would be really interesting to “analyse” and see whether one could feel similar. 😀 But from what I’ve heard about Sweet Evil so far, we’ll have to search a loooong time for that one review. 😀

        Love this quote! And well… if he’s really as swoon-worthy as you say, one might not even want him to keep his hands to himself. ;D

        Definitely looking forward to my copy… hoping that TBD will have them early. At the moment it says: “59 days to go”, but with TBD there might be a good chance of getting it a bit earlier. 😀

  9. *faints*

    Whew! Way to get people’s hopes up, lol. 🙂 Thank you so much for your support. Now if I could just get the publisher to buy the second and third books…

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      They won’t be disappointed. SWEET EVIL is magnificent. I’m so tempted to go back for a third read right now!

      I love the hierarchy of the Dukes. I love that there’s a global component and it’s not US-centric. I love that Anna is so amazingly good but she isn’t judgmental and that she recognizes that the terrible things that these other characters have to do while still a choice isn’t a choice they should be faulted for. I love that she’s sympathetic without being pitying. And I LOVE her Dad. (Yes, there were a LOT of edits to my review taking out paragraph after paragraph of potentially spoiler-y gushing rambles!)

      Ah, and if I had any sway with the publisher I would beg and plead and beg some more for books two and three. I must know what happens next. Even if I have to start my own publishing company to have the story continue, LOL!

  10. Priya says:

    If there was any question that this book would be one of my anticipated reads, its over now!

  11. Wonderful review and I couldn’t agree more. This is a fantastic book and so totally unique and fresh!

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Thanks Kelley! Ha, I did have the words “unique” and “fresh” in my earlier draft, I don’t know where they went! But it is. Incredibly unique. I’ve never read a book with such a wonderful structure/hierarchy of the Dukes and the roles of their offspring. It was harsh, it was sad, it was so incredibly real and heartbreaking. As much as I loved the darkness and wickedness, I sympathized with the characters for having to go through it all. And that absolutely delectable boy made it just such a pleasure to read. Even as the story broke my heart.

  12. SupaGurl says:

    I loved everything about this book too!! Great review!!

    SupaGurl

    p.s. Wendy I will *flail about madly* if there is not a 2 and 3 eeek!!

  13. oh GOD!
    WHY did it have to be GOOD? Scratch that… THIS GOOD! THIS PERFECT THIS AMAZING-sounding? WHY??
    I seriously was putting off reading ANYthing of the book ANYTHING! And of course you come and ruin it for me by simply saying it’s awesome and now I’m ruined and distracted and completely wanting to rip the local bookstore to shreds for the simple fact that they won’t be bringing it…Would Kaidan help and shake some sense into the store owner?
    This sounds and seems and T__________T idk so deliciously amazing I have GOT TO GET IT!!!!!!!
    I was so wary of it by the cover that, while LOVING it, I really thought it’d be some kind of historical book but now I know that it is definitely NOT and I’m dying and just…….

    ~goes have the freak out on another place~

  14. I admit to being interested by the book but a little put off by the cover (I know, I’m such a cover whore!), not because it isn’t pretty but because it’s too pretty. I didn’t think this would be as edgy as the blurb suggested for some reason (I should have learned my lesson after reading Shatter Me – awesome book). But now I’m buying it! Your review persuaded me. 😀

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      I was a little bit the same way with the cover for Shatter Me. But it was amazing. I do love this pretty cover and the paleness of Kaidan and the background haze drew me in.

      This book definitely has an edge. No sugar-coating. There are some harsh realities to the world the author created. And while I didn’t picture the MC quite like the cover model, she was absolutely sweet and pretty. But she wasn’t syrupy or annoying. She was just a good person. And I never usually like such good characters, but she is incredibly likable. You must get your hands on a copy. 🙂

  15. RACHEL!!! Alright, clearly this is to be moved to the TOP of the pile!!!!

    So excited!!!! *dies*

  16. Your review is dead-on right!! You did a fantastic job writing this review! You already know how I feel about Kai. Man I miss him terribly and I am totally tempted to re-read this one.

    We NEED, NEED, NEED, books 2 & 3!!!!!

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