Lexie's Reviews > Sweet Evil

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
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Feb 17, 2014

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bookshelves: ew-the-love-triangle, great-concept, insta-love-blech, lets-add-a-dash-of-misogyny, paranormal-romance, wait-what, slut-shaming
Read from April 14 to 16, 2012

This book was a very quick, enjoyable read, but there were a few things that really soured my reading experience.

There were a number of things that I liked. I liked it's readability; I read the bulk of this in less than a day, constantly shunning my schoolwork in favor of reading another chapter. I wanted to read on, and I love when a book keeps me invested enough for that to happen.

I really enjoyed the whole concept of this, with the Dukes, the Legionnaires, and the Nephs. It was fascinating and unique and I loved every glimpse we got into this dark and crazy world.

I liked that family--whether it was the Nephs' parents or Patti--played a huge role in this. I know I've said as much in several previous reviews, but I really do love when family is actually relevant to a book's plot and not simply shoved aside because they might interfere with the protagonist's doings.

I liked Kaidan despite myself. I disliked the way he objectified Anna. I disliked his constant mood reversals. But the shallow part of me was attracted to him, and the not-quite-as-shallow part of me gave him a nod for effort. There's something to be said about someone fighting their rules and their nature to do what's right, or defend what they care about.

Despite this, though, there was one thing that truly bothered me, and that ruined what otherwise would've been an enjoyable read: the messages this book sends.

Slut-shaming. Scorning/looking with disdain upon/judging other girls because they have big boobs, they wear tight shirts and short skirts, they dare to flirt with the guys around them. Clearly, they must be sluts and empty-minded, terrible people. Anna has too much of a conscience to blatantly think something along those lines, but the narration constantly notes and belittles girls for their choice of clothing or behavior. Furthermore, all the girls who flirt with Kaidan are made out to be lusty airheads.

I hate the message that this sends. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. And it's most certainly not just this book; frighteningly enough, I've seen much, much worse. But diminishing girls because they dared to wear the clothes they wanted and talk to boys? Not okay. Never okay.

And, along those lines, the idea that virginity somehow makes you a pure and beautiful soul. Anna's virginity is considered disgusting to all the evil, lusty demons; it's suggested that she be deflowered as soon as possible, because this will lead her further down the path to sin.

Um, excuse me?

I'm sorry, but someone's sexual activities do not say anything whatsoever about a person's character. You can be a fantastic person regardless of how many people you have or have not fucked, and the same thing applies to you being an asshole. Being a virgin does not make you a beautiful unicorn.

Aside from the disturbing messages, there was also a fair amount of telling, both in dialogue and in narration. Fortunately, it never became too overwhelming, and didn't seriously hinder the reading experience. I just cringed a bit whenever I saw a few solid paragraphs of dialogue.

In the end, would I recommend this? I suppose. It was an entertaining read, and will certainly appeal to fans of angel and demon lore. My personal issues with the messages this book contains hindered me from truly enjoying this, but I'll stick around for the sequel to see where it takes us.

3 stars.
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Reading Progress

02/15/2014 marked as: currently-reading
02/17/2014 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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Wendy Darling Ooo. Hope it's good!


Lexie So do I! It's the second (and last) book published from my former writing site, so I'm hoping it turns out better than the first.

Plus, Wendy's a sweetie. :D


Nella-rosmarino No! Not Slut-Shaming :c
Dammit.


Lexie Yeah. :/


message 5: by Hayley (new)

Hayley Waters Hm.... I WAS going to read it but now maybe I'll pass here *backs away slowly then runs away from love triangle and s...shaming.*


Gwen Hayley wrote: "Hm.... I WAS going to read it but now maybe I'll pass here *backs away slowly then runs away from love triangle and s...shaming.*"

Well, I still think you should. Everyone has different opinions about books, plus she did say she liked it :P


message 7: by Hayley (new)

Hayley Waters Maybe I will, I have heard about some good reviews but if I do it probably won't be my highest priority... I guess we'll have to see how it goes.


message 8: by Meagan (new)

Meagan I wish I was surprised by any of this, but given the subject matter in the book itself, I'm really not.


Lexie Hayley wrote: "Hm.... I WAS going to read it but now maybe I'll pass here *backs away slowly then runs away from love triangle and s...shaming.*"

To be fair, the love triangle was not nearly as bad as it could've been, but yeah, the slut-shaming really ruined the whole reading experience. Still, you may find the book entertaining. I don't know.

Meagan: I should've been more prepared for it, but I wasn't. I think I was being overly hopeful.


Valerie I'm 40% through an ARC I won through Goodreads, and the themes you mentioned are really grating on me. I was floored when I saw this on pgs. 30-31:

It was almost the end of the school year--two more weeks to go. The Georgia heat had set in, bringing with it tank tops and flip-flops, as well as shorts and skirts that kept no secrets. I shied away from showing too much skin, partly because of my own granny-esque modesty, and partly because I felt kind of bad for the boys my age. Most of them were having a hard enough time concentrating on anything besides their overpowering hormones.


And the fact that Kaidan's perfectly fine sexing up anyone he wants, but all the girls who want him are doomed to heartbreak and depression... ugh. It's a quick, entertaining read so far, but man it gets annoying sometimes.


Lexie Valerie wrote: "I'm 40% through an ARC I won through Goodreads, and the themes you mentioned are really grating on me. I was floored when I saw this on pgs. 30-31:

It was almost the end of the school year--two mo..."


That was one particularly disturbing example, along with numerous others scattered throughout the book. It's an entertaining read, but I just could not truly enjoy it with all the messages it contained.


message 12: by Valerie (last edited Apr 22, 2012 10:07AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Valerie After finishing it last night, ewww. Ewww. Pharzuph's line about how Anna doesn't need to be a virgin to do her job because "women have been pretending to be virgins since the dawn of time!" made me cringe -- he's a villain but the narrative doesn't discount his implications at all. D: That, and one of the other characters talking about her lack of virginity and how it's "not really something you can take back"...

I also gave it three stars at the end. I considered giving it a lower rating, but thought that wouldn't be giving enough credit for how engrossing it was -- it did do a lot right, but the disturbing messages really weighed it down.


Lexie Valerie wrote: "After finishing it last night, ewww. Ewww. Pharzuph's line how Anna doesn't need to be a virgin to do her job because "women have been pretending to be virgins since the dawn of time!" made me crin..."

Oh, G-d, Veronica's whole deal with the virginity and the abortion just led to some major cringing. I almost had to skip over that part.

Yeah, that's pretty much exactly how I felt. It was entertaining, and it was better than many books I'd rated 2 stars, so I settled on a 3.


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