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Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
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Rating: 1.5 stars

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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 Kaidan (hence forth known as Honeymoon Waters due to Anna's agonizing comparison to how his eyes look like honeymoon waters on page 25) 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.


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 (see City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare) and it disturbs me.
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Reading Progress

05/18/2012 page 25
5.0% "Eyes the color of honeymoon waters if this isn't a symptom of insta-love I don't know what is." 7 comments
05/18/2012 page 48
10.0% "This just seems so forced so far. I'm hoping it improves in future chapters. But we'll see."
05/19/2012 page 88
19.0% "Info dump that states that the MC is a special snowflake what else is new."
05/19/2012 page 178
38.0% "I'm finding this whole little road trip to be a little contrived let alone not believable. ."
05/20/2012 page 232
50.0% "Come on book please dazzle me. Show that you deserved to win the Inkpot contest and don't keep having me roll my eyes at you. You're better than that book, aren't you?"
05/21/2012 page 294
65.0% "You know what I hate, when past the halfway mark of a book the author decides to introduce like six very annoying characters."
05/22/2012 page 306
67.0% "And demon daddy is able to get his parole hearing in less than a couple weeks after Anna comes and visits him. This does not make sense I don't care if you have the powers of darkness the legal system does move this fast."

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited May 23, 2012 11:19AM) (new)

Young Justice where all the good characters are swept aside for Lagoon Boy and other brand spanking new and annoying characters.
I had to give up on the series. I loved it (And Roy Harper is a great badass!) but after a while, it felt like the creators were creating characters for a toy line.


Howdy YAL They were developing a toy line though said toy line got cancelled, at least according to the forums on Comic Vine. I will say that the last episode I saw was a minor improvement maybe because it involved Roy and Wally and Artemis finally made an appearance as well. But I really do miss season one. And as much as Conner and M'gann annoyed me in the beginning, I definitely prefer them to M'gann and Lagoon Boy. There's only so many fish puns I can take per episode.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

YAL Book Briefs wrote: "They were developing a toy line though said toy line got cancelled, at least according to the forums on Comic Vine. I will say that the last episode I saw was a minor improvement maybe because it..."

M'gann was so damn annoying, but she was improving. If she would have just dropped the "Hell-o!" line! But I was shocked when I began to warm up to Conner. I also loved their Aqualad, and the love triangle with Garth was flat out beautiful.
Sometimes, I wish they would just update the Teen Titans, bring back those character, and relaunch the show.


Howdy YAL She was improving. Was being the operative word. In this new season she's sort of freaking me out a bit. I won't go into spoiler specifics, but I get why she's no longer with Conner. And I don't blame the party at fault for their break up at all.

Oh, Aqualad. If you've watched any of season two you won't be happy what they've done with him either......

That would be pretty cool. I know that they introduced Wonder Girl in season two, though she's only had a bit part so far. Beast Boy has been introduced as well. And I've heard talk about Impulse coming on there, but I haven't seen him as of yet.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

If they ever bring in the baddest girl in the DCU, Starfire, I'll be all over that.
I'm scared of these changes. I'm going to contact my friend and ask her what is up. I know that Conner and M'gann were no longer an item, but I didn't know they had screwed over Aqualad. He was a great character, and not the typical "token black guy."
UGH. I'm going to have to go to Marvel for a bit and protest.


message 6: by Howdy YAL (last edited May 23, 2012 12:22PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Howdy YAL Well Weisman did say in his Ask Greg forum that he has access to use any character in the DC Universe for the show so it could happen.....I mean, they brought on Lagoon Boy and Blue Beetle, so they should bring on Starfire.

I need to get back into Marvel myself. I still haven't seen The Avengers and since finals are over I have no excuse.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

YAL Book Briefs wrote: "Well Weisman did say in his Ask Greg forum that he has access to use any character in the DC Universe for the show so it could happen.....I mean, they brought on Lagoon Boy and Blue Beetle, so they..."

AHH!! I really hope you get to see "The Avengers" soon!


Howdy YAL Me too :D


Sophie Honeymoon Waters ahahaha. And I agree with the drug abuse theme that runs rampant in this novel. It was disgusting and the cavalier attitude taken towards underage drinking and using pissed me off.


Howdy YAL Yeah, it pissed me off too. I'm not a prude. I don't mind when authors use drugs in a novel-because it's a nasty part of life-if it's handled appropriately. But here it was like Anna needed to get her drug addict guru on and it drove me crazy.


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