|Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins|
May 1, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Friend
Embrace the ForbiddenMy Review:
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?
What can I say about this book? It went way beyond anything I expected. I loved it so much and can't believe I didn't read it sooner. It has an undercurrent of C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters, but at a more extended level, with a YA appeal, and a romantic twist. My review is trying to avoid spoilers, so it may seem like rambling. So if you understand nothing, simply know that if you haven't read Sweet Evil yet, you must!
Having been raised by an adoptive mother, Anna Whitt has been protected from her heritage for her entire life. Yet she has also been gaining special abilities that she doesn't understand and has no one to talk to about them. Enter Kaidan Rowe, whom she becomes oddly intrigued by, and discovers that they share abilites, and a similar heritage. Through Kaidan she learns the knowledge that others like her have been raised with, as well as what is expected of them. But the journey to this knowledge, and the others they meet on the way, make the experience so much more enriching.
What I love about this book is that the Neph are treated by the author with such respect and dignity despite their terrible upbringings. I felt so sad for them and desperate for them to have hope knowing their pain but understanding why they've been raised this way. The author does not hold back the horrors of sin and temptation, and their consequences. But with Anna we are left with hope that there is still free will and compassion and love. I also love the religious undercurrents placed sporatically throughout the book. I am religious, but I don't think they are too much that they would turn off someone not religious.
I love the characters. Anna is genuine, honest, and hopeful. She is a strong female character who knows who she is and knows what she wants, even though it'll be hard. Kaidan's character takes on a new level through his friendship with Anna, and the more we get to know him, the less we see what he does and the more we see who he is and wants to be. Jay is the best friend everyone should have. The other Neph bring a lot to the table as well with their varying personalities. The secondary characters have a depth that I appreciate, not just cardboard people to fill space.
I didn't know how it would end, but the ending left me craving more. I'm looking forward to Sweet Peril and want to read it the moment I can get my grubby little paws on it (expected publication date: April 30, 2013)!
5+ SHINING STARS