Book Review: Sweet Evil

sweet evilTitle: Sweet Evil

Author: Wendy Higgins

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Embrace the Forbidden

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?

My Review: Sweet Evil is one of those books where a lot happens. With today’s YA I’ve gotten used to novels like from the Marked series where you are given enough of a story line for it to be called a novel. You know the kind, protagonist has a problem and resolves a fraction of it then the book ends. The ridiculous example I’ve come up with for those of you who have not read Marked is: a girl who is in desperate need of a tampon and is going mad trying to find a store selling them in the middle of the night. After countlessly following false leads and getting lost a few times she finally finds a 24hr pharmacy. End of book one. Read the sequel to see if the pharmacy had any in stock. 😉 Lol… YA novels have truly turned into this. I’ve gotten so used to this that when I’m reading a novel and the character gets over a major hurdle I keep expecting the novel to come to an end. Ok, enough of my rant- Sweet Evil is nothing like this. A lot happened and the story just keeps going. I loved that about it!

Things I really enjoyed about this novel are Anna’s strength, her honesty about her feelings, her father, Kopano and her mom. Since I’ve mentioned her parents, they are amazing. The overprotective mom who tries her hardest to protect her and backs down to no one when it comes to her child. Her father is amazing. His love for her is heartwarming and he truly kept me looking for him and when I was reading about him, I enjoyed the book so much more!

Higgins does a great job of easing us into this novel. Admittedly, the way the story starts I got a flashback of reading City of Bones. I’m not sure if the both start the exact same way, it has been a few years since I read it. But here I am reading a scene about a girl standing in line with her best friend, which is a guy, waiting to get into a club…. It took me a minute to remember the novel I was reading and a few pages in there was no need for a reminder. It was interesting and different. With Higgins’ explanations of niphilim it’s clear that a lot of thought went into this novel. So yeah, back to the easing: Higgins easily hooks us into the story yet she gradually reveals the truth about Anna and its done in a great way.

The way everyone is always raving about Kaiden on Goodreads, it’s clear that he is the star of this novel. Yet I have mixed feelings about him. It was pretty clear to me that he had feelings for Anna despite how he acted. My problem is that I don’t think he would be good for her. In the sense that I believe that not only can she do better but she deserves better. Not that he’s that terrible, it’s just that I prefer someone else for her. The ideal guy? Kopano. He’s also a niphilim and because of his story they understand each other and he’s honest about his feelings. They are similar in so many ways and I truly think that they would be great together. Now I just have to wait around for Sweet Peril to see if Higgins is going to try my dream couple out for size. Also, with everything I’ve said, I just want to point out that I don’t get why Kaiden is one of Goodreads favorite love interests. Is there something about him that I’m simply not getting?

Update: According to this there will be no love triangle for Anna…

You guys are aware of my stalking tendencies right? After reading this novel I was checking Higgins out and found that on her website she has a tab just for extras. In particular she offers two chapters from Sweet Evil in Kaiden’s point of view. I would definitely say to check them out. While reading Sweet Evil I wasn’t exactly a Kaiden fan, in fact I’m still not but these chapters lessened my dislike of him. They are an enjoyable read. Here is a direct link to them: Chapter 1 from Kai’s POV and Chapter 26 from Kai’s POV.

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Book Review: New World Order

Title: New World Order (War of the Fae #4)

Author: Elle Casey

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Will the fae will be able to make the sacrifices they must to survive?

Jayne Sparks and her Light Fae changeling friends face off in the final battle against their enemies. But the identify of their true enemies isn’t as clear as it once was. Are they the ones breaking down their doors … or perhaps another entity, hiding in the shadows?

Friends come and go, bridges burned are rebuilt, love is lost and found. The survival of the fae depends on the answer to one question: Which burns hotter … hatred or hope?

My Review: Let my start this review by saying that I absolutely love this book. Casey finished her War of the Fae series with a bang. It had everything I loved about the series: humor, friendship, love, romance, action, Jayne’s bad-assery and a plot that was as awesome as it was unexpected.

The series ending was very bittersweet for me but I loved it. It ended in a way that allows for Jayne’s story to be continued, which Casey is doing in Clash of the Otherworlds. Which you guys should be seeing a review for in a couple of days. Now I apologize for my short review but I am still feeling very emotional after finishing New World Order and I have some crying to get back to. Now if you’ll excuse me…

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)

Author: Laini Taylor

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

My Review: You know those books that you read and enjoy but it’s the ending that blows you away. That’s where I am. Completely blown away. As in WTF and when can I get my hands on the sequel?

I blame my bad memory for not remembering what made me want to read this book. (I swear I’m like an elderly person looking for glasses that I’m already wearing.) But I after adding this book to my TBR shelf, I was immediately assaulted (haha… You know who you are) by people who love this book. As being assaulted by this book lover is a rare occurrence for me I took their words seriously and got right to it. So: a pretty cover, a girl with blue hair and a book that carries the air of mystery… I was all over it.

Taylor is great at spinning a web to catch her readers. From the very first paragraph I was intrigued and hooked. She does a great job of easing the reader into the story. I was little more than a hungry baby atop a high chair as she teased and baby fed me a story I just couldn’t get enough of.

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.
The two protagonists in this book are Karou and Akiva and they are like today’s otherworldly version of Romeo and Juliet. Need I once again mention that I love romance? Well where the romance in this book is involved, it seemed to fall into the category of insta-love and I’m ok with that… But then like with everything else in this book Taylor says to heck with that and throws so many surprises and plot twist that left my head spinning. Their romance is weird but seems realistic and it’s sweet and makes you want to swoon like a little girl.

“Karou was plagued by the notion that she wasn’t whole. She didn’t know what this meant, but it was a lifelong feeling, a sensation akin to having forgotten something. She’d tried describing it to Issa once, when she was a girl. ‘It’s like you’re standing in the kitchen, and you know you went in there for a reason, but you can’t think of what that reason is, no matter what.’ “
So Karou, as you can see, is a girl who feels lost and she struggles with that everyday of her life. She appears to be a regular teen, with regular teen issues and a very creative imagination. Then Taylor begins to reveal who Karou really is. The character development that Karou undergoes is vast and impressive. So much happens to her to change and shape her that by the last chapter of the book she is someone completely different. Taylor does a great job of changing the character so much while maintaining a sense of Karou. She is never forgotten or lost.

Because I feel that anymore than this, I’ll be writing a complete spoiler, I’ll stop here. So for you, reader who is considering picking this book up, I’ll end this with a warning. Remember that Taylor weaves a fine web and you are walking into a trap. One full of mystery, suspense, romance, betrayal and action. She will suck you into this story and she won’t let you go. Unlike most books that release you from their hold once you are done reading them, this one will leave in withdrawal desperate for a sequel.

Book Review: Unearthly

Title: Unearthly (Unearthly #1)

Author: Cynthia Hand

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Synopsis: In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

My Review: In the world Hand paints, angel bloods (Nephilim) are born to fulfill a purpose. Clara the protagonist, is 16 years old when her purpose starts being revealed to her. Clara’s purpose revolves around a boy who we soon learn is Christian. So the first half of the book is mostly about her acclimating herself to her new life while trying to learn as much as she can about Christian. And no, when I say that I am not hinting at her being a stalker.

From the get go, the book is interesting. It is a little different, compared to other angel books I’ve read, but it’s a good different. As the storyline develops, the book takes on a life of its own. It took me hostage and would not let me go until the last word was read. It is addictive, captivating and romantic.

Clara is drawn to Christian because of her visions (purpose). She’s literally the girl who meets the guy of her dreams. Christian is popular, humble, sweet, and very handsome with his classic good looks. However, and as you may have predicted, there is a love triangle. Clara’s second love interest is Tucker. He is ruggedly handsome.
They start out having a love to hate sort of relationship. But as time moves on, they start to form a true friendship that in turn leads to more. The romance between Clara and Tucker was the main attraction in this book (for me). Tucker is such a great, like-able character.

Now, if you are wondering why 4 stars and not five, I will now answer that. The book was great and it had a certain flow, until the end. The last two chapters don’t seem to flow with the rest of the story. My idea is that Hand knew exactly how she wanted to book to end, knew exactly what had to happen, BUT had a tough time putting it into
words. It felt a little forced and did not go along in the same style as the rest of the book. As you can see, I still enjoyed the book and would truly recommend it.

So, in order to not ruin the book for anyone and to contain my ranting I will cut it short. Unearthly is a great book. It is captivating, romantic and has its bit of action. It’s the kind of book that leaves an impression and seems to stick with you. It gives me butterflies when I think of Tucker and leaves me wondering “What’s next? What am I to expect in Unearthly #2?”