Review: Sweet Peril

Title: Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) 15768191

Author: Wendy Higgins

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: April 30, 2013

Summary: Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

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That’s right you guys, book two of The Sweet Trilogy. More of angel Anna and her relentless pursuit of Kai, the smoldering British lust bomb. More of that super awkward love triangle thing going on between the two of them and poor Kopano. More jealousy and cheating and all that wonderful high school drama that we’ve all come to love. Woo hoo.

In some ways, I actually liked this book more than Sweet Evil, and in some ways I liked it less. Something that I did like was seeing Anna kind of coming out of her shell a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, she was still sweet little Anna on the inside, but she was a bit more confident and sassy and fun on the outside and I liked that. In the first book, it didn’t seem like she was ever going to go through any sort of personal growth, but in this book, we at least get little hints of it. She still has internal struggles about being forced to do these things that she doesn’t want to do, being a party girl and drinking so much, but a small part of her still enjoys it and she doesn’t quite know how to handle that.

Another thing that I liked was seeing more of the other Nephilim. Anna and Kopano are going on a sort of quest around the world to try and gather allies in a fight that they know is coming, due to Anna potentially being some savior in an ancient prophecy. Yes, it is as cliche as it sounds. But it was cool to finally meet some new kids and see exactly how their powers work and how they use them to do naughty things. We get introduced to a daughter of the Duke of Hatred, which was really interesting and kind of sad to see how she used herself to make men hate her, then allowed herself to be punished for it. She was a really interesting character because she seemed entirely hopeless and resigned to her fate. We also get to spend a bit more time with Kopano, who I really liked but we didn’t get to see much of him in the last book, so it was interesting to see the contrast between him, a Nephilim who doesn’t have to work and is basically sin-free, and the other kids who are forced to do their parent’s work.

The main problem I had in this book was that there was the dreaded love triangle of death. As in, it kills any books it’s present in. The whole situation was pretty ridiculous just because everyone was beyond stupid and annoying. Kai would ignore Anna for months, tell Kopano to go for Anna because he doesn’t care, then get all jealous and bang other girls in revenge once Anna and Kopano kiss. Then innocent little Anna would get all smoochy with poor Kopano, knowing that she doesn’t like him in that way, then get all butt hurt when Kai turns to other girls to fill the gaping Anna-shaped hole in his heart. The only one that’s really not at fault is Kopano, who in turn gets the short end of the stick by having his friend mad at him and the girl he wants rejecting him. It’s all so aggravating.

I have to say though, something that I really like about these books is that the author isn’t afraid to talk about sex. These are YA books and most of what I read seem to stay within smooching and maybe a little tentative touching, or just very very implied sex. Which is totally fine, since it’s YA. But I really like that this author is not afraid to have teenagers talking about their sex lives, making sexual jokes, and other realistic things that peverted young men would talk about. And I like that Anna and Kai have to struggle with not having sex, since they are obviously attracted to each other and would go a little further than kissing. I guess I just admire Wendy Higgins by not really caring and writing some super steamy make out scenes where things are constantly on the edge of going to the next step.

As far as the plot went in this book, I found it more engaging than the first one, just because I was very intrigued by the other Nephilim that Anna and Kopano were trying to find. While I found the whole prophecy thing to be cliche, I am interested to see how everything goes down. I like it just because the idea that these kids are kind of screwed no matter what happens, since they are going to hell when they die no matter what, it seems so hopeless and kind of sad. But I like seeing them finding hope that they can be free of their parents and at least have a life worth living before they go to hell. While I’m not a huge fan of these books in general, I do really like that concept because it’s both bleak and hopeful at the same time.

I obviously enjoyed this book a bit more than the first one, so I have high hopes for Sweet Reckoning. And not to spoil anything, but I found the ending of this one to be ten times better than the last one, just because some things were resolved. I will say though, if there’s magically some more hot and cold crap going on in the next book between Anna and Kai, I’m going to pitch a fit. Sweet Peril was still and fun, easy read, but I enjoyed the darker undertones and new characters we got introduced to, and I’m excited to see the part everyone plays in the next book.

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Review: Sweet Evil

Title: Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1)  11808950

Author: Wendy Higgins

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: May 1st, 2012

Summary: 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 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?

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When this first book came out a few years ago, I took one look at the silly cover with the creepy guy in black sniffing that poor girl’s hair, or whatever he is doing back there, and promptly stuck it back on the shelf. Yes, I happily judged this book by it’s cover. But come on, look at it. Look at her stupid scrunchy dress and his creepy face and chiseled jaw, the mysterious fog in the background… The whole thing just screams Twilighty tween bullshit. And what’s with her awkward arm across her stomach? Is she trying to stop her ovaries from exploding due to the raw sexy man-power radiating off the guy behind her? That’s got to be it.

Okay okay, but seriously, this book wasn’t half as bad as I thought it would be. I just couldn’t understand how these books had so much hype and such a freaking good rating on Goodreads, so I had to find out for myself what sort of sorcery was going on here. And it was exactly what I thought… Swoony, unobtainable guy, forces of darkness, angels vs. demons, sexy hot make out scenes, and a perky blonde heroine. The perfect concoction to guarantee tons of squealing fangirls. This author wasn’t messing around.

Right from like page three, this book had me giggling uncontrollably and reading lines that I found hilarious out loud to my younger brother who just looked confused as to why I was reading something so stupid. I mean, holy crap, I was almost peeing my pants at some of the things out innocent little Anna was thinking about Kaidan. How about a few examples?

“He was smokin’ hot. As in H-O-T-T hott. I’d never understood until that moment why girls insisted on adding an extra T. This guy was extra-T worthy.”

“His eyes were narrow and his eyebrows were a bit thick and… Oh, who was I kidding? I could pick him apart, but even the shifty slant of his eyes made him more alluring to me.”

“Kai, like Thai, only yummier.”

“Good gracious, he was sexy- a word that had not existed in my personal vocabulary until that moment. This guy was sexy like it was his job or something.”

“Gosh, his eyes were gorgeous- the color of tropical honeymoon waters ringed in dark sapphire and enclosed by thick lashes.”

Can you understand why I was cracking up?

So we have the obviously sheltered Anna, who finds out that she is the offspring of an angel and demon, Belial, The Duke of Addiction. She has super senses galore but hides it and only uses her powers for good because even the thought of doing something bad, like lying *gasp!* makes her so upset. She runs into Kaidan who is just like her expect his father is the Duke of Lust, which I’m sure none of you saw coming, and he explains to her what she is and how she has to start working for her father. Any kids of the Dukes have to spread their sin around, so for Anna that means drinking and selling drugs and things, and for Kaidan that means seducing a lot of chicks and getting into their pants. Yuck.

I had a really hard time with Anna just because I found her so unrealistic and I wasn’t able to relate to her at all. She was so angelic that it was almost sickening and I found myself laughing at her the whole time for being so silly. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a good person or not having sex, but Anna was almost just annoying how she constantly cried over things that upset her or acted stupid just to do something nice because she wouldn’t help it. But it was also annoying how I really didn’t get much of a sense of internal conflict from her. I mean, she finds out that she is going to have to start doing bad things, and she just kind of goes with the flow the whole time. And after being around Kaidan for five seconds, she is more than ready to have sex with him. She was so hot and cold that her character felt almost lost and undefined.

And it was so completely ridiculous because a decent chunk of this book was Anna and Kaidan on a road trip to find her demon dad and talk to some nun. But how, you might ask, did she manage to get her parents to let her go with some sexy guy they don’t even know who would clearly take advantage of their daughter? Well that’s a funny question. Anna’s overprotective, freakishly sweet and goodhearted “mom”, who has done everything in her power to keep Anna safe and protected, randomly comes up with the idea herself. That’s right, mommy dearest suggests that they go on a road trip together, but she’s sure nothing could go wrong because she asks the son of The Duke of Lust to pretty please not deflower her daughter? I think I know who’s going to get mother of the year award.

The romance aspect of this book was pretty steamy, I’ll admit that. But it was so freaking dramatic. Kaidan was just the definition of the hot, mysterious guy who wants the heroine so bad but can’t be with her because it’s too dangerous, blah, blah, blah. I mean, one minute he is all over her, trying to seduce her and get laid, and the next minute he is freaking out and smashing lamps and being a cold jerk because she likes him. It was frustrating. There was intsa-love and a weird, awkwardly placed love triangle that I didn’t even understand the purpose of, except to make Kaidan jealous. But I was really excited because at one point in this book, they aren’t around each other very much, and I always like to see the heroine being productive and doing things without constantly needing her man at her side. But Anna just goes into this dark depression because she isn’t seeing Kaidan and is literally just the most pathetic thing ever.

The plot and writing wasn’t anything amazing, but it was fun. Everything was fairly predictable and cliche but in a familiar, relaxing sort of way. I did find the mythology pretty interesting, and getting to meet the other kids with all their different parents and what sort of bad things they have to do was pretty cool. And I do love angel and demon stuff, so the background with Anna’s parents and the struggle between heaven and hell was intriguing too. I have to give this book brownie points for being a fun read, even if I got annoyed a lot, I was still having a good time reading it and interested enough to see where it was going that I kept reading and finished the book pretty quickly.

Over all, this book was pretty much what I expected, but I had a better time with it that I thought I would. Anna didn’t really do anything for me, and I didn’t have much connection with any of the other characters but the ridiculous drama between all of them was entertaining enough that I made my way through it. I actually did order the next book from the library, so I must have liked it a little bit. I just feel bad because the only parts I really did like about it were ones that made me laugh for being so utterly silly. I feel like that wasn’t the author’s intention, but it was a nice quick book with a fun plot and lots of steamy moments, which was exactly what I was in the mood for. Still doesn’t make it a worthy of it’s 4.17/5 rating on Goodreads though.

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