Sweet Evil: A Little Less Sweet, A Little More Evil

Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)
Sweet Evil
by Wendy Higgins

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a merged review of Sweet Evil and the secret chapter Wendy Higgins wrote in Kai’s perspective.

So, I must admit going into this read I was hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. The premise sounded great; a young girl with awesome sounding fallen angels powers forced to choose between heaven and hell, but I had seen some pretty depressing reviews scrutinizing this one. With those thoughts in mind I hesitantly cracked open the book already evaluating every line.

Here are some of my initial notes:

“…my eyes landed on his face
He was smoking hot. As in H-O-T-T hott. I’d never understand until that moment why girls insisted on adding an extra T. This guy was extra-T worthy.”

page 13
Are you serious? I understand that she is a teenage girl, but does she really have to be so immature about her attraction?

“Kai, like Thai, only yummier.”

page 15
This is just pitiful! Only yummier? Ugh…

“He’s a killer musician, he gets tons of chicks, his dad’s loaded, and as if that wasn’t enough, he’s got a friggin’ English accent.”

That’s exactly how I feel. The English accent is so over used to make bad boys more attractive. Ugh. I hate how people think slapping an accent on someone instantly makes then more mysterious and full of depth…

She never lies?! Really? She is just that innocent and pure. You have to be kidding me. She even notes how she actually lied on purpose… once. She even reminds the teacher to do her job and collect the homework. Pushing so hard that she was so innocent sweet girl just made her seem so flat.

These are only a small amount of the complaints I had against this book. I felt that both characters were shoved into these stereotypical roles which was a shame and I had a serious issue with how long the author drags out this thing with Kaidan. If someone was like that to me I would forget about them.

There were a few things that I didn’t know how I felt about. MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD!

Anna and Kaidan’s rode trip… I know a lot of you thought it was ludicrous that Patti let her go, but I wasn’t so sure. I mean, Sister Ruth was really sick and Kaidan was doing it for FREE. I don’t think it was a good call on her part, but I don’t think it was so totally odd either. Also, She does call and tell Anna to come back, so she did see the risks and that maybe it wasn’t a good idea. It was still a little weird though.

The other thing is also a parenting thing. The drinking with her Dad. Yet again, One of those situations were I didn’t know how to feel. He is the Duke of substance abuse and it is something she needs to figure out. It’s just a little weird to me…

That’s not to say the book was a total loss though. The further I got in the more intrigued I became and the less focused I was on the flaws and over-analyzing ever single thing that went on. The idea behind this book was just splendid. Behind the sometimes odd behaviors of the characters there is a wonderful adventure to be had. I liked the powers and how they were described and the Dukes ruling over different sins was so clever. I felt like some of these ideas were lost behind this romance? with Kaidan. I liked that she got it out of the way and started getting the plot going, but dragging out there drama just put a damper on it for me. You want them to either be with each other or forget about it…

I also like Jay as a character. He was in the background, but I felt like he had a little more depth then some of the other characters. Maybe this was because you could see his emotions and his conflicts?? (view spoiler)

Seeing things from Kai’s perspective was nice. I would almost say I would prefer to have all the books from his POV. You get to see a lot of the internal struggle and depth his mind holds that you don’t get to see in the first book. I must say though that the way he thought about women was slightly disturbing. (But what can you expect from the son of the Duke of lust?) It was quite refreshing, if a little disturbing.

Over half way through I let myself get absorbed in the plot and by that point the romance with Kaidan had at least become less of the focus. It wasn’t the best I’ve ever read, but it was entertaining to say the least.

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Alienated: A Book From Out of This World

Alienated (Alienated, #1)Alienated by Melissa Landers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Actual rating: 4.5

Where to start with Alienated?? It was… for lack of an actually existing word, spacetacular. I thought this was one of the best YA novels I have read in the last month, no, in the last year. The story was gripping, the characters had so much depth and were so easy to relate to, and the world and it’s societies reaction to aliens seemed very authentic and reasonable.

When most people picture aliens they probably think about a little man zipping around on a ship with his companion Commander K-9, the kind that phone home, or tentacle monsters that are a little too obsessed with anime girls. If this is what your thinking your gonna get from this book your dead wrong. These aliens look like us, but not really. They all have brown hair, tan skin, and an absence of a belly botton. This is due to the cloning and breeding program that controlled evolution and made them the best they could be. The world building for their society was great and I felt like I understood at least partially what it meant to be a L’eihr.

There was so much more to love about Alienated. Cara was the kind of character I wanted to get behind. She wasn’t some brooding shy clumsy dolt, but an actual girl, and a pretty cool and fierce one at that. She agrees to have an alien live with her, for pete’s sake! She doesn’t take crap from anybody, she’s smart, and most importantly has other motivations than boys! Spoiler Ahead! She breaks up with her boyfriend because he’s a jerk and doesn’t agree with her decisions, instead of whining about it. I cheered when I read this:

“…Nothing’s free. It’s time to take one for the team. Shred the contract or whatever. Undo it.”
“No!” How dare he order her to do anything?

This is Eric talking to Cara
Brava, girl! She didn’t just listen to whatever the boy in her life told her to do which was refreshing for a YA novel. (The fact that this is refreshing depresses me…)

Aelyx was just one of the cutest guys, er, aliens I have ever had the pleasure to read about. His character saw some major changes throughout the book and I loved seeing that in him. It was great being able to witness his ideas about humans slowly change and to see him open up. Alex was one of those characters that slowly grows on you and you don’t realize it until after your chin deep in love with him. His reaction to the information about kissing was beyond adorable. Not to mention that Melissa Landers idea of aliens was fabulous, as stated before.

Cara and Aelyx’s relationship was one of the biggest things I loved about this book. It was so believable and sincere. Instead of the warp drive insta-love you see so often these days, it was an actual relationship. They got to know one another, be friends and trust one another before love was even hinted at. This was one relationship that had a firm foundation and could stand up the test of time and intergalactic space.

All the side characters were great and believable. I liked that there were surprises with some of them and that Melissa Landers wasn’t afraid to give us characters that really did show no merit and were despicable.

Now, because deep down I’m a perfectionist and unable to give anything a stamp of total perfection I have tried to think of things I didn’t like about this book, which was hard. Finally after thinking about it I have found a couple. How Cara’s relationship with Tori was resolved. I didn’t like that Cara never really had a serious talk about how and why she was angry. I felt like she just randomly was okay with the whole situation. This complaint is so small though, because I do understand why she would want to just resolve it and get back to being friends. Well… I guess a couple was an overstatement. That is my only complaint on an otherwise flawless book. I can’t wait to read the next installment!

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Quote of the Day

The artistry and imagery of this quote was to much to pass up.

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

Ernest Hemingway

Anna and the Duke: A Predictable Duo

Anna and the Duke (The MacLaughlins, #1)Anna and the Duke by Kathryn Smith

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ewan Maclaughlin, a young Scottish lord, reluctantly goes to England when his estranged father, an English duke, dies and names him his heir even though he has a son with his second wife. Obviously this is not something he particularly wants to go do. He doesn’t want his fathers title and he can’t make himself grieve for someone he only vaguely remembers. He stops by a book store and meets Anna Welsley, a bookish young lady, and is instantly spell bound. She ends up letting him take the book that was intended for her and leaves, heading to the house of her betrothed. Ewan then goes to his late fathers house to meet his family.

From here I’m pretty sure we can see what is going to happen. Sadly, I found this book very predictable, but it was still a good read.

Now, Before I go into all the stuff I didn’t like, I would like to give this book some praise. The book was a very nice adventure and I loved Ewan. I thought he had a couple parts in the novel where he grew up and that was quite refreshing. And you know, who doesn’t love a Scotsman? (view spoiler)

I know that the above spoiler wasn’t really that much of a spoiler and this is where my frustration begins. From the first ten pages you can start to get a feeling for what is going to happen in the rest of the book (unfortunately, this is often the case for romances though). It can’t really be helped though so I didn’t mind that bad. Something I did mind though was Anna and Ewan’s behavior. I get that you’re attracted to one another, but that doesn’t mean that it’s OK to kiss each other when Anna is betrothed to someone else. (view spoiler)What makes it worse is that the author tries to make it OK by making Richard look like a bad guy and by making him mentally unstable. If Anna wanted to go and kiss Ewan, she should have broken her betrothal with Richard not strung both of them along because she’s unsure of her feelings.

I  must admit that I probably feel this way, because I felt for Richard, even when he was going completely bonkers. He was one of the only characters that didn’t totally telegraph what was going on and insanity often gives characters…well…character.
Rant aside this book is good even with all the parts that irked me a little. Her romance with Ewan is very sweet, aside from the cheating, and I liked that the author didn’t just throw the word love into it in the first twenty pages.

I would recommend this to younger kids who want to read romance especially, but this is a good read no matter the age.

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Passenger: Review

Great review from abooknation! 

Title: Passenger Published by : Hachette Children’s Group Publication date: March 31st 2015 Author: Alexandra Bracken Source: Received copy from Hachette Children’s Group through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review   (Side note: A family member recently passed away and I have been so disconnected from everything. Nonetheless I wanted to get a review […]