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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Sweet Evil

Sweet Evil - Rating: 1.5 starsTo See Full Review Plus Trend Spotlight Analysis Click Here: http://yalbookbriefs.blogspot.com/2012/05/trend-spotlights-angelic-reads-part-v.htmlThere 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.