Review: “Sweet Reckoning” by Wendy Higgins

Sweet ReckoningSweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy #3) by Wendy Higgins

Goodreads | Amazon

It’s time. 

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.

3 1/2 stars

Warning! This review WILL have spoilers for Sweet Evil (#1) and Sweet Peril (#2)!

In my review of the first book, I moaned about the character of Anna being blah and swooned over the sexiness of Kaidan. My basic feel was that it wasn’t worth the hype it was getting. In my review of the second book, Anna was still blah and Kaidan was still swoon-worthy. However, despite it’s “middle book syndrome” I declared that this series was a guilty pleasure I just couldn’t quit, despite questionable plot choices.

Quite frankly, this book is exactly the same.

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Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Alright, folks, guess I got the Valentines themed one. This is amusing, because one blogger on this site is bitter about Valentines this year and one is not and GUESS WHO’S DOING THIS LIST! But no, actually, this list is still going to be really hard to put together. Gosh. Uh. Well, here’s some in no particular order!

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Top Ten Beach Reads

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

So here is my definition of a beach read: mind candy. I don’t want anything in the way of emotional upheaval, and I just want to laugh a little. My brain doesn’t want to have to work hard to process anything. So here are my top ten beach reads, in no particular order.

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Review: “Sweet Peril” by Wendy Higgins

Sweet PerilSweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins

Goodreads | Amazon

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?

3 1/2 stars

WARNING: This review WILL have spoilers for the first book. Read my review of Sweet Evil if you’re interested!

Full disclosure: I was up until 2 AM reading this book because I have finally accepted that this is a guilty pleasure I’m just going to have to live with. I have also realized that the only reason I’m still reading this book is because of Kaidan.

Sweet Peril starts off at a party. Anna is working like a boss. She hasn’t talked to any of her friends since the summit, because she’s kinda still in trouble. She’s moody because Kaidan has moved to L. A. and basically fallen off the face of the planet. She gets the chance to see him at a record store signing, but he blows her off hardcore and goes off with a much older woman. When Anna shows up at home all depressed, Patti tries to have a movie night until the spirit of Sister Ruth, who died in the first book, comes to visit Anna and tell her of a prophecy of a Neph who could set everything right with the fallen angels and the Neph. That’s Anna, and that’s what the sword is for.

The whole premise of this book is iffy to begin with. Anna’s dad seems to think that Anna needs an army, and the best way to get one is to … travel around the world once every season to get one person at a time? This book covers a HUGE span of time, given that. Her first stops aren’t even to her friends either, but rather to some alcoholic daughter of Hate in Israel. Despite the huge span of time taken in the book, besides Kai, Blake, Marna, Ginger and Kope, Anna makes only two other friends. Um. That’s not an army.

The whole love triangle thing with Kope also turned me sour on Anna and Kope’s characters. It is so freaking clear that Anna is still in love with Kaidan, and she knows it. But I guess Kope’s just … there? I mean, I get that she’s hurting and everything but Anna KNOWS she loves Kaidan and Kope KNOWS Kaidan loves her and Anna does pretty much guesses that Kaidan isn’t over her. Nothing that happens between Anna and Kope makes any sense at all.

But Kaidan. Oh God Kaidan. When he was first introduced in Sweet Evil, I thought he was the epitome of the bad boy stereotype/cliche. But by this book, I’m completely buying him as a person. He’s scared and he’s trying and he’s sweet and under all that cliche there is an actual person. Though he is absent for much of the first part of the book, when he is there he redeems every part of the book for me. I don’t completely buy Anna as a character, but Kaidan? I admit it, I’m in love.

All in all, I’d say that this book is once again a victim of “middle book syndrome.” A lot of it felt like filler and character development. I zoomed through it simply to find Kai. I will say, however, that the ending certainly raised the stakes quadruple the amount they ever were in this book. Because of Kai, I put this at about par with the first one. I’m really excited for the second one for sure, though. That’s more than I ever thought this series would hook me after Sweet Evil.

2012 End of the Year Book Survey

End of the Year Book Survey

The End of the Year Book Survey is hosted by The Perpetual Page Turner.

So, I found this survey on the blogosphere and thought, “You know, this would be awesome.” So I’m going to do it. Hopefully it’ll become an annual thing, and will help you guys find some new books to read. Oh, and cheating is going to be rampant.

1. Best Book You Read In 2012?

Cheating on the first question, ALRIGHT! Here’s my Top Ten Books I Read in 2012!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Erm, there were a few of these. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins was one of them. The blogosphere blew up about it but I … wasn’t on board as much. Same with Defiance by CJ Redwine. I wanted so much more out of that one. More recently, Prophecy by Ellen Oh. I liked all these, I just expected more.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, most definetly. The way it’s written, I should hate it. But I LOVE IT.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

Depending on the person, it’s probably a tie between Code Name Verity and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

Oof. That’s a hard one. What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang? Throne of Glass? Grave Mercy by R. L. LaFevers? The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa? I can’t pick one!

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

Nina Berry (Otherkin), Kat Zhang (What’s Left of Me), Jodi Meadows (Incarnate), Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass), Jay Kristoff (Stormdancer)– I should probably stop at some point.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. I don’t particularly like contemporary YA and am very cynical about YA romance, but this one just turned me into a marshmellow.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Ohmygod.

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead. THE IDIGO SPELL IS COMING!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

Basically, my one goal here was to avoid a girl in a dress and that was REALLY HARD. This is Crewel by Gennifer Albin!

Crewel11. Most memorable character in 2012?

Eva and Addie from What’s Left of Me. These are two girls in one body. IT WAS FANTASTIC.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Hands down.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?

Code Name Verity for sure. Also Pushing the Limits.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Yeah, I know, it’s THAT BAD.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?

ARE YOU CRAZY THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE? Uh.

“And this, even more wonderful and mysterious, is also true: when I read it, when I read what Julie’s written, she is instantly alive again, whole and undamaged. With her words in my mind while I’m reading, she is as real as I am. Gloriously daft, drop-dead charming, full of bookish nonsense and foul language, brave and generous. She’s right here. Afraid and exhausted, alone, but fighting. Flying in silver moonlight in a plane that can’t be landed, stuck in the climb—alive, alive, ALIVE.”

Code Name Verity

“Her shoulders never shook. No tears streamed down her face. The worst type of crying wasn’t the kind everyone could see–the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.”

Pushing the Limits

“The hand on my hair moved to my back, and I realized someone was singing softly. The voice was familiar, and something about it made my chest ache.  Well, that was to be expected. Angels’ songs would be awfully poignant.
“‘I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar, when I met you…'” the voice crooned.
I frowned. Was that really an appropriate song for the Heavenly Host to be–”

Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

(I think I’ll stop here…)

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?

Longest: Literary Theory: Anthology = 1,314 pages

Shortest: Shadowed Ground by Vicki Keire = 120 pages

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead. AGGHGHGHGH GUYS IT HAPPENED AND THEN AGHGHGHGH.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Endlessly by Kiersten White, because EVIE AND LEND. But also Syndey and Adrian from The Golden Lily. But then there’s Noah and Echo in Pushing the Limits. And Sophie and Archer from Spell Bound. And Ellie and Will from Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare or Wings of the Wicked or Spell Bound.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, thanks to THE ENTIRE BLOGOSPHERE.

I’m going to hold this here because wow this is already long, but there are plenty of other questions about blogging and stuff on the whole thing, so check out The Perpetual Pageturner for more questions and blogs!

Review: “Sweet Evil” by Wendy Higgins

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

Goodreads | Amazon

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?

3 1/2 stars

There are some books that you hear so many amazing things about that just entirely disappoint you. For me, Sweet Evil was one of those.

That’s not to say I didn’t like this book. Three and a half stars is somewhere between I liked it and I loved it. That’s not a bad rating. But the thing is that–after all the hype I heard about this book–I expected it to be absolutely amazing. For me, it never really hit that point.

The character of Anna is okay. I never really like her, I never really hate her. She, like many other female YA protagonists, is mediocre as far as characterization goes. Her insta-love with Kaiden was, of course, her first strike against her for me. It was less grating then some other instances I’ve seen, but there’s still no denying what it was. She also seemed too quick to bend to her father’s will, when he basically told her to change everything about herself to become more demonic. While I understand the why somewhat, her utter lack of resistance made her feel very weak.

The character of her adoptive mother also got on my nerves. She is way too accepting of everything that goes on. Anna just dumps ALL the information about the angels and demons on Patti and Patti is just like, “Yeah, I still love you and I totally accept all of this!” At least a little bit of conflict would have been nice to see there. I, at least, wouldn’t have just accepted all that craziness without screaming and waving my arms around like a demented chicken for a while.

Speaking of information, there was a LOT of it in this book. The mythology was extremely interesting and unique, and I absolutely loved the premise. However, there was far too much infodumping everywhere, especially under the guise of Anna not knowing everything and characters have to explain every facet of life to her. You guys may have heard that I attended a writing workshop back in July, and this was a big topic of discussion of something not to do that much. Having all throughout the book bothered my editor senses to no end.

Now, let’s talk about Kaiden. Oh good lord of all things sexy. …that’s basically Kaiden, actually. I was promised all of the sexy, and I got ALL OF THE SEXY. He got more round as the book went on, actually, but he didn’t start out that way. He’s certainly the usual I AM THE BROODIEST kind of guy, but I forgive him because HELLO! (…by the way, this book comes with a PG-13 rating. For definite.)

But then, of course, because we can’t leave out a cliché, there’s a love triangle. Well, at least, I think it’s a love triangle. They bring in Kope about halfway or further into the book, and all of a sudden he’s awkwardly into Anna. And Anna is sort of into him, even though she’s still mooning over Kaiden. (I think.) This was one of the most awkwardly written love triangle introductions ever.

I know this sounds overly critical (again), but that’s just how I roll. Overall, from what I expected from this book, I was fairly disappointed. It was a fun way to pass a few hours, but it didn’t blow me away.  I had a lot of issues with the characterization, mostly, because I’m a very character focused person. I adored the concept, but the infodumping had me skimming in places. It was an enjoyable ride, but certainly not what I expected.

Stacking the Shelves #6

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews!

Hey guys! Let’s hear it for another edition of Stacking the Shelves here at My Life is a Notebook. I missed last week, but it was NOT for lack of books. I’ve got some gooood stuff this week. (Plus, two of them were bought because of bloggers! BLOGGERS SELL BOOKS!)

I apologize for the attempt at humor. And for the buzz at the beginning – it goes away after a while, please bear with it. >.<

If you don’t watch the vlog, don’t forget to vote for which book series you want to win from my 1000 followers giveaway AND enter to win Flicker by Kaye Thornbrugh PLUS a CD and a bookmark! Both links are right there on the sidebar!

Blog Tour:

My Boyfriend Merlin by Priya Ardis – Goodreads

Nerve by Jeanne Ryan – Goodreads

For Review:

Katya’s World by Jonathan L. Howard – Goodreads

Bought:

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber – Goodreads

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins – Goodreads

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter – Goodreads

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton – Goodreads

The Other Countess by Eve Edwards – Goodreads