Sweet Evil. What an absolute stunner. The first few words of the blurb "Embrace the Forbidden" just pure magic -- those three words basically summed up this dazzling deal. Like my last review (Stephanie Perkin's Anna and the French Kiss) I've been meaning to write this for months but haven't had the time ~School, work and reading have really left me little time...but since I've started writing I just can't stop -- I lurvvee it~ This book is the most original take on demons/angels/nephilim I've read so far -- it is truly unique. So here goes -- "there is a head demon for each of the seven deadly sins – lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride to serve Lucifer ~Satan/Devil -- however you want to say it... its all the same -- but please don't delve into the intricacies of it -- I'm not the most religious person~ the nephilim, are the servers of the demons whose sole purpose is being bad influences on humans (to cause the humans to divulge in the seven deadly sins as mentioned above)"
~Wait... how haven't I mentioned any of the characters yet? I'll get to that after giving a spiel about the plot~ During the beginning of the saga Anna lives a pretty sheltered life under the guardianship of Patti, a freelance photographer who adopted her after her birth. A southern girl who is sweet and innocent discovers her dark side after meeting hot-mysterious drummer Kaidan. Living an extremely sheltered life takes it toll as it is revealled Anna is half nephilim and the other half angel ~I guess you could call her middle ground of the demon-angel-spectrum~ Anna demands answers ~Obviously... who wouldn't?~ Kaidan is the first she turns to... Badda bing badda boom *queue "Love is in the Air" music*.. ~So what we've established -- the sparks have definitely ignited between the pair~ But Anna needs to stay away from Kaidan but can't find the strength, she also needs to journey to California to find the last existing angel on Earth. Marna, Ginger, Kopano and Blake (Kai's nephilim friends) are whisked in to help. But let's not forget the demons, Anna's father decides to make an appearance – he has tried his hardest to conceal his daughter's existence from the other deadly sins demons even Lucifer himself. What has lasted 17 years is now uncovered and Anna is made to serve her father by the request of the other demons – many possibilities surrounding her existence and love life arise as Anna fights for survival.
Usually I really hate characters with that southerner drawl – but there are times I disregard these sorts of things, especially for the well written books ~Like I haven't worshipped this book enough~ This book was really well written Wendy Higgins managed to seduce me with Anna ~I'm not going to mention Katy from Jennifer L. Armentrout's Obsidian, Anna from Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss, Ana from E.L James' Fifty Shades of Grey, Sydney from Richelle Mead's Bloodlines, Isobel from Kelly Creagh's Nevermore, Nora from Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush, Abby from Jamie McGuire's Beautiful Disaster... Trust me the list of my favorite female characters are endless~ Wendy just injected small amounts of drawl in the right places ~It made the story so much easier – definitely less cringeworthy~ Anna is definitely a strong character – she's loyal and joyful, but she also has a sense of innocence surrounding her ~I think it's because of her heavily sheltered life~ This innocence can be totally understandable but really frustrating ~Especially when it gets to the hot romance scenes~ Wendy really fleshes out Anna especially her feelings towards her adoptive mother Patti, Kaidan – the love interest and Marna, Ginger, Blake and Kopano. I really enjoyed that this girl had an inner journey and broke free of her quiet nature to become a strong and independent girl when things got tough.
Kaidan, Kaidan, Kaidan – ever the bad influence... But don't worry he's a complete package – mysterious, badass, swoon-worthy hotness ~I'm thinking you want me to continue and say he's $9.99 at Macy's or something... Sadly no~ There are sometimes that I absolutely love him but there are other moments when I scream out in annoyance/frustration when he makes the worst choices. Wendy, did you really have to set him up to think bad about himself and better yet; be a conformist nephilim with a streak of all of those juicy things mentioned above. Wendy's writing flaunted Kaidan's qualities frequently – it was just an all out battle of badass vs innocence the whole book. The guy lacks guts and courage and bravery – that is a definite must ~if he could just for one second take that leash that is around his neck I would be proud~ I'll definitely be waiting for the time because a lot of things about him (including the spice scenes) seemed highly reserved – I'm thinking it was to build onto the next book. Yes I did enjoy Kaidan but him holding back the whole book was a little disappointing, regardless he played his gig as the love interest pretty damn well.
The diversity in the secondary character line was impressive to say the least – Kaidan's friends (Marna, Kopano, Blake and Ginger) had different personalities ~I was refusely thanking Wendy for not doing the same cliché of characters in the book – what I mean by that is, she didn't feature like the cheerleaders/jocks cliché into the book~ I liked the idea that each character either personified their sinful qualities or were in a different stage of their individuality ~What I mean is that each nephilim character fought their conforming nature to their demon in their own way~ The banter. ~Yes that did deserve its own sentence~ The banter between the group was hilarious – a definite highlight of the book.
Oh and the cliffhanger ~It can seriously go die in a deep, dark hole where I can't feel it's vibes until the release of Wendy next book~ It fulfilled its purpose perfectly – totally emotional, well written – it was basically like a car crash without airbags... It was so abrupt but just kept me hanging on for more.
Its a bit hard for me to wrap up the book in a few simple sentences... Basically It was a very striking and original and amazing book I've ever read about in the angels and demons genre. The book is definitely slow building but is well worth it during the climax. It is definitely a start of a tale that you could read over and over and over again and simply enjoy. I cannot wait until the next book ~I even had to not abbreviate cannot in that sentence because saying it the long way adds so much more meaning to it~ I recommend those people who absolutely love a YA romance that features heavenly angels, hellish demons and all that's in between. So go out and read it I beg you! One of 2012's best so far ~I'm not gonna list all the other fantastic books of 2012 because that would take forever~