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I Belong

Review: Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Title: Sweet Venom

Author: Tera Lynn Childs

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Medusa Girls (Book 1)

Publication Date: September 6, 2011

Format: Hardcover, 345 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062001817 (Harper Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062001818 (Harper Teen)

Reviewed by: Emmy


Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they’re triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

Quick & Dirty: Childs brings us fun, unique and ultimately kick-ass heroines in this spin of an old monster myth.

Opening Sentence: Hydras have a distinctive odor.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Turns out, you don’t know the story of Medusa like you thought you did. Maligned by the vicious goddess Athena, Medusa and her sisters’ reputations have been degraded for millennia. In truth, they’re the guardians of the mortal world. They protect us from the real monsters and send them back into the abyss they crawled out of.  There’s a cracked door between the abyss and the mortal realm, left there in a loophole by the gods on Olympus. (There’s always a loophole.)

Gretchen’s grown up in San Francisco and fighting monsters is as normal as being late to first period Biology. What isn’t normal is the number of monsters haunting the city. Neither is hunting a griffin and suddenly seeing herself in the crowded club. Kidnapping Grace, her sister separated at birth, is the first step in figuring out what in Zeus’s name is going on. When Gretchen’s mentor goes missing and Grace discovers they aren’t twins, but triplets, they begin to realize everything is connected.

I adore these heroines. Three first-person perspectives isn’t something I thought I’d like to read. Two first POV’s can get confusing enough. Childs manages to give these girls distinct voices so the readers have no problem telling which is which when the chapters switch. As if that wasn’t enough, they’re also three funny, endearing voices. You have Gretchen, the runaway foster kid who was raised by Ursula to know all about the monster underworld. She’s sarcastic and a smart ass with some serious authority issues and even worse people skills. Grace is our sweet hippie whose adoptive parents raised her to be smart and strong. Better with computers than fighting, she’s a fast learner who’s eager to fulfill her destiny. Then there’s Greer, who wouldn’t be misplaced as Blair Waldorf’s BFF in a Gossip Girl novel.  Her parents are too important to be around and raised her to accept the responsibility of her social status. Finding out she has two identical sisters? Not a part of the plan.

Nick, the guy who can’t take a hint behind Gretchen in Biology, is a potential love interest who’s character is still up in the air. What’s he doing bugging Gretchen when she clearly doesn’t want him? Then there’s Milo, Grace’s older brother’s best friend, who’s a hot soccer goalie and super sweet. Not to mention Grace’s older brother himself, Thane, who’s going to be another love interest eventually because no other boys have been introduced. He’s silent and broody and protective and I’m really, really hoping he ends up with Greer instead of surfer-dude Kyle. The stage get’s set pretty early and obviously, but it doesn’t detract from the anticipation.

Not that a lot has time to happen. This isn’t a book with a complete plot arc so much as a series with one overarching plot. The first book is about discovering each other, the second, I think, about finding out what’s going on, and the final book will be when they save the world. Even without a complete plot, there was enough going on for me to get seriously invested in the characters and their future. And that ending—be glad Sweet Shadows is out so you don’t have to hang on that cliff for long! If you like mythology, Medusa Girls is definitely a series for you.

Notable Scene:

As I stab my fangs into the creature’s wrist—not the pulse point, apparently, because the lizard doesn’t go anywhere—the girl turns around.

With a gasp, I drop the creature’s wrist. Standing there, in the middle of a dance floor surrounded by dozens of ordinary teens, is a girl who looks exactly like me. I mean exactly like me. And, I realize as we blink at each other, she saw the lizard’s tail.

Just then, a stab of pain sears across my neck. Tick tock, tick tock.

Without stopping to think, I step forward, grab the girl by the waist, and fling her over my shoulder.

Medusa Girls Series:

1. Sweet Venom

2. Sweet Shadows

3. Sweet Legacy (2013)

FTC Advisory: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins provided me with a copy of Sweet Venom. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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