Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins
Publication Date: September 6th, 2011

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 in myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

Even though I am somewhat behind in my reviews (although much closer to caught up than I was a few weeks ago!), I wanted to get my review of this book up.  Why? Because it's AWESOME!  I love Tera Lynn Childs's books.  I really do.  They aren't especially deep or message-driven, but sometimes the message-driven stuff can get to be too much, and I need something fun.  Tera's books are are light, fun, and always feature a reluctant, relateable, kick-ass heroine; this book has three of them!  I have been anxiously awaiting this book since I heard about it months and months ago.  I am a fan and I had high expectations, and I was not at all disappointed!

The chapters alternate between three POV's: Grace, Gretchen, and Greer.  Each girl was adopted at birth and they were each brought up by their respective families in very different ways.  Unseen forces reunite the three girls when they are 16 and they are forced to decide whether or not they will fulfill their legacy as descendants of the legendary Medusa.  It was interesting being inside the head of each girl as she sorted out the feelings these new revelations brought on.  Grace was my favorite character.  She was sweet and determined.  They jury is still out one the other two... Aside from the three girls, there were also some boys- all swoon-worthy- but thankfully no love triangles.  The romantic element was sweet and I liked that the story didn't revolve around it.  There is also some mystery on that end, and I can't wait to see how that plays out in the next book.

As far as the story is concerned, it is my favorite of Tera's yet.  I loved her other books, but I really think she has outdone herself here; SO original.  Obviously, it is Greek Mythology based, but it's not a re-telling per se, but rather, a rewriting of history.  Medusa is portrayed as anything but the monster she is said to have been.  The monsters in the book were great; minotaurs, sphinxes, griffins, manticores, and my favorites- the hybrids!  Tera does a great job describing them in a way that makes them easy to picture and you can almost smell them.  I loved the action and suspense, and the pace was fast but no overwhelming.  This was a quick read and I am left wanting more.  The cliffhanger ending was one of the most frustrating (in a good way) for me since Catching Fire, so I will no doubt be practically offering my soul for an advance copy of book number two, Sweet Shadows, which is expected sometime in the Fall of 2012.

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  

Grade Level Recommendation:  This book is pretty clean.  There's some mild violence and pretty innocent romance (no sex).  I would say that this appropriate for ages 11 and up (5th/6th grade+).

**Don't forget to enter my AWESOME giveaway of an audio copy of the AMAZING All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin HERE!**


  1. Great review- I can't wait to get hold of a copy of this book!

  2. I'm getting a copy of this book. I'm really glad to read your very positive review.

  3. Great Review! This sounds like a really good book(:


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