Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Released: September 6th 2011
Format: Hardcover and Kindle ebook (owned)
Source: My local library and Amazon.com (US)
My Read Count: 2 (as of this review)
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.Sweet Venom is the perfect mix of Greek mythology and total badass-ness. I mean, how often do you read a book about three sisters descended from Medusa who are destined to kick some major monster butt? I recently decided to re-read this book again a year later, and I was pulled in immediately as I'd been the first time I read it.
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.
What made this book so special was how Childs' wrote three different POVs of the sisters. It must have been so tough, but each sister was extremely well-written and had so much personality inserted into her. Each sister's voice is very distinct. I can almost believe they're real - Childs makes me wish I had triplet sisters!
The story starts off fast-paced with Gretchen getting rid of a beastie, which is totally badass and amazing. Gretchen is my most favourite character in this book because she's a girl so filled with courage and toughness. I admire her so much. And yet, when faced with Nick, we see her falter a little. She's not sure of herself for what's probably the first time ever and is unwilling to give in to what she feels for him, labeling that as utter weakness. There are times when I want to scream and yet hug Gretchen for how she treats Nick (I know, weird, right‽) but that is, rather oddly, also one of the reasons why I love her. She's a very tough, believable character with a weakness that she tries so hard to conquer and push away, but you can totally tell she's attracted to Nick as he is to her. I could connect with her and practically felt her embarrassment in some situations!
I have to admit that Grace's POV pales in comparison to Gretchen's, but she is equally loveable. I sometimes find myself wanting to skip the parts about Grace and her family and how she's having problems fitting in at school. But I also realise that all this is extremely vital for her characterisation and ultimately, showing how she builds up her confidence instead of being the old doormat-Grace. Things really start to pick up when she meets Gretchen.
I thought Childs set up Greer's family background and situation very well. Greer has some serious snobbish awesomeness there. Each sister's personality contrasts well with the others', and because of this, they work best when they're a team. There'll definitely be more Greer action in the sequel and I can't wait to see how she develops further.
The setting of San Francisco seems well-suited for the story. I've never been there before, but I do know of more tourist attractions there compared to other places in the USA. The descriptions in the story served to strengthen my visual knowledge of the city, and this is probably the first YA book set in modern-day USA which I could picture so well.
Childs' fresh take on the Gorgon myth is just terribly interesting. I'd been doing a Greek mythology module in school while reading Sweet Venom and it was a perfect mini-companion. I've always loved Greek mythology and Childs is a master at spinning YA Greek mythology stories. This book is a wonderfully entertaining read combining romance, mystery and lots of action. A must-read for anyone looking for an awesome Greek mythology series!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tera Lynn Childs is the award-winning author of the mythology-based OH. MY. GODS. and GODDESS BOOT CAMP, the mermaid tales FORGIVE MY FINS, FINS ARE FOREVER, and JUST FOR FINS (July 3rd, 2012), and a new trilogy about monster-hunting descendants of Medusa beginning with SWEET VENOM and SWEET SHADOWS (September 4, 2012). Tera lives nowhere in particular and spends her time writing wherever she can find a comfy chair and a steady stream of caffeinated beverages.