Title: Sweet VenomGrace 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.
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Series: Medusa Girls (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Mythology
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: September 6, 2011
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.
Gretchen, monster hunter extraordinaire, starts the story off in the middle of a fight, in which she comes out victorious. She's also trying to get a hold of her mentor, Ursula, who has been missing for a while. Grace just moved to San Francisco from a small town with her mom, dad, and older brother. She's smart, eco-friendly, and wants a fresh start in her new school. Only thing is, she starts seeing monsters everywhere. One day, the two cross paths and discover that-- hey, they have the same face. Upon learning about her ancestry through Gretchen, Grace finds out that she's a descendant of Medusa, the snake-headed Greek mythology lady we're all familiar with. The two start to spend more time together and make a further discovery: they have another sister. They're triplets. Greer is the Blair Waldorf of San Francisco. She's preppy, on top of the social ladder, is involved in many extra curriculars, and has a boyfriend that is just as socially high up. When she's tracked down by Gretchen and Grace, she refuses to believe anything they say. But their arrival triggers something from her past and now there's no turning back. She is, in fact, a triplet and a direct descendant of the Gorgon Medusa.
It's interesting because in most YA novels about mythology, the gods are portrayed as the good guys and the Gorgons as bad. Or maybe that's just me comparing everything to Percy Jackson, which I really shouldn't be doing. Just an observation. So this turn of events with the Gorgons being connected as main subjects intrigued me, and I love it. I remember learning about the Gorgon sisters in class several years ago, Medusa and Perseus specifically, but it wasn't a myth that stuck with me. I had to think back in terms of accuracy for this book, but I gave up a few chapters in, because I was pulled into this world that Childs created enough to enjoy it as it is. Plus all the monsters were kind of confusing and I couldn't keep up, but I was entertained nonetheless.
Each sister, we learn, has a power parallel to each Gorgon sister as well as common abilities, and the girls spend most of the novel discovering what they can do and why. I loved the kickass action sequences; especially Gretchen's, she's awesome. But I think what I loved more was their journey to discovering each other, their background, and their inevitable strong bond. It wasn't sudden, which I liked. It was all very heart-warming and nicely paced.
When I saw that the novel was switching perspectives back and forth between the sisters, I got a little weary. They'd have to have very, very distinct voices to work well. Childs achieved this, though. The sisters are so different from each other and their individual narratives definitely show that. I did, however, get confused (again) at times because it's not like the perspectives have a flow -- one chapter will be Grace, then the next Gretchen, then Grace again, then Gretchen, then Greer. But again, their voices were so distinct that it wasn't such a problem. The potential love interests were also likeable and very intriguing, like there's more than what's in front of you. This is also the case with Grace's brother, Thane, who is an enigma wrapped in stealth, wrapped in sharp cheekbones and square jaw. It's hard not to like these characters.
Overall, this book is a winner. It took me a while to get into it, but once I hit about the quarter mark, I finished it two days later on and off. I went and got the second installment as well, which I'll also be reviewing soon. Thank goodness I have the second one already, because... holy cliffhanger. Check it out if you're a fan of sisterly love and Greek mythology (especially the different creatures, there are loads here).
Note: Read for the Spooktacular Paranormal Reading Challenge
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