Smart but timid Grace Whitfield doesn't want to move to San Francisco for her junior year, but a full scholarship to an elite private school is too good to pass up; she hopes it will give her a chance to reinvent herself. Meanwhile, Gretchen Sharp would love to go to school in peace, but her nights are spent fighting mythological beasts that prowl the city, cloaked in glamour and seeking human prey. When Gretchen sees Grace at an all-ages nightclub, she wants to know why there's another girl who looks just like her who can see the monsters, too. Their mysterious connection leads them to a third girl who also shares a strong physical resemblance. As in her Oh. My. Gods. series, Childs mines Greek mythology as the basis for this opening volume of a trilogy, a snappy read with an engaging blend of social angst, budding romance, and rousing fight scenes. Though the male love interests are unmemorable, the perspectives of three very different girls who discover an unbreakable bond add dynamic complexity to the narrative. Ages 13–up. (Sept.)
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.
A 21st-century reboot of the Gorgon mythos.
Imagine yourself a teenager just arrived in San Francisco, in a new high school. It's an opportunity to reinvent yourself, to become more than the meek wallflower you left behind. Unfortunately, Grace is finding that a change of place doesn't automatically changeher. Life appears to be about the same as always...until she runs up against a Minotaur that only she can see. Things become even more bizarre when she sees a girl who looks exactly like her take out that monster as if it was a walk in the park. Gretchen, on the other hand, is used to returning monsters to their home world on a regular basis—it's finding a long-lost twin that she has trouble dealing with. Trying to build a bond between them, Grace finds there may be a third sibling out there and that their lives are bound up in ancient mythology, as descendants of Medusa. Starting with this cool, Percy Jackson–esque premise, this book is all about bringing the triplets together and setting up future action. Said action will probably include mysterious but luscious boyfriends, unknown dangerous foes and assistance from Ursula, a woman who rescued Gretchen from the streets but who is now in hiding herself. There's obviously a lot more to come in the sequel.
For teens who hunger for a chick-lit alternative to Rick Riordan. (Fantasy. 13 & up)
Gr 7 Up—Like Childs's Oh. My. Gods (Dutton, 2008), Sweet Venom takes Greek mythology into the modern day, this time focusing on three teenage descendants of Medusa tasked with protecting humankind from an array of legendary monsters. The story is told in alternating chapters by the 16-year-old girls who soon discover that they are triplets—separated at birth for their own safety—each with the same ability to sense the creatures that are invisible to everyone else and return them to their own realm with a bite from her drop-down-when-needed fangs. First-person narratives reveal each character's unique personality: tough, battle-ready Gretchen, a loner who has been fighting minotaurs and more for several years; Grace, new to San Francisco, a computer geek with a tendency to let people push her around; and Greer, a pretty and popular queen bee with a high-powered future already planned out. It's like mixing apples with oranges and the girls have as much trouble getting along as they do accepting their monster-mashing legacy. Meanwhile, the beastie attacks are on the rise—as is the level of danger—and rumors of a mythological conspiracy abound. The triplets finally come together as a fighting unit by the book's climax, which ends on a cliff-hanger note that suggests a sequel. Fast-paced and fun, filled with snarky dialogue as well as taut battle action, this novel will appeal to mythology devotees as well as fans of light paranormal fiction.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal