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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Sweet Shadows (Sweet Venom Series #2)

Sweet Shadows - Tera Lynn Childs To see full review click here: http://yalbookbriefs.blogspot.com/2012/09/sweet-shadows-tera-lynn-childs.htmlReally 3.5 stars I really liked this book. Out of Childs' books this trilogy is probably my favorite series of hers. It's a bit more mature, takes place in a city I really want to visit, and there's plenty of action to make me smile. And yeah it's kind of a Charmed rip off, but not really. Apart from the book being about sisters with a destiny whose name all starts with the same letter and they all live in the city by the bay, the book differs a lot from the TV show. And that's because of the use of Greek mythology. If you've read any of Tera's other books you're probably aware that she often likes to use Greek mythology in her stories. And she uses it quite fabulously. One of the things I liked best about this trilogy is that it incorporates lesser known myths into the plot. That being said though, there were some things about the world building that bothered me. Notably, the monkey like creature that Gretchen meets in the abyss. I think it's probably from watching too many bad movies but I cannot handle small creatures that don't use proper grammar it just rubs me the wrong way and is sort of creepy. But that's a personal thing.What's more of a criticism rather than a personal annoyance is the way some of the characters were handled in this installment. First thing first, I love the fact that Tera decided to build upon the character Greer. In the first book, I found Greer to be a borderline snob whose only positive attribute was the fact that she liked designer shoes (got to love a girl with good taste in shoes). But in this installment, Greer was a lot more fleshed out. I really felt for her. True her backstory was a bit cliche, but I still felt it worked even if it was a stretch to believe that she had a black belt in martial arts. What character I had a problem with was Grace.Full disclosure in the first book I really, really, loved Grace. I felt like I could identify with her. She was the geeky girl you couldn't help but identify with. In this installment, I didn't like her as much. She seemed a little young to me and a little goody goody-ish. Case in point, Grace always seemed to be lecturing Greer or Gretchen about how they should get along and all that shit....Plus, her home life was sooo much better than the other two sisters. This isn't a bad thing necessary. I understand that not everyone is going to have a perfect home life. But at the same time, I don't think Grace needs to state that her parents are better than Greer's. She doesn't know everything that's going down at Greer's and she shouldn't make assumptions. Also, her interactions with her family just don't seem real. For example, her parents freak out when she's just a little late while they're flippant about her brother being gone for days. The same goes to her parents reaction at the end it just seems so nonchalant.Best Feature: Greer. I really didn't like Greer in the first book but she really, really grew on me in this installment. I might even say that she's my favorite character in the series (though I still really like Gretchen). I was amazed at how much Tera was able to flesh out her character. And how she's gone from being my least favorite character to my favorite character in a span of one book. Grant it, Grace's character sort of suffered because of this but still big improvement on Greer.Worst Feature: Choppiness. One of the big issues I have with this book is the way it's structured. The book is told in first person through alternative chapters. And while it worked, I felt like there were a lot of moments of character development that were chopped off because of the switching POVs. Maybe the point of views revolved per book rather than per chapter, it would've worked. Shrugs... Appropriateness: This is a pretty clean book. There's a kissing scene and some monster hunting. But with in comparison with some of the YA out there it's squeaky clean.