Book: Venom by Fiona Paul
Series: The Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1
Genres: YA, Teen Fiction
Acquired: Won participating in Ensconced in YA Twitter Party
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Buy it: Amazon, B&N, iBooks
Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice's lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady's maid, and a wealthy fiance, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents' death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.
When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman--practically in her own backyard--she's drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiance, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?
Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that's a seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.
What I Thought
When I began this book, I wasn't sure if it was going to be something I liked or not. I rarely read anything that isn't paranormal or dystopian genre. But I have heard so many good things about this book, and the cover just screams READ ME! But let me tell you, this book definitely showed me that I need to branch out more! It was placed in the Renaissance era- which I quickly decided that I would love to go live in myself- in Venice. It was such a romantic, beautiful era, and Fiona Paul painted it well. The book did start out a little slower than I'm used to because it was so descriptive, but it's the type of descriptive that you can find the beauty in and do not get bored with.
I instantly fell in love with Cass. She is everything you want in a heroine of a story. While she is young, only 15, you tend to forget it. Her life makes her feel trapped from the decisions that are constantly made for her by her Aunt Agnese, yet she still finds ways to be independent and starts to learn who she is and what she really wants out of her life. She figures all of this out while grieving the loss of her friend and trying to find a killer.
One thing that really opens her eyes is meeting Falco (SWOON alert). Their relationship throughout the book grows so much, even though she tries her best to fight her feelings because of her engagement to Luca. I adore Falco. I am a bad boy lover (by bad boy i mean mysterious, mischievous, etc; not evil) , so he is right up my alley! I spent the majority of the book trying to figure out Falco's secret and wondering what would happen when Luca came home, if he came home. Let's just say this book does a good job of keeping all the secrets a mystery until the very end!!! Which was pure torture.....but in a good way :)
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will definitely be picking up Belladonna (the second installment) soon. I liked the fact that I couldn't figure out what was REALLY going on and who was connected. The twist at the end surprised me, definitely didn't see it coming. I'm interested to see what road Cass takes and what happens with the murderer. I'm also hoping that Siena and Mada become more involved in the plot. I love Siena's spunk and Mada's fun personality!
"You may study the bodies of the living and of the dead for clues about the mechanism of the muscles, the bones, and even the brain, but you can never unravel the mystery of the human heart..." -Fiona Paul, Venom