By: Melanie | September 29, 2014 | (28) Comments

Review: Masquerade by Kylie FornasierMasquerade by Kylie Fornasier
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Release Date: July 23, 2014
Genres: Drama, Historical, YA
Pages: 335
Source: Received in exchange for review
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It's the Carnevale of 1750 and Venice's ballrooms, theatres, palazzos and squares are filled with delicious gossip, devilish fun and dangerous games. In this glittering masked world, everyone has a secret...

Set in an age of decadence made famous by Casanova, Masquerade uncovers the secrets of seven teens, from the highest aristocrat to the lowest servant – their dreams, desires, loves, loyalties ... and betrayals.

All the world's a stage.

Let the show begin.

stickers-my-review (1)After all the positive 4-5 star reviews that started rolling in for Masquerade, I definitely was expecting something that was going to blow me right off my feet. I think, I set myself up for too much because after reading this book, I felt rather underwhelmed. However, this is not to say I didn’t enjoy Masquerade–the setting and plot line were brilliantly written.

Masquerade centres around 7 teenagers in Venice of the year 1750 during the Carnevale. For the 335 pages this book was, 7 central characters was just too much. I found myself only really engaged in 3 people’s story lines, all the others just didn’t interest me as much and didn’t leave such a great mark. For me, Orelia was more of the main character here–she was also the one whom I connected best with. She is the first person we hear from a she is just arriving at Venice. Her parents have died and she had no one to turn to–apart from an uncle who probably doesn’t know Orelia exists. Her uncle does take her in and gives her sanction at his home and soon, we are whisked into a world of masquerade balls, theatres and acts loyalty and betrayal.

The atmosphere of the Carneval in 1750 was created marvellously. I could feel the glamour and the sophistication right off the pages and you can tell the author has done a lot of research. To me, the setting was one of this book’s greatest highlights. It takes you back, transcending time, to where there were ballrooms and theatres and palazzos were full of life.

I’d like to point out how much I loved the absence of what I call “pointless drama”. For instance, before Orelia arrives in Venice, her cousin is infatuated with the Doge’s son, Bastian. She plans on having the first dance with him on the first night of the Carnevale but after a sequence of events, when Orelia arrives, she ends up having the first dance. Her cousin, Angelique, does get jealous but there’s none of that girl on girl hate or drama that you’d expect would normally ensue. I was so happy about this, many points to the author here. In fact, there’s no girl on girl hate at all in this book.

Honestly, I wasn’t actually that invested in the romance. Perhaps it’s my lack of care with many of the characters, but I just didn’t feel the chemistry between Bastian and Orelia. I actually disliked Bastian for most of this book because of his rash decisions and how he handled his affairs.

And a note about the ending–I loved it. It didn’t go for the sappy and corny road and took the realistic version which definitely surprised me because not many books decide to leave a romance like that. That being said, I still want a sequel. I feel as if these teenagers’ stories are not totally complete and I know a lot of people want something closer to a HEA.

An atmospheric read, Kylie Fornasier’s debut is one that totally surprised me. If you love the glamour and sophistication of this era, I highly recommend Masquerade.

~Thank you Penguin Australia for sending me this copy!~

3 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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28 Responses to Review: Masquerade by Kylie Fornasier

  1. I’ve been meaning to read this one because, well, first off: Aussie YA authors! I love supporting homegrown talent. And then I realised it was historical drama and I was sold. I love that idea. Then I clicked the premise and realised that there were 7 main characters and I zoned off from there. Two is too much for me, let alone 7, you know? I don’t know how I’m going to pay attention. But I’m glad that you enjoyed the whole atmosphere of this book. I love a well-crafted world! I hope I’ll find some time to pick this up in the near future. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. Fantastic review, Mel! <33
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    • Melanie says:

      Right? I love reading all the Aussie YA 🙂 The seven stories were rather interwoven so it doesn’t become too crazy after a while 😛 But yeah, I just felt like only a few story lines actually caught my full and undivided attention. Thanks Jess!

  2. Melliane says:

    Ah it’s difficult that you were expected a lot from this book. I didn’t know about it I confess but I love the cover. I’m quite curious though, I love a different period in a book.
    Melliane recently posted…Fae by Emily WhiteMy Profile

  3. Bennari H. says:

    Wow I don’t read a lot of historical fiction but this sounds great because I love books with glamour and all things to do with dancing. I’m going to add this one to the TBR ASAP now. It’s a shame that you weren’t invested in the romance, but hey, it’s not for everyone. Nice review!

  4. No girl on girl hate? That’s such a relief! I can see why you didn’t LOVE this book, Mel. I would hate to read about 7 characters because that’s just absolutely overwhelming. That being said, Rick Riordan books are the exception. But his books started off with only one POV and slowly built up to the 7 that was in The House of Hades. I’m intrigued by the cover, thanks for introducing me this this book.

    Lovely review Mel 😀

    • Melanie says:

      Oh dude yes, that’s true. RR books are a bit different like you said, because PJ already kind of introduces you to two of the MCs and then HoO introduces slowly through the first two books. Thanks, Johanna

  5. Amelia K says:

    I love the cover so much! Just a random comment. Anyway, I’ve been wanting to read this one for ages now, and I have to read it soon! But i’m currently in the middle of reading all this Jodi Picoult so this will have to wait.
    Sounds really promising overall though, I’m glad you loved the atmosphere this book made.

  6. I’ve not heard of this one but I’m somewhat intrigued. Love the idea but a tad nervous since you didn’t feel the chemistry between the characters.
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…I’ll Be Back October 1stMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      It’s Aussie YA! (have I convinced you yet? :P) A lot of people did, so perhaps I’m going into that phase where I am feeling totally unsympathetic towards everything eheh

  7. To be honest I’m not all that into historical fiction–it just doesn’t seem to appeal to me as other genres do–though I do want to give this one a chance. Though seven point of views? Hmm. A little iffy on that, but I guess I won’t know until I’ve read it. Thanks for the great review. 🙂
    Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer recently posted…Book Review: Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. SalterMy Profile

  8. I really want to read this one! All the Aussie YA bloggers have been raving about it. Although, like Kara, I’m not the biggest historical fiction fan. But Italy is cool, so 😛
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  9. Wait…7 characters?! OKAY I AM OVERWHELMED ALREADY. I just won this, and I’m pretty keen to read it (although, who knows when I’ll get to it…since I tend to read ARCs/library books over ones I own…oops >_<) but I really hate it when there's too many POVs and it's hard to get really personal. Still, the time period lures me. x)
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    • Melanie says:

      It’s not really seven POVs, just seven main characters, but yeah, a lot of POVS despite that. (maybe there’s 7? I didn’t count lol). I hope you like it when you read it, Cait!

  10. Sarah C. says:

    Wow, I must have initially missed the mention of the 7 teens in the synopsis; that is an excessive number of characters to keep track of. But I’m glad to hear the world-building/description was solid. I think I’m going to give this one a chance. Thanks for your review!
    Sarah C. recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (6)My Profile

  11. Valerie says:

    Ugh I really liked the whole setting though because of video games I’ve played *coughAssassin’sCreedcough*. But having 7 main-ish characters is a lot. I would really get lost with all of that going on!
    Valerie recently posted…ARC Review: Lies We Tell OurselvesMy Profile

  12. Zoe N. says:

    This sounds so intriguing! I remember when I was younger one of my favorite books was Carnival at Candlelight, which was set during the same time period; so I am really glad that the atmosphere here was done well. 🙂 It’s a shame you weren’t able to connect to all the characters though; 7 characters definitely makes things a bit difficult to keep track of. And no girl-on-girl hate? I APPROVE! Thanks for sharing Mel and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
    Zoe N. recently posted…Aristotle & DanteMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks, Zoe. Ooh I am curious about Carnival at Candlelight now! I love the time and setting in general so I think I’m gonna add it to the TBR. thanks for stopping by, luv! <33

  13. I really liked this book overall! I do agree that some of it was pointless and the romance was a bit weird but somehow, I still managed to enjoy it. 😛 Your review just reminded me that I never actually did a review for this book. :O I always thought I had but I just checked and I didn’t. >< Great review Melanie! Thank you for sharing!
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  14. I totally agree that 7 characters was too much and it was really hard to connect to most of them, except for Orelia because she’s the one it started with. The world was definitely a very glamourous and lavish one that I enjoyed! Great review Mel.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Dystopian YA Reviews #1 – Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield & The Jewel by Amy EwingMy Profile

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