Professional Reader

Masquerade is my second toe-dip into YA reading and I have to say it was right up my alley!

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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.

 

Seventeenth Century Venice is a fabulous setting for a story of secrets to take place. Secrets hidden in palatial palazzo’s, behind ornate masks and hidden amongst the guests of large, opulent carnevale balls. It certainly seems a intriguing place in time to have lived, if you were super rich that is.

There are seven main characters, Claudia, the daughter of an evil, manipulating social climber, her brother Marco, his best friend and Venice’s most eligible bachelor Bastian, Orelia the mysterious newcomer, Anna the maidservant and Angelique and Veronica who are the ‘it’ girls of the venetian social scene. We follow each of them as they live within the social boundaries of the time and witness their complicated forays into love, betrayal and self-discovery. A hard task when all is not as it seems.

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Masquerade is a Shakespearean mash up of Gossip Girl, Cruel Intentions and Ten Things I Hate About You. The detail given about the palazzos, waterways, costumes, daily life and even hairstyles gave me a clear picture of who these people were. To me they were all the pretty little liars of 17th Century Venice and the twist and ending were both unexpected yet welcomed ensuring the book stayed away from schmaltzy romance (which I hate!).

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I love to read history and although this is in no way historical fiction and centuries blur on occasion, it gave me enough inspiration to find out more about Venetians in 17th and 18th Century Europe. I am now fascinated with silks, slippers, chopines and the elaborate and ornate masks from this period. My intention is to take a swing by the V&A museum in London when I visit, to check out some of the antique dresses and materials on display.

Masquerade is a really, really good read, the cover art is fabulous and I recommend it to anyone looking for a book full of juicy secrets, opulent costumes and characters you will love to hate!

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Near perfect read! 4.5stars from me.