Friday, March 20, 2015

Masquerade by Kylie Fornasier

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.

Masquerade by Kylie Fornasier is an Aussie YA debut set in 1750 Venice during the Carnivale. It came to me highly recommended by a real life reader buddy who said it was really good and different to anything else she had read. I am so glad for that rec, as a few chapters in I was  not sure Masquerade was 'my kind' of book (I was not looking for a Gossip Girl-esque book set in a different era, which I had thought this might be due to the blurb). Oh, man, thankfully I set in for the long haul and ended up being completely swept into Fornasier's world and story. 

I loved the characters and the way their paths criss-crossed. Fornasier clearly developed them all and their voices were unique, each thread/POV was intriguing and had depth. Here's the thing with the characters: there are 7 POVs. Wild, hey? Do not let that deter you. There are only a couple of POVs that are main, the others being granted brief timely flashes which add to the overall story-line and intrigue. There's some tension with one girl liking a boy who ends up liking a different girl, and those two girls (friends) handle their relationship so well, with no overwrought angst or drama. In fact, the novel deals with tragic and sorrowful circumstances, society/parental expectations, star-crossed lovers, first crushes, sneaky and underhanded real-stakes dares and a myriad of problems and they are all handled with finesse ~ no melodrama, just an aching honestly and an underlying tension that drives readers through the story to see where Fornasier is taking us and how things will work out (one of my favourite things about this novel is how I had no idea how things would pan out ~ loved that!). 

I can't not mention the setting which comes alive in all it's glittering glory. The time period is dazzling and authentic and I felt like I was there amongst the drama and excitement of Carnivale. 

The lead in to the climax all the way to the conclusion was so beautifully done. All the threads came together and nothing was predictable. In fact, the ending was so astonishingly gorgeous and captivating and haunting and unexpected that I finished the book and just lingered there (in Venice, with the characters) in my mind for sometime after. I would most definitely be up for a sequel should Fornasier want to continue to explore her characters lives.

I didn't think this would be my kind of read. I am not hugely into historical, certainly not fond of YA gossip and drama stuff, but it was completely genuine and addictive (especially once I passed the halfway mark when all the threads start colliding and I didn't want to put it down). If you're looking for a read that is sparkling and unique, beautiful and glittering, unexpected and a little bit haunting you should definitely pick up Masquerade. It's an underrated gem that is a favourite read of mine so far this year.

Masquerade @ goodreads
Kylie Fornasier's website
Kylie Fornasier on pinterest
Kylie Fornasier on twitter

full book jacket in all it's lushness


  1. I read another great review of this mid-last year and put it on my tbr, though like you I hadn’t imagined it would be my “kind” of read, from the little I’d known about it, but fortunately the reviews I’ve read so far are really positive, and I’m quite looking forward to knocking it off my tbr and seeing what I think of it! I’m really interested in those seven POVs, so long as they don’t confuse the story and end up with my focus being jarred. I think it all sounds really interesting! Lovely review and I’m glad you enjoyed it so throughly, Nomes! Xx

  2. This does sound like a delightful historical read, Nomes. It is officially added on my Goodreads wishlist. I am such a bad book blogger, so to spread the love of great book blogs and YA novels I have started Read YA on Facebook and your review is the first one I've shared(and the first one I have shared this with actually). I hope you don't mind.

    I do not read historical YA all that often either, but the last one I read, I loved to bits. It is probably a year since I read it, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, gripping, I knew the true story so I knew it would end badly but still I hoped until the very last sentence(I mean authors can cheat, right?! ;). Have a great weekend, is it Easter Holiday in Australia too? It is here in Norway and true to traditions quite a few Norwegian's are staying in their mountain cabins and out skiing.


Thanks for the commenty love :)