Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Venom Readalong Week 4!

Hi! This post is for the Venom Readalong that I signed up for (and hopefully you did too!). I've had an ARC of this book AND Belladonna, the sequel, since November, and have yet to read either book. Thank you, Annabelle and Nikki, for having this readalong; otherwise, Venom and Belladonna might sit on my stack of books for a long time.

So! Here are my responses to this week's questions!


Did Luca's choices and the complexity of his character surprise you?

Not really - I knew there was more to him than Cass's unwillingness to marry him. I actually really like him :)
 Michel de Montaigne is quoted a few times. How did you feel this contributed (or did not contribute) to the novel?
Well, he's a  FRENCH Renaissance writer, but I think it's a nice touch nonetheless. It didn't really detract from the story, nor did it really add to it.

 Did you trust Falco the whole time?
Nope. Still don't.

 Did you find the character of Siena and her habits or fancies cliché overall?
No - she's a servant. She's also extremely loyal to Cass. I guess it is a little cliché that she would break certain rules for Cass, but I believe that happened more than a few times back during this period of history.

 As a whole, did you feel this book was sufficiently creepy and mysterious?
Not really. I felt like the mystery and intrigue part was overshadpwed by the "romance" between Falco and Cass. I'm putting that in quotes, because I was NOT feeling that romance at all. It felt rushed and unexciting (though it is supposed to be exciting for Cass), and did not feel real. I still sort of like Falco - he seems like an okay individual - but as a love interest, I do not see him as really there. Just a sidenote.

 Were you surprised by the ending?
No. I mean, the fact that Cristian was who he was, and what he did with Cass? Kind of. But the way the scenes at the end weer handled, Cass's plight didn't seem that pitiful.

 Do you think Cass made the right decision concerning the boys in the end? Would you do what she did (answer without spoiling!)

YES. YES. We as humans always want what we can't have, or what is forbidden. I guess it seems nice, but who is to say that she developed those "feelings" (if she developed any at all) towards Falco because psychologically, she knows that he is forbidden to her? What if those feelings are not real? Hmm...

 Were you right about the murderer? If not were you surprised?

I was not wrong, but I was not right. I did NOT expect it to be (...), but I had a sketchy feeling about him at (...) when he "helped" Cass.

 Now that you've met both, what Team are you?

Luca. I usually NEVER like the classicly correct guy for the girl, and usually err on the side of the "new guy", and not the best friend or childhood acquaintance. BUT, I really like Luca. I feel like his feelings and intentions are more genuine. Cass's feelings towards Cass, and vice versa, do NOT seem real.

 What were your immediate thoughts after finishing?

Yay, I finished the Readalong! It's an accomplishment for me :D
Also, I felt a little disappointed by the end - it ends on a "romantic", choosing-a-guy note. I am not a fan of those.


Were you surprised when Luca returned to Venice? Why or why not?

It was obvious, in my opinion, that he had been in Venice for longer than he let on. It's oneof those things that readers just know; there is a character that the protagonist DREADS to see. So, what does the author do? Plop him in, unbeknowst to the protagonist. Which was fine with me! I like Luca.

Did you find Luca to be more protective or controlling of Cass? Why do you feel that way? What secrets did you initially think he was keeping?

I do not find him protective or controlling in the sense that he specifically wants to control her. I think he knows more than he lets on (obviously, as we are clued in at the end), and therefore, he wants her safe. I don't think it's about having control or the upperhand. Although it could be. Luca seems like more of a steady, hard-working person that wants stability in his and his fiancée's life. And everyone has secrets. Some people's secrets are just worse of more significant than other people's secrets. I believed he kept secrets about his life (I know, that's really general), which is why he was always away.

Why do you think Falco sent his roommate to deliver his message to Cass instead of coming himself?

Obviously, he does not want to face her. Whether because he wants to give her space, or he is a coward, he makes another person do it (to the ill fortune of that person). I think he thinks it is because he wants her to make a choice without him influencing her directly, but I think it's because he's a bit of a coward.
How did you feel about the Michel de Montaigne quote on the top of page 352: "Each man calls barbarism what is not his own practice, for indeed it seems we have no other test of truth and reason than the example and pattern of the opinions and customs of the country in which we live." What does that mean to you?

We don't consider our own actions "barbarism", because really, we base everything we do off of another person's actions, or beliefs, or experiences. That's a perfectly rational and true statement.
How did you feel about Cass essentially skipping her best friend's wedding to go look for Falco? Understandable? Unforgivable? How did you feel about her obligating Siena to cover for her?

That's... that's bad. I am going to make an assumption that women in this society (of this time period) were very dependent on their fellow women friends, and therefore, Cass is being extremely selfish in her actions. She should have tried to find Falco LATER.

It is AWFUL that she involves Sienna. I said earlier that Sienna did her duty as a servant and followed Cass's orders, but COME ON. Sienna needs that job, more than Cass needs Falco. Servants come and go in this society (from my understanding). Several mishaps, and a servant is released of service. Cass is extremely selfish by making Sienna lie for her.
How did you feel about Luca's reveal of his secret? Would you have been angry at him if you were Cass? Why do you think he felt he couldn't confide in her?

Like I said, everyone has secrets, some greater than others. As a MAN (think about the time period), Luca does not have to tell Cass anything. Oh the anachronisms in this book. This book is so romanticized, to make characters (*cough cough* CASS) more modern.

He does not HAVE to confide in her. And he felt like he couldn't, probably because she never wrote back to him! How could he know her, or trust her, even a tiny bit?! Yes, you can lie in letters. But she never even opened his letters.
I initially wanted a different ending regarding "the boys," but came to realize that Cass's decision is kind of the ultimate girl-power choice. How did you feel about her decision?

Girl power?! Hmmm... I disagree with that display of "girl power". Anyway, I am glad that she stuck with her original arrangement. It makes sense to go with stability, especially since I believe Luca is a good person (and he's about her age! HELLO. In this time, young girls married OLD MEN. So, I find this match a good one). I do not trust Falco, for whatever reasons.

So that's the end of Venom! I will be reading Belladonna soon, but I'm not going nuts to do so. I still can't figure out if I liked Venom a lot, or not. SO MANY ANACHRONISMS. They drive me INSANE. But you'll see me review soon :)

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