YAB Review: “Venom” By Fiona Paul

Today's post comes from Emily Smucker, a Youth Advisory Board member who recently read the YA novel "Venom" by Fiona Paul. The story is set in Renaissance Venice, where Cassandra, an elite young lady, stumbles upon a murdered woman and becomes involved in exploring the dangerous and dark secrets around her. The story is gripping as Emily explains, but beyond the mystery, it's also about personal discovery and growth. Plus, the setting of Venice is captivating as Emily highlights in her review below. 

YAB Review: “Venom” By Fiona Paul

VenomFirst impressions

“Venom” begins with a young woman named Cassandra, Cass for short, at the funeral of Livi, one of her best friends. Ducking outside for a breath of fresh air, she runs into a handsome and somewhat bawdy artist named Falco. As a proper young woman with a proper fiancé, she is embarrassed by his flirtation, but also intrigued.

The story takes place in Renaissance Venice, and Cassandra is on the fringes of the elite Venetian aristocracy. She lives with her aging aunt on the graveyard island of San Domenico. Cass is pretty unsatisfied with her isolated location, strict aunt, and boring life. She constantly writes in her journal, and also likes to wander around in the graveyard at night.

On the night of Livi’s funeral, Cass went out to the graveyard, and, out of morbid curiosity, went into her friend’s crypt and opened up the casket. There she saw that Livi’s body was gone, and replacing it was the body of a girl with choke marks around her neck, and a bloody “X” carved over her heart.

Horrified, Cass left the crypt, and fled the graveyard, running right into the arms of Falco, the handsome artist. She told him what she had seen, and he checked it out for himself, seeming nearly as horrified as she was. However, Falco convinced her…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Political correctness is voicing your beliefs but not at the expense of other's identities.”—Female, 15, NY

Young consumers are putting their trust in YouTube. The video platform may feel be “feeling the pressure” from Facebook and Snapchat, but 36% of 18-35-year-olds in the U.K. say they would trust a product review on YouTube over any other media, according to a study from MCN BuzzMyVideos. About 31% trust a magazine review, and only 18% say they trust TV, signifying that for brands putting ad dollars into online video is a smart move, especially since Millennials are spending more time watching videos weekly than they did two years ago, and over half are watching more than six hours per week. (StreamDaily)

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Marriott has created an Innovation Lab Hotel to test concepts designed with Millennial and teen travelers in mind. Throughout their stay at the feedback-focused property, hotel guests can provide thoughts on features like digital check-in with instant-review technology, which allows them to give a thumbs up or thumbs down at every step. Concepts currently being featured at the hotel—like studio workout classes taught by local instructors and permanent spaces for local restaurants and businesses—were inspired by past feedback from Marriott visitors that showed young travelers desire unique, local, and social experiences. (Fast Company

The student has become the teacher in the workplace. Companies are increasingly using “reverse mentoring” to tap into their Millennial employees, and teach older generations tech skills like using social media and crowd sourcing. Target has recently partnered with Techstars—a group that teams up tech startups with large corporations—to teach their leaders how startup employees work in a fast-paced environment, and “scrappily to get things done.” Experts have also indicated the practice helps diminish the negative stereotypes that can plague Millennial employees within their companies. (Ypulse also recommends and facilitates co-mentoring, which gives all generations a chance to learn something.) (Fortune

YouTubers are “creating a new breed of shows” for their generation. Inspired by traditional TV programming and the show Top Gear, a group of British YouTubers are “rethinking some of traditional TV’s big genres” by creating content that “holds up a mirror to their youthful online audiences.” Cooking channel SortedFood (1.6 million subscribers) celebrates the different recipes that can correspond to one dish, and football channel Copa90 (1.2 million subscribers) wants to focus on “fan culture rather than chasing match rights.” The channels continually follow their audiences on social media to ensure followers have a “developmental role.” (The Guardian)

Quote of the Day: “I like Netflix because it helps to pass the time, especially when I'm doing something boring such as folding clothes.”

—Female, 16, IL

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