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…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


The Newsfeed

“I honestly wouldn't like to communicate with brands, unless it is to solve problems their brand is causing.”—Female, 27, MI

Why don’t people seem to care as much about fake followers on Instagram as on other platforms? Because while Facebook and Twitter are bashed for feeds full of fake news, no one holds Instagram to the same standard. The image-centric platform is inherently “a hyperreality,” where no one’s candid shot is truly spontaneous, and photo-shop freely fills feeds. Where does it get tricky? With Influencers, who are expected to garner true engagements for brands. (Real Life)

Influencer marketing faced another tricky situation this week when PopSugar replaced influencers’ affiliate links with their own. RewardStyle and its Instagram product LikeToKnow.it’s network of content creators’ photos and sometimes entire feeds “were copied to the site via “thousands of ‘falsified vanity pages’ containing millions of images belonging to the network’s content creators.” The group is planning on seeking a class-action lawsuit on their intellectual property and for the lost revenue that PopSugar made each time a customer clicked to purchase. (Racked)

Colleges are giving out more merit-based aid to win over top students. Tuition discount rates have risen to a record 49.1% for first-time, full-time freshman attending private universities, up over 10% from ten years prior—according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. By using data-driven analysis to calculate just how much aid is likely to lure a top student in, colleges are seeing success upping their prestige. However, the practice has also “created a closing of the doors for low-income students,” according to one policy analyst. (WSJ)

Apple is betting that young consumers could bring back magazines via a magazine subscription service. The tech company took a gamble by buying Texture, a subscription service for over 200 titles that’s been dubbed the “Netflix of Magazine Publishing.” The app aggregates articles into a single browsing experience, rather than being separated by title, and pays the included publications. Apple has announced plans to integrate the service into their Apple News app, the latest incarnation of their less-than-successful Newsstand app. (Bloomberg)

Function of Beauty is customizing hair care, blending up shampoo and conditioner for each customer based off a five-question quiz. Beauty companies big and small have hopped on the Customization Nation trend, and Function of Beauty takes that to the next level with their hyper-personalized hair care set. They're customizing everything from the fragrance to the chemical components, and even going so far as to print the purchaser’s name on each product. The founder explains, "Every single person is unique and different...why negate that instead of catering to it?" (Paper)

“[Allison Raskin] is open about her struggles with mental health, and she is also funny.”—Female, 19, CA

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies