Translate

Currently Reading

Currently Reading
Oblivion by Kelly Creagh

Covermance!

Covermance!
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Book Trailers

Favorite Books

Release
Elixir
Deity
Shade
Greta and the Goblin King
The Innocents
Stalk me.
Poison Princess
The Gathering Darkness
Rua
Rise
Luminosity
Prodigy
Legend
Beautiful Redemption
Timeless
Shift
Crewel
Aversion
Exiled

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Annabelle Marie Veronica has read 11 books toward her goal of 100 books.
hide

Support this Blog

The Printed Word

read the printed word!
© 2011-2013 by Annabelle Lovell. All rights reserved. Powered by Blogger.

Member of…

7DSbloggers The Army of TEN v mafia badge Photobucket Join Razorbill! BlogWithIntegrity.com

I'm on Team...

Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare Covenant by Jennifer L. Armentrout Unearthly by Cynthia HandUnder the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi Nightshade by Andrea Cremer The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Wings by Aprilynne Pike Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith Need by Carrie Jones Firelight by Sophie Jordon Matched by Ally Condie Slide by Jill Hathaway Blood of Eden by Julie Kagawa

Blogoversary!

Get your own free Blogoversary button!

Hit Counter

Giveaways: There are no current giveaways. Please check back soon!
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Belladonna (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #2)
Fiona Paul
Publisher: Philomel
Release Date: July 16, 2013
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
In Renaissance Italy, love, lust, intrigue and secret societies converge to stunning results!
In the second in the stunning Secrets of the Eternal Rose series, Cassandra Caravello is trying to forget Falco, the wild artist who ran off with her heart, as she grows closer to her strong, steady fiancé, Luca. But Luca seems to have his own secrets. When he’s arrested by soldiers in the middle of the night, Cass’s life is once again thrown into chaos. She must save Luca, and that means finding the Book of the Eternal Rose—the only evidence that will prove he’s innocent.
So begins her journey to Florence, a city haunted by whispers of vampirism, secret soirees and clandestine meetings of the Order of the Eternal Rose. And home to Falco, who is working for the Order’s eerily stunning leader, the Belladonna herself.
Can Cass trust her heart to lead her to the truth this time?
Nothing is as it seems in this seductive thriller, where the truth may be the deadliest poison of all.


CATCHALL
I am a huge, huge fan of Venom. Everybody knows that, because I literally Never. Shut. Up. About it. Which is fine by some of you. It probably annoys others of you, but you love me anyway. It was a fantastic, wonderful book, and in my humble opinion Belladonna was even better in more ways than one. The writing has improved immensely, and I found the plot much more entertaining. The characters are also more mature and developed and overall it was a wonderful sequel that did not seem to suffer obviously from Second Book Syndrome.

THE HEROINE
CASS
I don't make a secret of the fact that I thought Cass was really, REALLY immature in the first book. I liked her, but part of me couldn't get past her naivety. Her behavior was also really anachronistic. To be fair, it still is, but if it wasn't we wouldn't have a story, so, you know. I get why it's necessary. Anyway, I really felt that Cass matured in this book. She's stronger, and a lot less whiny, and though she's still impulsive she's also grown up a lot and better knows how to control her feelings as well. She does take one action in particular that I didn't like at all, but sometimes that's just how it is!

THE LOVE INTERESTS
LUCA
I love Luca because he's sweet and protective but he also has secrets of his own. He has definitely made mistakes, and I don't like that he hid the truth before, but he's somewhat more forthcoming in this book, and yet he still has that brooding aura I adore. He's also a lot more than I realized in the first book, and his character depth really increases. He's no longer just the old fiancé, but he has a personality in his own right.
FALCO
At lease one person will come after me for this, but while I did love Falco at one point, I'm kind of over him now. I don't like his behavior in this book at all, and I just think that there is absolutely no excuse for it. He does some things that I find absolutely despicable. I want to keep this particular review spoiler-free, so I won't put any of those actions here, but they were awful enough to permanently turn me off of him. I suppose there is a slight chance he could redeem himself, but it's highly unlikely.

THE PLOT
I liked the plot of Belladonna better than that of Venom, actually. I'm kind of an adrenaline junkie, so I loved the rush and more thriller-like feel of this book as opposed to the first one. Where Venom moved a bit slowly for my taste, this book moved quickly enough that my heart definitely pounded from anticipation more than once.

I didn't like the way some of the transitions were. I like when books move quickly, but I don't like when they gloss over things that I think should be included, like some moments that felt awkwardly short or cut out entirely. To be fair, I didn't come across a lot of these, but they existed. But this is really the only fault here, so I wanted to get it out of the way.

One thing I love a lot about this book was Cass's independence. Not just that, but the way she really exemplified and used that independence. There are other people around her who are important to her, and yet while she works with them and needs them on occasion she also isn't afraid to do some things herself. She really pulls herself together in this book and learns that she has to do what needs to be done, and that really is what moves the story along.

There was also a relatively realistic feel to it. It felt more like it could have actually happened in comparison to the first book, and I like that in historical fiction. I liked the details, too, that really helped to develop the story.

There was also a (relatively, arguably major) death that I wasn't expecting and left me feeling a bit disoriented. But I think it was a very good place for a character death, because it's super annoying when there's supposed to be a danger in a book and nobody on the "good side" dies. I'm not kidding. It's like the thing I hate the most.

THE ROMANCE
There's a lot of distinguishing between different types of love in this book. Cass loves Falco, but he's gone, and so she's starting to open her heart up to Luca. I like the way she flashes back and remembers, but I appreciate even more than that the way she's not completely hung up. Without being too spoilery, I like the way Cass really matures in her romantic life and makes a choice that I truly believe is right for her, regardless of my personal feelings. The romance in this book is among my favorite, and maybe one of the best executions of a love triangle I have ever seen.

Also, that one scene where Luca is in prison. Hot. Easily my favorite scene in the entire book. Make of that what you will.

THE WRITING
Fiona is one of my favorite writers for many reasons, but the greatest of these is her ability to completely transfer me into a completely different time and place. I am able to feel like I am tromping around Europe with Cass, getting into tough messes and running from the people who always seem to be one step ahead. The world-building is absolutely gorgeous, and I love the touches of Italian the book has. It gives it a little extra something special.

THE ENDING
This might actually be one of my favorite endings ever, and it almost makes me wish the series was a duo logy, because I would be really happy with that as an ending. At the same time, I want more, so I guess I'm happy it's not actually the ending. But still, I am torn between my desires. Well, what I want doesn't really matter because there will be a book three anyway regardless of whether or not I would rather have one. But I digress. I especially appreciate the ending's emphasis on new beginnings, because that's a really important thing to me. I also like the way the storyline of book two wrapped up nicely while leaving enough material for book three.

WRAPUP
And now for the age-old question: would I recommend this? Absolutely. Venom has my highest recommendation too, but even if you didn't want to read that, read it just so that you can read Belladonna. You might think I'm joking but I'm actually totally serious. It's that good. So good, in fact, that I'm almost hesitant to read Starling (book three) because I'm terrified it will mess up my perfect ending. (Actually, if it does, I will be annoyed for more reasons than one, because I hate it hate it hate it when characters are "sure" of a decision and then change it. I realize this can happen in real life but it still ticks me off.)


*****FINAL RATING: 4.65 STARS*****

Lovelovelove,

5 comments:

  1. Yay I'm glad you liked this one even more than Venom! Cass did go through some awesome character development, and the love triangle certainly grew too, and I can't remember anything from Belladonna now, but I'm really glad that you liked the way it was executed. And Fiona is definitely amazing at creating a really vivid world.

    Fantastic review, Annabelle! <33

    ReplyDelete
  2. Really want to read Venom, thanks for the recommendation. :)
    http://simplybookishthings.blogspot.com/
    Kristin @ Simply Bookish Things

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from my readers! All comments are greatly appreciated :) If you're a fellow book blogger, include a link so I can come and visit you! I adore you all so much! <3

Also, anonymous comments have now been disabled since I have been receiving upwards of fifty spam comments a day and I'm just done. If you're an actual human being and not a spambot who happens to comment anonymously I'm really sorry.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Welcome!

Welcome to my young adult reading blog! Sparkles and Lightning has young adult book reviews with the occasional children's or adult's book review sprinkled in. It will also be totally and completely fun :) Have a look around, have some laughs, and most of all, have a perfectly sparkly, electric time!

About Me

My photo
I'm a university student and ballroom dancer who spends too much time curled up with a good book. Red roses are my favorite and I love a good love story.

Grab My Button!

Sparkles and Lightning

My Roses

Bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin

Suscribe to Sparkles and Lightning

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Get my Newsletter!

Ask Me Anything!

Blog Tours

Want me to be a part of your blog tour? Contact me and let me know.

Blog Love!

The Midnight Garden I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Irresistible Reads I'm loving ♥ books Some Like It Paranormal Flipping Through the Pages LCs Adventures Reading After Midnight The Fairytale Nerd Alison Can Read The Non Reluctant Reader Novel Sounds ***Singing and Reading in the Rain*** Never Ending Stories Book Blog Sweet Southern Home

Want to swap blog rolls? Fill out a form and let me know!

Browse Reviews by Rating

Disclaimer

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, I am required to state that no payments are received in return for reviews, promotions and endorsements. All books are received at no cost from publishers or purchased by myself. I receive no monetary compensations for anything that appears on Sparkles and Lightning.

Copyright

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected Creative Commons License