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Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Becca Fitzpatrick is an American author who writes young adult fiction. She is best known for writing the Hush, Hush saga, of which the first book  (Hush, Hush) debuted as a New York Times bestseller. She states on her webpage that her husband enrolled her in a writing class on her 24th birthday, and it was in this class that she started working on Hush, Hush. The saga consists of three published books to date: Hush, HushCrescendo and Silence. A fourth book is due to be published in 2012. 

Nora should have known her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described as anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can’t figure out if it’s for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy, Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.

The further Nora delves into the mystery of her father’s death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim bloodline has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn’t answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?

The honeymoon is definitely over for Patch and Nora. Suspecting that Patch sees her only as a conquest and is cheating on her with Marcie Millar, Nora breaks up with him very early in the novel, and instantly regrets it. For the rest of the novel she can’t decide why they broke up in the first place. When Patch tells her he has to hide their relationship from the arch-angels, Nora leaves him to save his soul, but then continues to analyse why they aren’t together any more. Is it because she feels he isn’t honest with her, or because she cares about his immortal soul? To attract Patch’s attention after their break-up Nora breaks into houses, steals, hangs out in extremely dodgy places, seeking out danger to piss Patch off. I found her character to be extremely difficult to sympathise with and spent most of the novel frustrated with her.

The mystery surrounding the identity of Nora’s father left me feeling very confused and conflicted with the equally confusing plot of Hush, Hush. In Hush, Hush, Patch wants to kill Nora because she is a female descendant of his Nephil vassal Chauncy through her father. In Crescendo we find out that she was adopted, and that her biological father is a first generation Nephil. If Patch did not know this, why was he trying to kill her in the first place? Fitzpatrick has an explanation – Nora’s adoptive father is also related to Chauncy, but with very diluted angel blood. Meanwhile, her biological father has another daughter, who is blissfully unaware of the intrigue surrounding her family. It remains unclear why it is only Nora’s life that is in danger, when there are two daughters available.

And of course then there is Patch. Gorgeous Patch with his newly reinstated wings, who enters Nora’s dreams to almost-rape her, who is never allowed to explain his actions to Nora, who can lust after Nora but to love her would mean eternity in hell. Patch was the redeeming quality in the Hush, Hush, but in this book I found him to be as dull and confusing as the rest of the characters.

The ridiculous cliff hanger at the end ensures that readers will pick up the third book of the series, if only to find out what happens. I found myself disappointed in this novel because I feel the premise had a lot of potential. As usual Fitzpatrick aims to put too much into her novel and succeeds only in confusing her audience.

About the book:

  • Pub. Date: 14 October 2010
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing
  • Format: Paperback 416 pages
  • ISBN 13: 9781847387202 ISBN 10: 1847387209
  • Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy
  • My review of Hush, Hush (#1 of the Hush, Hush series)
  • My review of Silence (#3 of the Hush, Hush series)

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