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4.2 out of 5 stars
Crescendo (The Hush, Hush Saga)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2011
Oh whow! And I thought reading New Moon (Twilight book #2) was hard. This book has it beat by a long shot. This is what would have happened if Edward had stayed in town and he and Bella had spent all their time verbally eviscerating one another and playing vicious games! Much like book 1, I had a VERY hard time putting this book down, but unlike book one, I feel my fascination with Crescendo may very well indicate a level of masochism in my personality, that might worry me if I weren't so sleep deprived having stayed up until 3 AM finishing this travesty of a book.

** Warning epic rant incoming **

I have so many beefs with this story, it's going to be hard to some them all up.

First of all? Patch and Nora's romance arc? Good god, what happened? Much like in New Moon, we as readers are forced to endure a breakup in this story. Unlike New Moon though, where you really did understand why Edward did what he did, and where the story was is ultimately about finding healing after a loss, this story centers around all the cruel, petty, and selfish parts of a breakup.

During the first few chapters they swear eternal love to one another, full of such words as "I'll never leave you." The VERY next chapter, Nora is throwing it all away. Sure the author tries to convince us she's doing it for Patch's good (she has to save him from the Archangel's after all), but common now! Swearing eternal love, and then breaking up with someone in the most spiteful, petty, and cruel way possible just doesn't make sense. The things they both say (mostly Nora) are just unnecessarily cruel, and what follows is even more disastrous...

Stupid VICIOUS games. Ugg! Patch wasn't trying to play them, so I don't hold the whole Marcie thing against him, but Nora? Going out with a dangerous boy numerous times for no reason other than to make Patch jealous? All the while keeping up the vicious stream of slights, slanders, and cruel words to Patch? Whow, just whow! I hope young women don't take relationship advice from this book. Girls - this is NOT the way to make your ex wish he had you back.

Patch isn't an angel here either (har har) - he definitely crossed some lines with Marcie - his motivations are just different. Which bring me to another beef with this story - what the heck is up with this author's depiction of angel rules? So it's ok to have SEX with a human woman, but not LOVE them. Therefore in the archangel's book Patch + Nora = bad, but Patch + Marcie = good? I'm so confused. I'm pretty up on my biblical theory, and God frowned upon the angels for lusting after the daughters of men and coupling with them (thereby producing the Nephlium). There's no mention of love being bad here - just lust, and maybe even rape. And correct me if I'm wrong, but God is love right? And love is beautiful and a great motivator for self sacrifice. Why oh why would the Archangel's separate Patch from Nora for loving her even though he wasn't acting on it (in a sexual way), but then be ok with him getting hot and heavy with Marcie?

And for the grand finale on this epic rant - I'd just like to reiterate that Nora is a TERRIBLE, pathetic spy/detective. She seriously needs to hang up her trench coat and magnifying glass and stick with making coffee. Every time this girl decides to do some "Detective work" she bungles it so badly I seriously wonder at her reported intelligence. It was kind of endearing in the first book, but got annoying in this book.

LOL ok, so rant done. Now I feel I must say something nice.

Despite my numerous complaints with this book (haha understatement right?), I must say, I couldn't put it down. While part of that was a sort of dread fascination with the train wreck that was Patch and Nora's relationship, the plot had something to do with it as well. I must say, the story was even more engaging than the first book - nicely complex and fast paced. I also didn't have all the pieces figured out at the end. There were so many layers, I wasn't sure of all the answers, and as such had a few nice surprises.

After reading both of Ms. Fitzpatricks books, I equate her writing to crack. It feels so bad for me while I'm reading it, but there's just something so engaging and addictive in her prose. I find myself unable to put her books down, even to sleep. As such, she's definitely got me hooked for the next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2012
**Contains spoilers from Hush, Hush and slight spoilery from Crescendo

I am left feeling like Hush, Hush was originally written as a stand-alone, and that Crescendo is a botched attempt at turning it into a feasible series. "Why do you think that Kelly?", you might be asking. Let me count the reasons why!

1. By the ending of Hush, Hush, Nora and Patch are both ecstatic that Patch has been assigned as Nora's guardian angel, because they can continue to be together. Within the first few chapters of Crescendo, however, Patch explains that he will be banished to hell for loving Nora - and that the archangels are watching closely for any excuse to revoke him of his new-found angel status. Nora responds to this in the only way she knows how, by jumping to the most ridiculous conclusion - Patch is cheating on her with her arch nemesis, Marcie. So she calls off their relationship under the pre tense that because Patch cannot physically share in the pleasure of her touch, he must not love her (great message there). Luckily for us (please not my sarcasm), we get to repeatedly bear witness to Nora's angst and confusion over the reason(s) for their breakup, and her lack of courage leaves her unable to do the right thing, and walk away.

2. Clues are leaked throughout Crescendo, and eventually we find out a (not-so) shocking truth (for those who were paying attention) about Nora's past: Harrison Grey is not her biological father! In fact, her biological father is her arch-nemesis Marcie's father, Hank Millar! Dun dun dun! But wait, didn't the entire premise of Hush, Hush revolve around Harrison being a descendant of Nephilim and that's what makes Nora an acceptable sacrifice in Patch's quest for a human body? Looks like we have a gaping plot hole to fix! The solution? Are you sitting down, because it's going to make your head spin! Harrison and Hank are distantly related to the same Nephilim blood line! Phew, that explains everything then! But wait, does it? Because in Crescendo we learn that Hank gave Nora to Harrison to protect, as he feared his Nephilim heritage may come back to harm her later. But if both men are descendants of Nephilim, granted Hank is a much closer descendant then Harrison, would that not put Nora in danger either way? And if Hank was that concerned about his offspring, why did he keep Marcie? So terribly confusing, that I'm sure that was the point. Maybe if we're confused enough, we won't question the inconsistencies.

3. Considering it's maybe a month or two since we left Patch and Nora in Hush, Hush I got to wondering how the rise of the Nephilim under "the Black Hand" is only now becoming news. Wouldn't that have explained Patch's desperation to get his own human body in Hush, Hush?

4. Why couldn't Patch just tell Nora she was in danger? He ended up going rogue for her in the end anyways, why risk her life? Or why didn't he just tell her the truth in her dreams, where the archangels couldn't hear their conversations? Why did he try to feed her clues instead of just being straightforward. Considering absolutely nothing happens until the last few chapters, we could all have been spared the 350 pages of angsty filler fluff if Patch hadn't been so elusive about everything that was happening. Oh I know why, because this was never meant to be a series, and Fitzpatrick had to come up with something to cause conflict.

I was hoping that at least the ending would have some redeemable qualities, but alas, it wasn't the case. The final showdown between Nora and the person looking to harm her is one big bad guy tell-all info-dump (such a cop out) and after passing out from being shot in the arm (I wish this girl would grow a pair) she awakes to forgive Patch for all of his transgressions and they live happily ever after!

Joke!! How could there be two more books in this series if that was the case?! Of course we're left with a cliffhanger ending, but at this point I couldn't care less.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2010
Becca Fitzpatrick's Crescendo, the follow up to last years breakout hit Hush, Hush, hits a high note. The story starts with Nora and Patch's relationship in that wonderfully beautiful bliss that is first love. But secrets and jealously put everything in jeopardy. Soon Nora and Patch's relationship along with his guardianship hits splitsville. And it couldn't have come at a worst time, because someone is trying to kill Nora.

Nora's rivalry with the local mean girl Marcie heats up as she goes after Patch. Rixon and Vee are dating, which leaves Nora feeling lonelier than ever. It doesn't help that she's being haunted and seems to see or hear her dead father at every turn. An old and very hot acquaintance Scott is back in town testing Patch's hold over Nora's heart, and it doesn't help that he just happens to be Nephilim. But there's something not right about him and Nora wants to find out what's so shady about his past. Everyone seems to have a secret. Nora's determined to find the answers. Her inner Nancy Drew emerges, as she manages to break in and search just about everyone's home. Meanwhile the truths about Nora's father and his murder are revealed.

Crescendo is filled with heartache and angst, secrets, lies, and loads of betrayals. Nora's life is turning out to be more soap opera than sitcom, which will leave you longing for the next installment. Pick it up and you won't want to put it down.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2010
The first book, Hush, Hush was a sweet and fun love story. Crescendo's entire 427 pages was frustrating. At first the main character's temper tantrums and outbursts seem honest to her age, but her juvenile attitude never ceases throughout most of the book. She doesn't act 17, she act's closer to 7. It seems like the author just wanted to keep us at bay while writing a third book. There were certainly sweet and interesting moments throughout, but all of those probably amount to 10% of the book. I did like Vee slightly better as a friend in this book, but Nora could use another friend or two. Is that really all she has in the world: A somewhat shallow friend, bully who hates her, a mom **SPOILER** who is somewhat unfaithful to her father (in a weird way...) and of course a gorgeous angel boyfriend who she thinks killed her father for half of the book???? Oh wait, and why on earth does Patch kiss Marcie? His later revelation of guardian angel swap doesn't mean he had to kiss her! I wound up skimming a bunch of the middle of the book and a few times was tempted to just read the ending and do something else with my evening. And the ending seemed cheap. I like a cliff hanger as much as anyone but it seemed like the chapter cut off at a very awkward place. **END SPOILER**

But- I like the love story. (I know, I'm a sap.) I will flip through, and then maybe even read the next book in hopes it is less frustrating. I have a feeling this one was just an in between and the next book will be packed with all the great plot points and wonderful Angel moments of the Hush, Hush. Well I hope so anyway.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2010
**SOME SPOILERS**

The main thing that gets me is the main character. She isn't relatable at all. Through out the whole freaking book it's "I don't deserve Patch (the fallen angel). I'm protecting him by staying away." She tries to be independent, when she really shouldn't. I like characters that are strong and independent, but she's ignorant and whiny. I'm not exaggerating, on every page the main character is saying some emo statement or trying to do something that's extremely dangerous and makes the reader go "Why did she do that?"

The book would be AMAZING if she wasn't a whiny person. Oh, and get this: Patch tries to tell her something that will help her journey. Guess what she does? "No! I can't listen to you. I'm running away and doing this myself." Do you know where that gets her? Absolutely nowhere. The reader is left with the same question, "Why did she do that?"

One more thing: She doesn't learn her lessons. In the first book she does some things that get her in trouble (No way, right?). In the second book she does the SAME freakin' thing! It's common sense! If you do something wrong the first time, don't do it again.

This plot would be much better and entertaining if she was likable or did something smart. There's also little romance (lets go back to the "I'm protecting him blah blah" statement). Which really irritated me. If you like that kind of thing, go for it. I really hope the next book wont be as "poor me"... not like I'm going to read it, of course.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2010
My husband and I really, REALLY loved the first book Hush, Hush. I couldn't put it down and had it read in 2 sittings. When I found out there was a 2nd book, I had to preorder it, I was so excited. However, both my husband and I were really disappointed with this book. The story is drawn out, and to us - there are a few inconsistencies that make the story disjointed. And Nora overreacts and just keep disappointing me. I won't get into it, since I don't want to spoil it for the people that haven't read it yet. I should have waited to get this from the library instead of paying for it. I really hope the third book will be better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 22, 2011
Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.

Oh, Crescendo. I always told myself I wouldn't read it, but I wanted so badly to join in my friends' discussions of the many problematic elements of this series. If they could suffer through it, why couldn't I? (And maybe just a little bit of it was my contrary nature responding to the "Be Nice" BS But only a little.) I couldn't do that without reading all the books currently available, so into Crescendo I dove. I regret this. I regret every minute wasted on it.

This series is discussed enough for its problematic content, but it really gets kicked up a notch in this book. A scene late in the book where people just stand around and laugh at Nora when she's trying to get away from Scott made me want a trash can. It troubles me that the word "no" does not seem to exist in this series, as Nora can only ever come up with excuses not to do something with a guy, which will lead to him trying again later in hopes of there not being an excuse anymore, instead of giving him a flat-out no.

Nora. Oh, Nora. I thought I hated this brainless, immature, slut shaming, unapologetic, overly angsty monster of a human being in the first book, but she's five times worse in Crescendo. She goes full-blown psychotic on everyone. Breaking into people's houses multiple times, considering suicide over Patch not being with her anymore, indirectly and directly calling Marcie a slut more often than she can come up with a coherent thought of her own,... And this is our main character who, if my reading of the text is correct, we are supposed to support despite--no, because of--her actions. She takes a sledgehammer to the lives of everyone she knows while trying to get her happy ending and I don't see why I'm supposed to like her.

Just when I thought Patch couldn't get any worse, he did. The way he jerked Nora back and forth, pushing her away one minute and pulling her back in the next so they could make out, disgusted me and almost made me feel sorry for Nora that she's trapped in such a toxic dynamic with this man. How the reader is expected to view Patch gave me a nasty case of whiplash. In the first book, we're supposed to find his innuendos, controlling behavior, manhandling, and general asshattery romantic and sexy. Now we're supposed to hate him for it? Which one is it? I hated him in both books, but this case of mixed messages reveals exactly what is wrong with Patch's character.

I am not always the most grammatically correct person on the Internet, and I get even less sensible in the real world because verbal communication is difficult for me, but Crescendo often makes less sense than I do in either world. There are numerous sentences that read horribly despite an arguable technical correctness. For example: "She should have learned her lesson at Bo's and stayed home. And so should have I (Crescendo, 28%)." All it takes to fix a problem like this is different phrasing, but the book can't even do that much.

Inconsistent characterization for the sake of conflict is a big pet peeve. In the first book, few people objected to Nora getting close to Patch, especially not Nora's best friend Vee. Now everyone, especially Vee, is against him. One minute, Vee is boy-crazy. The next, she's 100% dedicated to her new beau Rixon. The mom is brought in simply to act as another barrier between Nora and Patch and a slew of minor characters get thrown in just to try and drum up some more conflict when it's never going to happen. Crescendo and conflict are incompatible.

Not that the book would have been good if any of those characters were more consistent. Just as it happened in the first book, the prologue gave everything away. For all the talk of the archangels, they're never actually a threat. We're constantly told the archangels are watching and breathing down Patch's neck, but he and Nora get away with so much that it makes the "threat" the archangels are supposed to pose nonexistent and makes them look like idiots. This is a disservice to the book and slander toward the archangels.

All the evidence I need to prove how unhealthy Patch and Nora's relationship is can be found in this book. Scott and Patch are undeniably the same kind of person: the bad boy who will take a girl and put her through hell. She can recognize that Scott is this kind of person and has no problem saying so, but she refuses to recognize Patch is the same way. I thought she did for one moment, but her eventual forgiveness of Patch renders that null and void. Neither of them can leave the other alone after the breakup and just when Nora feels ready to move on, Patch pulls her right back into his trap. Once again, I almost feel sorry for Nora. Close but no cigar.

The most maddening detail of their endless relationship angst? Neither party is sympathetic. Nora is downright obsessive, contradicting, and psychotic. The main difference between Patch's behavior pre- and post-breakup is that there were less innuendos post-breakup, but we're supposed to hate him for his behavior in this book when readers were supposed to find it sexy in the last book. This controlling douchecanoe of a man jerks Nora back and forth, but she's stealing from other people's homes because of him, and they both treat each other horribly. I wish both of them would die, preferably by being tortured to death by axe murderers.

And in the end, Nora forgives him. All that manhandling and controlling behavior and playing hot-and-cold with her that she hated him for when they were broken up? She forgives him for all of it. Based on my readings of Hush, Hush and Crescendo, I feel Nora only had a problem with his controlling behavior in this book because they were not together. If they had still been dating, she would have been fine with it. That this is supposed to be okay and readers are supposed to find this romantic makes me sick yet again. This book made me fill up my vomit bucket.

But I will admit one thing: This book made me cry... because it was so terrible. I also cried for Marcie. Marcie, who never had a chance as a character. Marcie, who is slut shamed at every turn while the reader is supposed to think Nora is the "good girl" (and as I elaborated earlier, Nora is anything but). Marcie, who is the closest thing to a complex, flawed character this series has but is here mainly for readers to hate by slandering her at every turn. Marcie, who is bullied and degraded more by Nora than she ever bullies Nora in return. She is not a good person, but Marcie is far more likable than Nora. Heck, I think Marcie's worst crime is having no idea what it means to be tactful--kind of like me.

Going on would be no problem because the problems in this book are endless, but twelve paragraphs is enough and I wanted to get started on the long road to healing. I was supposed to read Silence after this to continue what I lovingly dubbed the Speak Up mini-project, but I can't do it. If this one was so bad it made me cry because it was so terrible, how am I supposed to be able to survive Silence and eventually the fourth book? I can't, man. I just can't. I'm signing off and grabbing a better book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2011
I mean, I liked the book. I found it pretty entertaining, but there just seemed to be a lot of weird plot holes/inconsistencies. **Spoilers Below**

Like when, at the end, Patch tells Nora that he had been blocked by the archangels from protecting her because Nora had "fired" him from his position (by yelling,"I don't want you to be my guardian angel anymore!" Apparently angels are bound by verbal contracts?) But wait... he had told her earlier that he'd been reassigned to Marcie Millar because the archangels were suspicious of their relationship after Nora's proclamation of love... which happened in the first chapter. Before she ever fired him. Huh. So...which is it?

Or how Patch comes to her in a dream and tells her that somebody wants her dead, and Nora gets scared? Her exact words: "I didn't want to be here. I didn't want to know these things. I wanted to feel safe again." Okay. That's understandable. So she wakes herself up so that Patch can't tell her WHO wants to kill her. Not so understandable. I guess ignorance is bliss???

And why is it that Nora can see and interact with her guardian angel, but the other 7 billion people in the world can't? Or are there really only 3.5 billion "people" in the world, with the rest of the population being angels? (And a few Nephilim or whatever.)

And why, exactly, is it okay for angels to flirt and make out and get all gropey, but mention the L word, and BAM! Hellbound it is.

And why are the archangels just sitting around like vigilantes, waiting for Patch to make the wrong move? Shouldn't they be busy, I don't know, PROTECTING THE WORLD or something?

And what kind of tough guy name is Patch? (Sorry, I'm on a roll here.) When I hear the name Patch, it sounds like some old leftover boyfriend of Raggedy Ann's.

And lastly (although there are a ton more questions I have, but it's almost dinner time) why does Nora get the crap beaten out of her by Marcie? I mean, you've got powerful Nephilim blood in you. Dang, girl, learn to throw a punch!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I received this ARC, which is the sequel to the very popular Hush, Hush, before I'd even read the first book so I borrowed a copy of Hush, Hush to read first. (By the way, if you have not already done so you should definitely read Hush, Hush first as Crescendo jumps right in and does not waste time rehashing the backstory.) I had a couple of issues with Hush, Hush. I liked the story. I really liked Nora, and I was really drawn to Patch just like she was. But I was thrown a little bit and disappointed when his motivations were revealed and I also thought the big ending was kind of abrupt and out there. So I wasn't sure what to expect of Crescendo, but from the moment I picked it up I could not put it down.

Crescendo really takes this series to the next level. It's got a smart, well-planned plot and it's full of so much angst and emotion as Nora begins to doubt Patch and their relationship unravels. There's some great character development here, too. Nora is not a butt-kicking warrior, but she is smart and passionate and tenacious, and now she's got to prove she can take care of herself. And I felt like I finally got a grasp on the real Patch and his feelings for Nora and the big sacrifices he's made to be with her. When I went back and reread Patch's role in both books, I realized I'd misunderstood him a bit and I came away with a lot more respect for him by the end of Crescendo, and I appreciated Hush, Hush more, too.

A couple of big secrets are revealed at the end of Crescendo that are really going to propel the story forward into the final book, Silence. I finished the last scene and thought, Man, I totally didn't see that coming! and Oh My God how long do I have to wait for the next book?? It should be explosive, to say the least. I am really looking forward to it and I hope it doesn't disappoint! Patch and Nora are a couple of characters that stand out among the deluge of paranormal young adult books. Their love story has become one of my favorites and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a kick-ass finish in Silence!

4.5 Stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2011
I was excited for this book. I love the cover (isn't it pretty?!) and I'm a sucker for a shouldn't-be-happening romance. Especially with someone like Patch, who is the ultimate good bad guy. I even yelped for joy when my friend said I could borrow her ARC. I was pumped. I read it as soon as I got home and the next morning. I was slightly disappointed. It's really hard to admit that because I was that excited. (It's also hard to admit because I know people are going to be REALLY angry that I'm writing this.)

Before all of you yell at me, let me try to explain without being spoiler-y. The reason I liked Hush, Hush was because of the mystery of Patch and Nora. And then, the cute-ness. It's the reason I kept reading because, despite the annoying friends and her mother, they were the story. I had to know what happened.

Crescendo started out great for me. I loved the intriguing prologue, and the first 2-3 chapters, which were plopped full and exploding of Nora and Patch-iness. And then, things changed. They dissolved and left a bad taste in my mouth of a Patch-less Nora. I kept reading, waiting for things to get better but they kept getting worse and worse, drifting farther from what I wanted it to be. Further from the story thing that kept me reading in Hush, Hush.

Vee was more prominent in the story, which only added to the negative. In the first one, I didn't mind Vee but here she was so annoying. Sometimes, she was the comedic relief but more often she came as off one of those people that you don't want to hang out with. Nora wasn't blameless. She was a user in this book, only with Vee because Patch wasn't around and she seemed like she only tolerated her, not like she was actually her friend. I hate that but I digress.

Things were predictable for me. There weren't any twists that I didn't see coming except the ending. The new character was lackluster and unimportant. I questioned his existence. By the time things got good again, there were only 20 pages left and I was spent from the forced reading the book. The ending was so good though--despite the cliffhanger. The good ending leaves hope that the final book will be better.

Final thoughts on the book: While I was disappointed in the book, if you are a Hush, Hush fan then you should read it because it's likely that you will like it. I will read the final book and hope as I do that everything gets wrapped up well. And, for lots of Patch-iness.

or more of my reviews, visit my blog: [..]
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