As a rule I'm afraid sequels. Especially YA sequels. The spark of first attraction has usually burned out, the blush of first love has usually dimmed, and the mystery has usually been solved. I say usually because there are always exceptions to that rule and CRESCENDO is a big one. In fact, in many ways it's even better than Hush, Hush.
The writing is actually quite a bit better, with better pacing, better use of flashback memories, and better dialogue. The mythology of Nephilim is explored more fully, and Nora's own history and the mystery of her Dad's death are revealed in shocking, game changing detail. But the real pull in CRESCENDO is once again the alluring and poignant love story between good girl Nora and the ultimate bad boy Patch.
Patch, the fallen-turned guardian-angel, is every inch the bad boy we loved from Hush, Hush but with one important distinction. We know his motives now. He can be the same thoughtless, jealous, jerk he always was, but everything he does from spending time with Nora's arch-enemy Marcie Millar, to his increasingly cryptic and bizarre behavior, isn't as suspect as it once was. He chose Nora before, giving up his chance for humanity, his chance to experience touch, all of it, for Nora. I don't doubt him anymore. Nora, of course isn't as trusting. She sees Patch with Marcie and sees red.
And if you thought one bad boy wasn't enough, wait till you meet Scott. A childhood friend of Nora's (and by friend I mean he used to make her eat bugs) who moves back to town with his vintage mustang, brutal good looks, and a dangerous past. Scott, or as Vee calls him, Scotty the hottie, is trouble in a way Patch never was which means, in Nora's mind, he's the perfect guy to make Patch jealous. Yep, get ready for some killer fight scenes in CRESCENDO, and not just between the guys.
I don't know what it is about fallen angel mythology that resonates so much with readers, maybe it's the idea (at least in Becca's version) that they gave up everything for love that we find so appealing, or in Patch's case at least, that even as the ultimate bad boy, he can be redeemed. Whatever it is, it's working overtime in CRESCENDO. The romance is hotter, the suspense full of enough turns to make you dizzy in the hands of a lesser author, but with Becca, it's just enough to make you clutch the book tighter and thrill with each page. Until you reach the end....cliffhanger alert and it's a cruel one. All I can say is that the third book in the Hush, Hush series, Tempest, won't be published until Fall 2011. It's going to be a very long year.
Sexual Content: Kissing. References to sex. A few scenes of sensuality.
on October 5, 2011
Silence thrilling, action packed, pulse pounding novel. I think it's probably the best book of the series thus far. If I didn't want to smack Nora every other chapter I'd have given this a 4-5 star rating. Sadly I've come to the conclusion that I'm just not a huge Nora fan, and unfortunately for me likeable characters are key for my enjoyment of a series, so take my rating on this book with that in mind.
At first I thought my dislike of our gal, Nora, I may have forgiveness issues after all the silly, childish games she played to get under Patch's skin in Cresendo, but now I think it's more than that.
Nora is spunky, sassy, and pushy to the point of being belligerent. She has a temper and regularly explodes and spews bitter vitriol filled words at people she cares for. I think it would be very hard to be her friend or boyfriend.
Here's the real kicker for me - Nora is also weak. She's the kind of girl that needs a man to save her. Now I like a good "white knight rides to the rescue" moment as much as any girl, but Nora pushes the bounds of patience. She literally can't do anything right. I noticed it finally in this book - anything Nora sets out to do she messes up, gets herself in a bind, and needs someone to come save her. And she sets out to do a LOT of dangerous things. Basically any time you see Nora doing detective or spy work, or trying to help anyone - just watch - she'll do some hair brained thing and get herself caught. Every time. Just once I want to see her do something truly heroic, and bad ass, and SMART, and succeed at it. Just once! Le Sigh. I don't feel her character has grown throughout the series - she's no smarter, savvier, more cautious or bad ass than she was in the beginning. A little growth would be nice - and everything seems to be set up for it thanks to the events of Silence, so I'll hold out hope for the last book. Bad ass Nora cometh! (I hope!)
My Nora issues aside, Silence is a very engaging book. Becca Fitzpatrick knows how to write action. Like every book before, Silence is a page turner with nonstop action. From this perspective, it is probably the best book of the series. I loved the ending. It promises VERY interesting things to come.
The narrative is great, every scene is painted in vivid detail, transporting us as her readers into each moment alongside Nora.
Scott returns - and he's really grown a lot as a character - he's practically yummie! I may even be sensing a tiny bit of love triangle action brewing! Hrrm.
Speaking of love - The romance is as steaming. The whole amnesia thing allows us to fall in love with Patch all over again. I love love LOVE Patch. He's every bit as bad ass and awesome in this book as in the others - maybe even more so. Now if Ms. Fitzpatrick could just beef up Nora give her some common sense and strength to match her courage we'd have a series I could really fall in love with!
on February 28, 2011
Currently, I'm trying to decide why fallen angels would build an amusement park. Is it...an evil amusement park? Although, asking such a question would then bring up what fallen angels do in their spare time, which appears to be nothing much. The answer is then why not build an amusement park? I mean, they ain't doing much else.
So here's the thing. I kind of didn't loathe Hush, Hush like I'd expected. Besides Nora's impossibly shallow personality (and no, shallowness isn't excused when the main character admits as much) and a shocking lack of sense, I found it amusing enough to take another plunge into this series. What I found was a ramshackle plot (expected, given I wasn't quite sure what was happening in Hush, Hush either) and an amazingly stupid mystery.
You know who's after Nora after you've read the prologue. If by some chance you missed the big flashing neon lights with fireworks illuminating that plane that is writing the secret antagonist's name in the freaking sky, you get another fairly obvious kick in the shins about halfway through. And then again three quarters of the way through, which happens to be when NORA should have put two and two together. However, because she's too wracked with relationship issues and busy being short-sighted and gullible, the reader is left beating the book over their own forehead while Nora is asking multitudes of questions that take huge info dumps to answer when we more or less already knew who is secretly who. For Nora this is like rocket science. Motives are a little more tricky. As far as I can tell, the supernatural elements in this series don't have a reason for anything they do at all. They just are and do and that's pretty much it.
Plot holes abound. Patch is mysteriously absent, playing some game of "I can't tell you my suspicions or whatever because if I did that would mean this book would be, like, maybe sixty pages and clearly that's not a novel, Nora!" So we have some run of the mill family secret mystery (again, you know what's going to happen in the prologue...it's like the most obvious prologue in the history of ever) and break up drama (angels can make out with humans, but admitting to love is apparently crossing the line) to fill the time. Most of Patch's melodrama gets swept to the side with one easy little decision at the end that leaves one wondering why that wasn't an option three hundred pages ago. But no. We need a crazy fun house chase scene and flume ride of terror (a log flume gun chase is remarkably not as griping as you might think), which was not nearly as hilarious as I wanted it to be because Nora has to go nearly die again and get saved so she can ask enough questions to hopefully patch the holes in this remarkably dull plot. Strangely, no one asks why *insert name of character here* could have just killed Marcie, because the last I checked that probably would have accomplished their goal and then we could have just skipped to book three already.
Basically, even if there's going to be some grand reveal in the third book as to why and how Nora is vaguely important, I'm thinking I'm already gone.
After reading Hush, Hush I wasn't too excited to get started on this novel. A recent discussion in our house about sequels had me jumping in quicker than I expected. We were pondering if there has ever been a sequel in movie format that was better than the first one. While we didn't come up with any movies that we thought made the cut, I was reminded of a few books in which I liked some of the later books better than the first ones. (Southern Vampire Mystery Series, His Dark Materials, House of Night...to name a few.) Crescendo plays into that list as well.
I still feel the same way as I did before about Patch, there is just not enough there to like about him. He would never stand a chance as my boyfriend, no matter why he wants to say he's doing the things he's doing. His good qualities just aren't enough to justify his bad ones. And again, the first half of the book left me feeling like nothing was happening, it was just watching a crappy relationship get crappier.
However, I liked this book better than the first one because I actually didn't foresee what was happening until right before it was revealed and that was a nice treat. I liked the addition of a not-so-lovable, but entirely complex character who felt very well fleshed out and his reasons for being not so great were entirely justified. Nora seemed to get more of a grasp on herself and not be as helpless as she once was, though she is still too reliant on her friend Vee, but I love Vee, so I didn't mind that at all, that means she gets to be in more of the story.
The ending was once again left open so that there could be a follow-up and due to the final circumstances of this book, I do want to know how it is all going to tie together and how the characters are going to come out at the end. Those that loved Hush, Hush are sure to love this one as well as all the characters left standing at the end of book 1 are back and some have bigger parts to play in this one.
on October 5, 2011
I'm a huge fan of this series from Becca Fitzpatrick and bought this as soon as it came out. I neglected my entire family for the whole day and literally could not put this down. This book starts off when Nora wakes up from her abduction by Hank Millar at the end of book 2 Crescendo.
She has amnesia and can't remember the last 5 months of her life. I wont give away any huge spoilers or plot lines. She spends a lot of her time trying to piece back the last 5 months of her life. This book was much different than Hush Hush and Crescendo in theme and plot as far as storyline goes and Becca Fitzpatrick didn't leave me with any disappointment. There is a lot of danger, action, plot twists, and of course romance.
All of your favorite characters and least favorite characters are back, including: Marcie Millar, Vee, Patch, Hank Millar, Dabria and even a few visits from Scott Parnell AKA Scotty the Potty. There are quite a few exciting parts, some parts made me laugh out loud, some had me swearing at certain characters (you probably know which ones), and the whole thing had me eagerly flipping pages which is one of the reasons I'm addicted to this series to begin with.
I enjoyed the first two books but I think that Becca Fitzpatrick really stepped it up with this one. I'd give it more than 5 stars if I could and this is the first book I've ever said that about. Which is saying a lot. Thank you so much Becca Fitzpatrick!
I'm thrilled she has decided to add a fourth installment to this series.
on July 21, 2011
"Crescendo" was everything that I did not expect it to be. In fact I think a better title for the book would have been "Decrescendo". A crescendo is a building, in musical terms, of sound. This book was so flat the entire way through that it was a fight for me to keep reading some times.
"Crescendo" picks pretty soon after "Hush, Hush" leaves off. Patch and Nora have been together for two months, but then they break up and so ensues the annoying back and forth game that is Nora's forever annoying inner battle between loving and hating patch. Nothing has changed much, except Nora no longer has a car, which I am assuming is simply to make a point, for Scott, at the conclusion of the novel. Nora's mother is still constantly out of town, Vee is as annoying as ever, but there is the addition of Scott, to whom I felt no attachment the whole novel, except to feel empathy for him.
Nora is the epitome of bad decision making. Every time she so much as suspects someone of sneezing in her direction her knee jerk reaction is immediately to break into their house. What?!?!?! What kind of seventeen year old girl does that? What kind of seventeen year old girl's "friend" encourages and accompanies her while she breaks into someones house to steal their possessions?
The book was too contrived and unbelievable to engross myself in. The dialog alone was so distractingly non-realistic that it kept pulling me out of that world and reminding me of the fact that I am reading a book. The dialog was too upbeat, rhythmic, and well....fake to me. There was one point where Nora doesn't even fully explain the situation to Vee but Vee seems to understand (and we know this is out of character for Vee as she is alarmingly naive to EVERYTHING that is going on around her!)
Again, I had trouble with Fitzpatrick's spacial awareness in the novel. In "Hush, Hush" after Nora's house was broken into the police were there in five minutes but in "Crescendo", however, when Nora is in trouble at her farmhouse she notes that it would take at least twenty minutes for the police to arrive. Continuity issues? Also, if the police would take twenty minutes racing to a breaking and entering report at Nora's then how does she walk to school? It just doesn't seem plausible.
Everything in this book was just so predictable and disappointing. Any time Nora went any where she inevitably pulled on a pair of "matchstick" or for a synonym "toothpick" jeans, a fitted tee, and ballet flats. Then, of course we are constantly reminded of Nora's crazily wild curly hair (we get it Becca...we've seen your picture on the book jacket).
Patch, don't even get me started on Patch. I was so thoroughly irritated with Nora's crazy assumptions and I love him...no wait I hate him emotions that I litterally would not have cared if Nora or Patch had died simply to end all the indecision. What a weak seventeen year old girl. While I don't believe fictional characters are meant to serve as role models...come on really? Where is this girls self esteem?
A lot of what I hated about this book came back to Nora being, simply stated, an unlikeable character. It's like when you're watching a horror movie and the innocent person you just know is going to die is walking through a pitch black house yelling, "Guys, is that you? This isn't funny? I'm going to bed!" Then, of course, we all know what happens next...dead in bed. I was constantly screaming at Nora in my head, "No you idiot" It was utterly frustrating.
The end, and by the end I mean the last chapter, was slightly redeeming because *spoiler alert* I had already figured out that Rixon was a bad guy. Foreshadowing was too heavy. Why else involve him to intimately with Vee and have her constantly gush over Rixon? Because he's bad...that's the way it goes. And if Nora's mother knows how much danger she is in WHY does she keep leaving her alone? Even the house fire wasn't enough to make her suspect anything? *End Spoiler aler*
The last chapter did hold one surprise for me that I did not expect, but I was angry I had to wade through so much much to get to one good revelation. Of course, I'll have to read the last book in this series, but I would have preferred if Fitzpatrick had done just two books and kept all the crap out of "Crescendo."
on December 14, 2010
I realize I am one of the minority that did not like Hush, Hush. I had a real problem with the fact the hot guy wanted to KILL the pretty girl, and I couldn't really move beyond that. We see a lot of jerks in young adult fiction these days. Some are tolerable. A lot are not. For me, their motivations really matter. There are a lot of the "I'm a jerk because I love you and I'm trying to keep you away from me for your safety." Was Patch one of those? Nope. He really did WANT to kill Nora. When did creepy obsessive become hot? Yes, Patch redeemed himself at the end, and that's what made me like him more in Crescendo. But Nora? Wow. She won my title for 2009's TSTL heroine, and it looks like she's going to repeat again this year.
What happened to Nora in Crescendo? She turns into a total SHREW. She's jealous, vindictive, insecure, angsty, and "woe is me" for way too much of Crescendo. Again, she makes STUPID, STUPID choices, many of these designed to get back at Patch. Even her reasons for breaking up with Patch made no sense. When she instigated their big break up scene a few pages after making Patch swear to love her forever, I just decided I could never understand her. I get the whole "I love you so I'm breaking up with you to keep you safe" which is pretty much Book #2 of the majority of paranormal series these days, but this break up just didn't make sense to me. Nora just came off as a jealous, psychotic, paranoid, untrusting girlfriend. Patch even tells Nora's she's crazy and that he "must be crazy for putting up with it"--I wanted to cheer that someone was finally calling Nora on it. Wow. Nora is a train wreck this whole book.
Patch, on the other hand, I liked loads better in Crescendo than in Hush, Hush. Sure, he had that whole mysterious seduction/obsession thing going on in Hush, Hush which some girls seem to go crazy for (not me), but he wasn't trying to kill Nora in Crescendo, which I liked. However, his whole not telling Nora what's going on was a really lame plot device. Pretty much 3/4 of this book could have been solved if he'd just told Nora the reasons for his actions. He had his chances in Nora's dreams, but he just wanted to make out with her instead. And what was he thinking setting up Vee with Rixon??? If you've read the book, you know what I'm talking about. Seriously, Patch.
I know I'm one of the few who didn't like Hush, Hush and Crescendo, but I like my heroines to limit the STUPID, DANGERIOUS choices. Some mistakes and a little irrationality along the way are fine and needed, but Nora, who's supposedly intelligent?, just can't stop putting herself in death's path. And doing it again. She's the pin-up girl for TSTL. And the two stars? That's for the highly addictive quality of these books. I admit--I read Hush, Hush and Crescendo in one sitting each. I couldn't put them down. But can Nora please acquire a sense of self-preservation before Book #3?
on October 7, 2011
This book was an installment that I was eagerly awaiting. And after finishing it, I had to wait a day until I could get my thoughts together enough to write a coherent review. The beginning is incredibly frustrating because you're seeing the world through Nora's eyes and you're just as "in the dark" as she is about what has happened to her. She can't remember back to April (it's now September) and she has been missing (kidnapped) for 11 weeks. Patch is nowhere to be found, and if anyone remembers him, they aren't saying. Hank Miller is dating Nora's mom and you'll be asking WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON for about the first half of the book. But I swear, just hang in there because the last half is like free-falling.
Eventually, we do get some serious Patch interaction but you'll have to read it to see how that comes about. The plot is incredibly well thought out and Fitzpatrick does a good job in keeping you motivated to read even though she's keeping secrets. :)
The ending - well - I was unaware there was a 4th book that was recently announced so I almost threw my Kindle across the room in frustration. If there was ever a cliffhanger - this is it. I stared at the last page for a few minutes before I completely spazzed out and had to text Sash to see what the heck was going on. I thought I would have to fill in the rest of Nora and Patch's story by myself which was devastating, to say the least. I absolutely ADORE this series. Patch is one of my dream guys (he's also A LOT like my boyfriend--minus the whole fallen angel part--so that works out well). I can honestly say that there is NO way that anyone can guess what happens in this book, much less how it ends.
If you have come to love this series as much as I have, you'll be on your knees begging for more, happy about the ending, and completely swooning over Patch and Nora's love story. (Not to mention Nora turns into an even stronger female protagonist than she was in the previous book, Crescendo.)
on September 5, 2011
Hush hush was bad. It came put during the paranormal vampire romance craze, but I had to see if it was different. It wasn't, aside from a touch of grittiness and mildly witty dialogue.
Seeing Crescendo at the library, I wanted to see if it got better. Surely the cliches and romantic tension are over? No. Patch is still the creepy, innuendo filled jerk he was before. He really doesn't show many good qualities and remains selfish and conceited. Nora too has no development. She is extremely irritating, almost as much as her twit brained bestie, Vee. Nora seems forced, like her emotions are overdramatic and the conflicts with Patch are unneccessary. They have no trust in each other and the whole relationship is a battle over superiority and egos.
The plot hasn't changed much. Same issues, same feel. Somehow I thought Patch being an angel would give him morals. Nora is an idiot for running back every time. Patch has control issues as the slightest truth told might (gasp!) give Nora some insight into what is going on and ruin the suspense! Doesn't matter, despite over foreshadowing, Nora is still dumb as a post. But hey, we wouldn't wanna miss any useless red herrings.
If you didn't like the characters in the first book, they just get more irritating. I don't suggest this book, and I won't give the third book a chance.
on September 26, 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.