Overall Impression: Becca Fitzpatrick once again defies the laws of logic in this disturbing paranormal romance.
(To read my review of the first book from the Hush Hush series, Hush Hush click here.)
This review is wayyy overdue, the sunshine has been making me lethargic, it doesn’t make sleeping the easiest and the last thing I felt like doing was using a laptop that radiated heat! That being said, I have been loving the sunshine and I don’t want it to go away. I hope everyone else has been enjoying it. 🙂
The first time that I read the second installment of the Hush Hush series Crescendo, I remembered it being heart wrenching, exhilarating and dark. The second time around only the latter was true. Unfortunately I had a feeling this might happen, but it didn’t make me any less disappointed. I wasn’t expecting it to be mind-blowing but going from my original five star rating to a two star was quite a fall!
Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the previous book Hush Hush, skip the blurb and first paragraph as it contains spoilers about previous plots and characters from that book. The rest of the review has no major is spoilers.
Nora should know better than to think her life can return to normal after falling in love with a fallen angel. And Nora’s life isn’t normal – her dad was murdered, and the facts about his death just don’t add up. Now Nora’s own life is in imminent danger. Are she and Patch strong enough for the battle ahead?
Crescendo starts with an ominous flashback before snapping back to reality. Nora is anticipating a summer of relaxation with her best friend Vee and her new fallen turned guardian angel boyfriend, Patch. But when Nora lets an ‘I love you’ slip and Patch drives off suddenly without a reply, she can’t help but feel insecure. When Nora discovers that Patch left that night to stand outside Marcie Millar’s house – her childhood bully and regular tormenter but refuses to give her any explanation, she breaks off their relationship.
Distraught and confused all Nora wants is to get Patch back, but it’s not long before she has bigger things to worry about. Someone is messing with her head making her see things that aren’t there, Scott, a volatile childhood acquaintance with a knack for danger is back in town and a scattering of clue’s make Nora question what really happened the night of her fathers murder.
Will she be able to put the pieces together before it’s too late?
This book suffered from the same issues as the first, most of which can be linked back to Fitzpatrick’s writing which seems to defy logic. For instance Nora broke up with Patch because he wouldn’t tell her what he was doing outside Marcie’s house, even though it was clear at this point nothing was going on between the two and Patch gave her several logical hints for why he had acted oddly. This screamed of psycho girlfriend. As their fight continued it was almost as if Fitzpatrick herself realised her readers weren’t going to accept this turn, so she threw in a few extra weak willed excuses to somehow justify their fight, when in reality the author just needed them to break up for her storyline to work. Then throughout the rest of the book Nora recited reasons for their separation which were irrelevant. The plot hinging on a break-up that made no sense only highlighted Fitzpatrick’s bizarre writing, I don’t understand how she was allowed to get away with it because they were not just little writing holes, they were caverns, GRR. The book was full of convenient sections of writing to try and justify scenes that make no logical sense, and as a result I was left feeling irritated and insulted as a reader.
Along with this, the same clunky character descriptions remained, for instance this was the first from chapter one:
‘‘He stood two inches over six feet tall and had a lean, athletic build that even loose fit jeans and a T-shirt couldn’t conceal. The color of his hair gave midnight a run for its money, with eyes to match. His smile was sexy and warned of trouble, but I’d made my mind up that not all trouble was bad.’ –Pg10
Gave midnight a run for its money? PHAAAAA!!! WHAT IS THIS NONESENSE?!? THIS IS THE EQUIVILENT OF MY PRIMARY SCHOOL WRITING DESCRIPTIONS. Not only was it a massive info dump but the author seemed to write her character descriptions as if she was ticking off a checklist. This was not a one off occasion either, remember Nora and her legs like a bar stool? The author obviously hasn’t made much progress since Hush Hush.
Other oddities like this continued to pop up, Fitzpatrick made bizarre word choices like always feeling the need to say the phone ‘shrilled’ or ‘chirped’ when a good old fashion rung would have done the job. It is like she was trying to be unique and different by using odd phrases and word choices but failed. There is a time and place for experimenting with words but don’t try and use something clever when something simple would suffice.
However once again I couldn’t fault her ability to create a spooky and suspenseful scene and this aspect of her writing was why for all its flaws I kept reading Crescendo, I had to know what mysteries were lurking in the shadows.
The pace of this book was messy, while there were still some entertaining scenes the novel lagged without going anywhere. The entire book consisted of Nora yo-yoing between OHHH I LOVE PATCH to I HATE THAT DAMN PATCH I WANT HIM TO GO TO HELL, right back to, I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT HIM and then along to I THINK PATCH IS TRYING TO KILL ME. Nora’s concern that Patch was trying to murder her once again made their relationship suspect and confused the plot. I don’t know how we as readers are supposed to accept that it is totally normal to be in love with someone you also think is trying to kill you! No matter how yummy they are…
The book had a set formula, there would be a romantic scene with Patch, then Nora and Patch would have a fight, Nora would then be plagued by a mysterious threat before the book went full circle back to Patch drama again. It was exhausting and took up 90% of the book, yawn. When the cycle finally was broken for an explosive ending the reader is left with such an abrupt cliff hanger that it is hard not to be annoyed. (Although also clever, because it made me buy the next book, didn’t it?) While the ending was not as tight as the first I still found myself racing through the pages and I loved the eerie amusement park imagery; it was just a shame that it took Fitzpatrick so long to get to the good bit!
I’ve also noticed a weird trend in this series, it’s like Fitzpatrick is sexist towards men. I don’t think it is intentional and may be part of her attempt at bad boy appeal, but once again all the suspects in this book were male! Every guy that turned up was immediately treated suspiciously and Nora believed them to be plotting against her, even the police officer! Yet any females on the scene are overlooked as if they couldn’t possibly be responsible, like there was some unwritten rule. Very odd.
As for the characters…well, as I’m sure you have gathered by now I couldn’t get on with Nora. The author presented her as intelligent and school driven yet she failed to make the most basic of links and refused to make smart decisions. She spent half the book bitching about people and judging them, and the other half running around breaking the law by stealing people’s private possessions or breaking into their houses. She never used logic and always thought one thing and said something entirely different. If I had to describe her in one word it would be neurotic. Along with this her anemic condition that played a key role in the first book all but disappeared with the exception of one small mention.
Patch, the one character I liked was barely in the book, which meant Fitzpatrick didn’t get to show off the one thing she is best at -witty dialogue. Considering his character was one of the only reasons I continued reading, I felt cheated. He was always the one to call Nora out on her troll logic and without him she had free reign.
Save. Us. Lordy.
The fact that his pet name for Nora was Angel still got a good chuckle out of me though!
Newbie character Scott failed to do anything but get in the way and he felt like a substitute for Elliot’s role in the last book. Marcie was consistently presented as the queen of all evil yet I failed to see any difference between her actions and Nora’s. Finally Rixon another fallen angel who was supposed to be Irish SURPRISE, DIDN’T SOUND IRISH. AGH.
The fact that I originally labeled Crescendo five stars means it must have some sort of appeal, but it seems I am not that person anymore. I struggled to find anything about this novel I liked the second time around, but it still gets two stars because despite everything I want to continue with the series. A few scenes were also genuinely creepy which I liked, more of that please Fitzpatrick! I wouldn’t recommend this book unless you feel in the mood for a good rant, but females 16+ who like paranormal romance and dark imagery may enjoy Crescendo if they can overlook some of the illogical writing. 🙂
P.S. Seriously, you guys have GOT to read some of the negative reviews of this book on Goodreads, they’re hilarious and sum the book up way better than I ever could because I’m too polite. Go revel in the insanity! 😀
(To read my review of the next book in the Hush Hush series, Silence, click here.)
Writing Style: 2/5
Character Development: 2/5
Would I recommend this book? Nooooo.
Book Cover: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14435395-crescendo