Crescendo (Hush, Hush)
By Becca Fitzpatrick
Genre: Young Adult
Published 2010, Simon & Schuster
Hardback, 427 pages
The sequel to the New York Times Best selling phenomenon, Hush, Hush!I waited quite a while for my tiny, local library to get this book in for me, and I devoured it in about a day and a half. Ironically, I was a little disappointed with the way it turned out in the end, as I do not really consider that much of an ending at all. It felt more like one of those cliff-hangers television writers use when they have run out of air time. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described 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 farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line 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 book flowed much like the first book in the series. It opened with a scene that takes place in an undetermined time period in relation to the previous book. Then it finally returns to Nora and her life, which is assumed to be perfect since Patch has become her own personal guardian angel. But as usual, unexplained events happen and Patch keeps Nora in the dark. Nora behaves in her predictable, highly emotional ways and gets herself in one bad situation after another. I could not help thinking that so much of Nora and Patch's problems could have been avoided if they both would have been completely honest with each other from the beginning.
Because the book is told mostly through Nora's viewpoint, I felt as much in the dark about what was really happening as Nora did, which became very frustrating after several hundred pages. Even after the book ended, I still had a number of questions regarding the Nephilim secret society, such as the deal with the multiple rings. Hopefully, these will be answer in the final book, Silence. I did find the character of Scott growing on me towards the end, as it became obvious how much of a victim he was, which made me wonder how many more there were like him. Marcie was just as annoying as ever, though I guessed what her problem with Nora was very early in the book, which only created more unanswered questions. And really, how hard would it have been for Nora to just read the diary? That drove me bonkers.
On the whole, as much as I loved the first book, this book was a distant second in many ways. I can only hope that the concluding book fixes what was wrong with this book.
The Cover: This cover seemed more artistic than actually applied to the plot of the book. What is the red feather supposed to represent? Why is it storming? Sure, the girl is obviously Nora, but that is about all I can gather here.
First Line: "The fingers of the thorn-apple tree clawed at the windowpane behind Harrison Grey, and he dog-eared his page, no longer able to read through the racket."
This opening ironically made me think of the famous Edgar Allen Poe poem, but it is not particularly compelling by itself. But it did bring to mind how the first book, Hush, Hush, began with a seemingly unrelated scene.
Favorite Quote: "Being with you never felt wrong. It's the one thing I did right. You're the one thing I did right."
Read For: Twenty-Eleven Challenge