Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Synopsis (Courtesy of Powell’s Books): “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?”
Thoughts: Reviewing my thoughts on last year’s hit, Hush, Hush, it appears that everything I enjoyed about Ms. Fitzpatrick’s first novel remains true with her second, while unfortunately everything I did not enjoy also remains true. As with her first introduction to Nora and Patch, Crescendo is quite enjoyable but left me wanting more. It remains poised on the edge of brilliancy but not quite ready to make the leap.
Thankfully, Patch remains Patch: mysterious, sexy and undeniably dangerous. He continues to be just as fascinating a character in his unpredictability and his complete inability to share secrets until the very last second. It is an endearing quality, this overprotectiveness of others. Granted, it could be construed as a severe lack of trust, but the end result is the same. Our hapless heroine is so grossly ill-informed that she stumbles onto the truth only after exposing herself to mortal danger, whereas full disclosure could have prevented the whole misadventure. Still, Patch is the shining beacon of this entire story line. The reader wants to uncover all his darkest secrets and will read through anything to find their unveiling.
Nora takes Vee’s place in this book as one of the most annoying characters ever. Vee was actually the voice of reason between the two best friends, which is a complete turnaround from the first novel. In Crescendo, Nora is too emotional, too irrational, too quick to judge, and too quick to find fault with everyone but herself. Her snap judgments and overly dramatic teenage hormones created the dangerous situations in which she found herself. After a while, a reader can only handle so much self-created drama. Nora remains a disappointment because at least she was somewhat responsible and cautious in Hush, Hush. In this novel, it is almost as if she has consciencely opted to ignore any modicum of reason she previously exhibited and chose to become a crazily obsessed teen. The end result is a complete disregard for any semblance of normalcy and a main character that is your stereotypically immature teenager. This change in the main character is made all the more upsetting by the fact that Nora, in Hush, Hush, was the mature teenager – the one who did everything right and never got into trouble. With one year separating the release dates of each novel, the inconsistency between the two is surprising and contributes heavily to one’s disappointment in Nora’s change.
If I wasn’t a huge fan of Ms. Fitzpatrick’s first novel, why was I anxious to read the second one? In spite of the weak characters and inconsistencies between the two novels, Patch and his back story make for one compelling story. Patch overcomes all, or at least almost all, of Nora’s weaknesses, and the story itself remains immensely enjoyable. Crescendo does suffer a bit of the sophomore slump, but fans everywhere will continue to devour the series. Combined with an absolutely gorgeous cover that begs to be read and the fascinating mythology of the nephilim, archangels and fallen angels, the series continues to fascinate and engage the reader.
Thank you to Ms. Rettino and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for an advanced reader’s copy!