Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review of Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick


    Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
    Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books for
    Young Readers
    Length:427 Pages
    Hardcover, rented from library
    Rating: 2.5 Brownies



GoodReads Synopsis:

       Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it. A mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever (if that's possible) and what's worse, he seems to be spending time with Nora's archenemy, Marcie Millar.

       Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadn't been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude, Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feelings that he is hiding something.

       If that weren't enough, Nora is haunted by images of her murdered father, and comes to question whether her Nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death. Desperate to figure out what happened, she puts herself in increasingly dangerous situations to get the answer. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts.


My Review:

        I'm just going to hop right in and say it: Crescendo, for me, was a big disappointment. It turned out to be the book that I thought its predecessor, Hush Hush, would be. If you've read my review of Hush Hush, you know that I did not expect to like it, but ended up enjoying it anyway. I cannot say the same of Crescendo.

        Before I get into the reasons behind my rating, I'd like to acknowledge that a great number of people really like this series. Some may even venture as far to say it is their favorite. So bear this is mind as you read my opinions: this is just the way I felt about it. If you're interested in the book, try it out. I'm a strong believer in don't-knock-it-'till-you-read-it-yourself. Not that I expect any of you to take my beliefs as the end all be all or anything, but just in case it comes off a bit harsh, keep it in mind. 

So. Where to begin?

        Most of my frustration with the book, surprisingly enough, stemmed from my inability to get over Nora's behavior for the majority of the novel. She came off as extraordinarily clingy and irrational, repeating over and over again about how she was "over" Patch and then blowing a gasket any time she saw him with Marcie. At times I had to remind myself that I could not, unfortunately, reach into the book and smack her with a cold fish. After the first hour or so of reading I had to stop altogether, and I honestly wondered if I would be able to push through the whole book. 

        Another thing that didin't exactly sit right with me was the romantic development between Nora and Patch, which I feel took a hit mainly because of the Nora-problems discussed above. For most of the novel they were either bickering or completely yelling at each other, and the entire time I couldn't help but think that Patch needed to just spit out whatever info he was withholding. His secrecy wasn't helping anything, and Nora proved incapable of trusting him even slightly.

       I wouldn't normally discuss these romance issues so early on, but the romance is such an main point of interest in this series that it feels necessary to point out those problems early on in the review. If you are hoping for the adorable interplay between Nora and Patch, you will be painfully disappointed.

Moving on. 

        As for the new character, Scott, I won't spoil much about how he comes into play. I will say, however, that I couldn't bring myself to like him for the most of the book--much like Vee. I had hoped that I would grow to like Vee a lot more this time around but this did not end up happening. Also, another character --who shall remain unnamed-- makes a disappointing switch at the end of the book.

        There's not much else to say, really, except that at around three quarters into it, things started to get a little better. The suspense, which I will admit was pretty well crafted, got me through the ending without having to stop reading and meditate. A few plot twists toward the end were pretty intriguing as well, and I'm sure those that got past the downfalls of the first half of the book were sufficiently mind-blown-- I know I was, and I'm not one such person. 

        I'm not sure if this qualifies as a redeeming factor or not, but one thing that saved Crescendo from being impossible to read was the writing. Fitzpatrick has maintained her solid ability to paint vivid images, which was a nice thing to see. 

Whoosh. Anyway.

        As someone that loves to read, as I'm sure many of you do, I try to stick to books I think I'll enjoy. Every once in a while, like in the case of this series, I'll give something a chance just for the sake of not being the one person that hasn't read it. I bring this up because I want to leave this review offering a piece of advice: If you think, even slightly, that this series may not be for you-- beware. You could find yourself roped in and then let down, just as I was.