Sunday, 14 November 2010

Crescendo, Becca Fitzpatrick

After all the hype about Hush, Hush, I judged it to be a very average teenage novel, with a compelling but not compulsive storyline, decent overall, but nothing that really stood out. I made sure to read Crescendo fairly soon after its predecessor, so that the story-so-far was fresh in my memory, and I could pick up where I left off.

I found Crescendo to be less average than Hush, Hush, but I'm sorry to say that I don't mean that in a positive way. Firstly, there were the inevitable comparisons with New Moon, book two of the Twilight series. In Crescendo, Nora feels insecure about her relationship with Patch, who seems to be keeping things from her, and before we are far into the story, she breaks up with him. Unfortunately, despite Nora being the first-person narrator of the series, I was not seeing the story through her eyes, but rather through the eyes of an outsider, moreover a reader who knows all too well how these stories go. It was far too obvious that Patch's secrets were nothing to do with him not really loving Nora any more, and that he had his reasons for keeping his distance. Nora spent a lot of time feeling angry with Patch for breaking her heart - when it was she who did the leaving in the first place. (Think Sandy in Grease.) She also seemed to have left her common sense (never particularly bright) in Patch's pocket, and I (metaphorically) read from behind my hands as Nora made stupid decision after decision and hoppity-skipped right into danger's pathway. Again, though, I observe this as a genre-savvy reader rather than from the character's point of view.

I thought that the story itself took a very long time to get started. Early on Nora discovers a hint about her father's murderer, but aside from a couple of scenes, that plotline is suspended for about a hundred and fifty pages while she tries to get over Patch, stalk Patch, get to know her returned childhood friend Scott (who is TROUBLE with a capital T and a capital ROUBLE) and work out if Patch really is dating Nora's worst enemy forever Marcie Millar. Once the father story is picked up once more, in the last quarter of the book, the pace picked up and I was able to lose my irritation enough to stop snarking and start caring once more. I was turning the pages quickly, wanting to know what had really happened to Nora's father, and just where Marcie Millar came into it all. After three hundred pages of teenage angst and sneaking about, the narrative returned to the action thriller of the previous volume. Just as it looked as if everything was going to be back to normal, Crescendo ended on a cliffhanger, because after all, you can't have less than three books in a teenage series.

I'm very sorry to Ms Fitzpatrick and all her fans, I want to award more, but Crescendo earns two stars from me.

2 comments:

  1. I, too, didn't really connect with Crescendo. I thought that Hush, Hush was moderately entertaining, and I thought that Crescendo was completely average at best. The character flaws were too much for me :)

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  2. Sorry you were disappointed!! Better luck next time!!

    love your blog!

    Girls with Books
    Teen Bookshelf

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