Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Cover: As with the first cover, this one is absolutely gorgeous. I love how it echoes the first with all the shades of grey, the dark storming sky, and the feather. But this one also has a personality of its own. Nora's stance is interesting to look at and I love the placement of the title.
First Sentence: "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."
The Mini-Review: Filled with plenty of suspense and several twists along the way, Crescendo was a surprisingly pleasant read that was just as well crafted as the first.
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?
It was with great caution that I went in reading this novel because of the things I've heard about it. Most reviewer seemed to really dislike this novel and perhaps this opinion of it weighs into my opinion but I actually really enjoyed this sequel. Crescendo was a delightfully crafted read full of real emotions, the same lovable characters from the first novel and an interesting and twisting plot.
I was glad to be back with Patch, Nora and Vee in this second installment. I was okay where the first novel left off but I was happy to be back with them to see where their journey would take them now. I must say that I was surprised with the results.
A lot of people seemed to have a problem with Nora and I get where they were coming from. They thought she was rash and whiny. And let's face it, she was but I understood a lot of her motivations and I'm not sure I'd have acted any differently. Patch gave her no reason to trust in him. If he'd have just denied what she accused him of a little bit, she'd have been placated. She was worried and insecure and sometimes it stinks to have heroines like that but I get it. She really liked Patch and worried he might not feel as intensely towards her as she did towards him. So she got a bit paranoid. And after, she got a bit reckless. Some of her decisions where stupid but I loved that Nora was bold. She punched Marcie in the face and she snuck into Scott's bedroom for answers all on her own. I really liked Nora growing into herself and answering her own questions. Yes, I wish she'd trusted in Patch a bit more but I understand why she didn't. And yes, I wish she'd swallowed her prideful anger but under the same circumstances, I can't say I would have. So I get it and I enjoyed Nora for her flawed humanness.
Patch was just as sexy as before. He has to be a little bad or he loses that pull. But I have to say, I was just as pissed as him as Nora was. I knew that he was trying to help her but that's because I'm the reader looking outside in but if I was Nora, I'd have been just as mad. I thought his absence in the novel was really interesting and I liked knowing he was working in the background. The ending killed me in the very best of ways.
So if I had a bestie, I'd want it to be Vee. Yeah, she can be a handful but the girl's got loyal tattooed to her forehead and she is not afraid to use it. I love that Vee was such a good friend to Nora and was willing to go along with Nora's crazy ideas. She's a great best friend and someone Nora really needed in this story. Plus, she's got good taste in guys. Irish equals sexy times ten!
I had a hard time figuring out where this story was leading to. I thought Marcie role in it all was really interesting and I love that Fitzpatrick gave her a bigger part to play. I also enjoyed how Fitzpatrick really messed with the lines Patch could and couldn't cross as a guardian angel. The first novel seemed to have solved a major problem and took away the obstacle of Patch and Nora being together. But this novel just showed us that it's even harder for them to be near each other. It worked well to keep that forbidden love sort of thing going on. I really enjoyed that.
I also thought that the book was written well. A lot of people had problems with it but at least it was a well written story. The sentences all did something and the characters actions felt real. I never once stumbled over a poorly crafted sentence and found myself really enjoying Nora's point of view, something I had a hard time doing in the first novel.
The addition of Scott gave the novel a really fascinating dynamic. Here's this character that was really pretty awful-- he has a drinking and gambling problem and he's an aggressive chickenshit (excuse my French) and yet, you still kind of like him because he's got these killer lines that Patch would have spoken had he been present. I'm interested to see where he's going to show up again in the third novel.
Over all, I really thought this novel had merit and it definitely held my attention. I enjoyed trying to follow the clues to figure out the plot and I liked the evolution of the characters I'd gotten to know so well in Hush Hush. I believe this is a strong second novel to an even stronger series. I can't wait for the next installment. Until then, consider me fallen.