Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Review: Crescendo - Becca Fitzpatrick
But Marcie's not the only thing set to rip Patch and Nora apart. When Nora begins to see visions of her dead father, her desire to find out the truth about his murder is reignited. Before she knows it, a sinister clue is leading her right into the path of danger.
For me, Becca Fitzpatrick's debut novel Hush, Hush was all about the chemistry between the romantic leads, nice girl Nora and fallen angel Patch. While Patch himself didn't impress me - he's arrogant, rude and infuriating, for starters - his banter with Nora did. It seemed wholly believable that she'd find herself drawn to this bad boy, and that he might even be good for her. In Crescendo, however, their romance takes an unexpected turn. Patch and Nora vs. the world is traded for Patch and Nora vs. each other as secrets of colossal proportions threaten to destroy their relationship forever. Fabulous side effect of this situation? Nora grows a backbone. After all, a girl can only take so much. We might have expected her to stay at home moping, but in fact she's putting herself out there and even getting up to a little mischief.
Best of all, she's getting up to this mischief with the help of her exuberant BFF Vee. Now, Vee is probably the kind of character that readers will either love or loathe, but as far as I'm concerned she's a complete and utter scene-stealer. She's fiercely loyal, she's no pushover, and she thinks about food about ninety percent of the time. Plus, she's absolutely hilarious and brightens up every page she appears on. At the other end of the girl power spectrum we have Marcie Millar, who readers will remember as Nora's enemy from Hush, Hush - and who has a greater role to play in Crescendo. While we do gradually get a sense that there's far more to Marcie than it might initially appear, she's most notable as the character you'll love to hate. Seriously, this girl is the trashiest female character I've ever encountered in a YA novel, and she's actually kind of shocking! Finally, we're introduced to shady new boy Scott, a childhood friend of Nora's who has mystery written all over him. The focus may be firmly on Nora and Patch, but this cast of vivid and fascinating secondary characters make a big impression in their own right.
What also makes a big impression in Crescendo is Becca Fitzpatrick's incredible ability to really build that atmosphere. From the urban setting to the constant sense of danger lurking in the shadows, this instalment is imbued with a noirish quality that lends it considerable style. Even though it's summer in Nora's world, Crescendo is the kind of book that would ideally be read whilst curled up on the sofa with a thunderstorm raging outside. And there's a good reason for all this atmosphere, because Crescendo is full to the brim with mystery. Despite the fact that this is only book two in the trilogy, we also get pay-off - in the form of revelations that had this reader's jaw literally dropping open. It's pretty exciting stuff, and promises a mindblowing conclusion in the third and final book when it arrives.
Crescendo is dark, full of intrigue, and a little edgier than the first book in the trilogy (courtesy of Marcie Millar). It's a little bit mean and moody, and full of surprises. Fans of Hush, Hush will not be disappointed.
Out: 14th October 2010, UK / 19th October 2010, US
A big thanks to Simon and Schuster UK for providing a review copy.