Review: Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Crescendo  - Becca Fitzpatrick

I hate when I can't find something. No. I think you misunderstand me - I hate when I can't find something. I will literary tear my apartment to pieces, a vein throbbing on my forehead, hands shaking, a cold sweat breaking out on my back before collapsing in a sobbing, retching heap on the floor if I can't find something (and then I discover that my sunglasses were on my head all along. And then someone has to die) Missing objects are the bane of my existence. I once lost my favourite mittens at the train station. I watched them waiting forlornly on the bench on the platform as the train pulled away, my nose pressed to the glass in anguish, a solitary tear sliding mournfully down my pale cheek as I came to the realisation that they would never again grace my freezing hands. That was a bad day.


I fall apart over lost socks, keys, lighters and cups. So I can only imagine how Nora Grey must be despairing over her missing brain. That's a pretty massive thing to become separated from. But there's really no other explanation for her absurd behaviour other than being clinically declared brain-dead. Pull the plug guys, she's long gone.


This time round, Nora appears to have some kind of episode or something, breaks up with the delightful Patch, and then wallows in regret for the remainder of the book, all the while blaming everyone's favourite fallen angel. I guess she's also suffering memory loss - Nora!! You ended it with him, you dumb broad!! There's all the usual shenanigans - some jolly slut shaming, Fat Vee trying desperately hard (and failing) to be funny and Nora whining about how badly she needs a job, getting one (following the most lax job interview ever) and then managing to only complete one solitary shift before skipping off into the night, never to be seen by her employers again (yeah, that's one restaurant she'll never be able to show her face at again) - culminating in, once again, Nora fighting her for life at the hands of yet another fallen angel (why are so many of the population of Coldwater angels in disguise?!) this time in the cellars of Ye Olde Amusement Park (apparently, amusement parks have cellars? Who knew?!) built by none other than - yup, you guessed it - the fallen angels!! I guess they had time on their hands? Or a passion for cheap, salmonella laden hot dogs and rickety death traps rides?

Sounds like rip-roaring adventure, yeah? Uhm .... Not so much. It's just one sorry situation after another, tacked onto it's predecessor in a series of shoddily hashed together "clues" that in actual fact make as much sense as an umbrella made of sandwiches.

I think the worst Hush, Hush series-related crime that Becca Fitzpatrick has committed here is bringing Nora Grey into all our lives. Why, Becca? Why?! Nora is so stupid, it hurts my brain.


Dear Nora,


Like, uh hey Nora? Things that we think in our heads can also be said aloud in the form of speech. This is the art of moving our lips, mouths, tongues and throats to create a wide variety of shapes and sounds that can be interpreted by other humans and can be used to express oneself to a wider audience than your own consciousness. Got it? Now you try. Finally you can ask those questions your constantly thinking about, but, inexplicably, can't seem to figure out how to actually put into words.


With much love and hope for the future (though it's fading fast)
A Concerned Reader




Like, what is with Nora's bizarre inner monologue? Can anyone help me?! Anyone?! No. And you know why no-one can help me? Because none of you understand it either. Because you're all normal human beings. Nora asks questions of herself. But she has no new information to provide. A conversation with yourself gets old really fast. Most of the fun comes from the unpredictability of what you conversational partner will contribute. Therefore reading about Nora wandering around - miraculously, without banging into anything - chatting with herself is the most boring shit I've had to endure since since taking up the lively and fascinating pastime of watching paint dry. If you like reading about quietly insane people who spend most of their time bumbling along, confused then be my guest and dive right into Crescendo!! I just know you're gonna love it. If you're not a fan of so-boring-I-ate-my-face fiction for the insane, then run!! Run as fast as you can. And when you hear shots, don't look back.


Nora may be the worst thing about this book, but she's not alone on her hatefulness. Patch has cost me thousands of pounds in dental surgery as I grind my jaw to the bone every time he rocks up, dressed all in black (to match his eyes, duh) to gaze about moodily from the corner, shrugging and grinding his toe into the dirt. He's too cool to care about stuff. He's too awesome and hot and sexy to treat people right. And we all love him for it. Right?! I'm literally ROTFL right now. And I'm using "literally" correctly - yeah, yeah. I don't mean figuratively. I cracked my head and the screen of my iPad when I fell to the floor in fits of uncontrollable laughter. This guy is the last person on earth I would ever wish to be associated with. No scratch that. If it was simply myself and Patch left on earth I would place myself on the opposite side of the planet and accept my fate to live out the remainder of my life in quiet, solitary contemplation. Alone forever.


Patch is a dick. That's crass but there are no other words. He cheats on our darling Nora, parading around without a care with the delightful Marcie hanging off his arm, while attempting to half heartedly deny any involvement with this chick but not actually offering any alternative explanation for his behaviour, before claiming that he in fact did this for Nora's benefit. Uhm. Okaaay. And the worst thing about this whole sorry debacle? Nora is fine with this. Nora is fine with being treated like shit. Why? Because Patch is hot. Uh huh. Well I've been living my life all wrong. Seems I should have been judging everyone I cross paths with based on the way they look and then if they're suitably good looking, going ahead and allowing them to use me like a doormat and wipe their filthy feet all over me. That seems fulfilling and empowering .....


I perhaps could have looked upon this work as tolerable, or at least a cheap laugh if the writing or the structure of the story had been acceptable. But it wasn't. So I didn't. Yeah. It was pretty fucking bad. The writing is so boring I wanted to rip my own arm off so I would have something to beat Crescendo to death with. But wait!! The book is already dead. It's okay guys, we can relax. I can't find a pulse. This story is going nowhere.


Around 75% of this book is Nora angsting. I'm not exaggerating. Remember that song - I can't remember what it's called or anything but there's this line in it that goes "like my iPod's stuck on replay" - remember, yeah? The only reason I remember that song is because for the longest time I misheard the goddam thing and thought the line was "my eyeball's stuck on a plate". But the point I'm trying to make it that this book reminds me of that line in that song (the actual lyrics, not my gross eyeball imagery) in that we get trapped in Nora's forever looping inner monologue, going over the same problem again and again and again until we are all driven quite mad and suddenly feel compelled to murder anyone with even a passing resemblance to our beloved Miss Grey. There's only so much cray-cray that a person can tolerate!!


Does Patch love her? Does she love Patch? Will their relationship be able to withstand the wrath of the archangels? Is it wrong to embark upon this path of forbidden love? Over and over and over and over and over an- ENOUGH!!! Listening to Nora is like listening to a scratched CD. She has nothing else to talk about, think about or exist for except Patch. So it's just same-old same-old really I guess. Nothing has changed since I gritted my teeth and waded uncomfortably through Hush Hush. And this book is not only samey in terms of this series' now familiarly endless dirge of "OMGosh, can their love endure!!" - but Cresendo has a storyline reminiscent of several other series also. A few titles leap to mind, but what this really smells like is that soggy mess, New Moon of Twilight. Bells and Eddy inexplicably split up, Bella then spends the entire book angsting only to discover that Edward ripped her soul from her body and stomped all over it apparently for her own good. Yeah, cos that's how a woman wants to be treated guys ..... Look, Ms Fitzpatrick - if you're going to foist shit masquerading as YA fiction on us, at least make it original shit.

At the same time, it would be nice if Becca, you could figure out how to describe something without resorting to throwing up flowers, unicorns and rainbows all over us. And maybe you could hold your hand a little steadier as you scribble furiously in your Powder-Puff Girls notebook - yeah, your sentences are jumpy as fuck. Oh and maybe pop a decent villain in there next time. K?


Rixon sucked ass. He sucked ass hard. Why was he trying to kill Nora again? Something about wanting to be mortal? Wanting his wings back? Wanting to save us all? I don't know. I struggled even to remember his goddam name. He was so fucking bland. And so lame. So epically lame. Why did he take so pissing long to attempt to kill the bitch?! He could easily have simply cracked her over the head with a 2x4 in the first chapter. Boom - jobs a good 'un. Nora spent achingly long wandering around, staring at the sky. It would not have been a stretch to stroll up behind her and just take her out. It's not even like Patch would have created much of an obstacle. He's more than occupied playing pool the majority of the time, chilling out with some cartoon character dead-beats, scuffing his boots along the sidewalk, gazing despondently into the sunset. The whole sorry debacle made no sense.


In conclusion this series, unlike cheese and men, does not improve with time. Instead it sags, deflates and dies a slow and painful death which almost - almost - makes me take pity on it and buy the series in it's entirety to offer the small comfort of preventing it from dying alone, as I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that this trend will continue with the rest of the books in this car-crash series suffering similar fates. Unless Nora and Patch die of carbon monoxide poisoning within the first three pages of Silence, I truly cannot imagine what our Becca is going to pull out of the bag to drag this series off it's knees. Perhaps we'll see, perhaps we won't. I don't know if I can stomach reading any more of this bullshit.


Ciao for now my friends!!