Oh, to be a teenager… Those adolescent years that are, at once, both wonderful and awful. At that age, teenagers feel like they can conquer the world, yet they begin to discover what the world can throw right back at them. It is also an age when girls and boys want to experiment with love. Basically all young adult fiction captures the love sickness most, if not all, teenagers feel. Sequels in young adult fiction sagas are infamous for focusing on the love between the main female and male characters and the second in Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush saga is no different.
The school year is over and summer has finally arrived. Nora and her hot guardian angel boyfriend, Patch, are deepening their relationship. After Nora tells Patch she loves him, he distances himself from her and seems to develop an interest in her high school rival, Marcie Millar. With her guardian out of the picture, she tries to distract herself by showing interest in Scott Parnell, an old family friend who seems to be hiding something related to her Nephilim heritage. Not to mention her deceased father’s spirit seems to be following her wherever she goes. To find out more about her Nephilim bloodline and her father’s murder, Nora puts her life on the line to answer the questions that have been plaguing her mind since she first met Patch.
Sequels are tricky and can either make readers want to move on to the next book in a series or make them want to discontinue right then and there. Crescendo is a sequel that, like its predecessor, has potential, yet seems to fall flat with it’s somewhat cliché plot. Again, the sequel follows along the same line as the Twilight Saga’s New Moon: supernatural boyfriend finally understands how dangerous it is to have a relationship with human love interest and leaves her, believing the choice will keep her safe. Human girl is overcome by grief and a broken heart and goes to another man (normally another guy who is also supernatural in some way) to try to get over/ make previous boyfriend jealous.
Aside from the cliché young adult fictions plot and the insufferable teenage angst Nora goes through while trying to get over Patch, the story itself is not terrible. Once again, Fitzpatrick’s writing talents are wasted on young adult fiction, yet she delves more into the mythology of the Nephilim, which were only really briefly mentioned in Hush, Hush. For centuries, Nephilim (basically superhumans) have been used as host bodies for fallen angels during the month of Cheshvan. The Nephilim are tired of swearing fealty to the fallen angels and are being led by a powerful Nephilim who calls himself The Black Hand to fight a war against the angels.
The mythology is interesting to read, if, as aforementioned, it were not for Nora’s constant teenage angst. She is just as stubborn and puts her life in danger (yet again) to get back at Patch for hurting her as well as when trying to discover who murdered her father. Patch is both creepy and confusing, leading Nora to believe he doesn’t care about her during some parts and then fawning over her during others. Nora’s best friend, Vee, thankfully, stays her same witty self. Then there is the new male character, Scott Parnell, whose moods go from happy to depressed to angry at the drop of a hat. As a whole, there is no true character development in Crescendo, thus making the characters flat and, for the most part, uninteresting.
The Hush, Hush saga’s sequel shows more potential than its first; however, it is still lacking something in its plot. Fitzpatrick remains consistent in her story telling and even goes so far as to have Nora go through, step by step, everything the readers might have forgotten from Hush, Hush, but the slowly developing plot as well as the lack of character development may not appeal to some. It is another piece of mindless entertainment, if that is what a reader is looking for, but it is not a memorable piece of fiction. The developing mythology, however, does lead up to a surprising conclusion that transitions nicely into the next book, Silence.
Originally published at www.examiner.com on July 26, 2015.