Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Crescendo is the second novel by BF – the first being Hush Hush – and continues the story of Nora and Patch.

Frankly, this story was… very, very good.  I liked Hush Hush but Crescendo was better.  At the time of reading Hush Hush I had already read Fallen.  I liked Fallen at first, I was enjoying the story and the setting, which was quite gothic, but frankly I found the ending a bit surreal, one minute you’re in a sort of reform school and the next there are angels having a full on war – and nobody seems to bat an eyelid (because that happens all the time after all).  To a certain extent it made me have second thoughts about reading Hush Hush but I was glad I read it and to be honest I did prefer it (although I do prefer the Fallen/Torment covers to Hush Hush/Crescendo).

Back to Crescendo.  At the start of the book Nora did get on my nerves a little bit at first but as I read on I couldn’t really remember why that was!  Looking back it was probably just her immaturity as she is only 16 after all!!  The story in Crescendo picks up where Hush Hush left off and after a very short time becomes addictive.  There are plenty of dark and creepy moments – the scene in the library gave me the chills – and there are plenty of intense moments between Nora and Patch – particularly thinking of the time when Patch first appeared in one of her dreams.  There are so many twists and turns in this story that I think I could do with rereading it.  I must admit that I wondered if we were going to have yet ANOTHER love triangle on the go when Scott arrived on the scene but thankfully that wasn’t the case and I actually kind of liked Scott and felt sorry for him on a number of occasions in the book because he seemed genuinely afraid.

What can you say about Patch, he seems to be the bad boy, but is that because everybody wants him to be?  I don’t know.  In Hush Hush I never really felt like he was a threat to Nora because he had plenty of opportunity to hurt her if he wished to but didn’t do so.  And, similarly, in this novel, I think Nora misunderstood him (although he didn’t go to too much trouble to convince her to the contrary I suppose).  Even so, I don’t really see him as a bad boy – more that he’s just cynical (how could you not be if you’d been around for that length of time???)

I also really liked the characters more in this book.  Vee was so funny (also I laughed out loud at the scene when – and not trying to give away spoilers here – when Patch phoned Nora and she was in a very compromising position – you’ll know immediately what I mean if you read this), back to Vee, I really liked her in this book, she’s like the light relief element.  And, I liked Marcie, (which you’re probably not supposed to) but I tend to like the super bitchy girls in these novels (it’s just that they seem so untouchable and totally unphased by anybody else as though nothing can affect them – and yet, actually, they’re always more vulnerable than they seem).

Now, the ending, which can sometimes be such a let down.  Not here, I’m not saying that I hadn’t second guessed some of what was going on, but I certainly hadn’t seen everything coming!  And the whole setting in the fairground was excellent.

If I had any criticisms (and you always have to have a couple don’t you??)  I was surprised that Nora didn’t stand up to her mother more – for example, if I tried to arrange some sort of blind date/set up/ dinner party for one of my daughters – no, nope, no way, absolutely no way would they go along with it – no matter how much I might scowl (or beg, or shout, or bribe)!  Plus, here you have a situation with a family – living out remotely in some creepy setting in the middle of nowhere – the father has been murdered and the daughter has had all sorts of near death experiences (in Hush Hush) – but here they are, in the second novel, still living in this remote farmhouse – with the mother practically never there.  Really, I’d be scared to go to bed.  There’s no way that as a mother you wouldn’t just move out of there – especially after what happened in book one – you would be out of there and living smack bang in the middle of civilisation – probably not in the police station but as near as you could get.

The book ends on a cliffhanger and we’ve got a long wait to find out what happens next..

My verdict. A definite must read.

Rating A+

Crescendo

Crescendo

The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent

Just finished reading The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent

This story is set during the period of the Salem witch trials and is told in the voice of Sarah Carrier, daughter to Martha Carrier.  The Carriers are farmers and the first half of the book pulls you into their life – and what a hard life it is.  The carriers move to live with Sarah’s mother when the pox infects their village and unwittingly carry the disease with them.  The result of this is that they are held in suspicion and resentment by a lot of the villagers in Andover.

I don’t particularly know much about this period in time – other than bits and pieces in films and books – and therefore I’m far from being an expert.  I think in a way this is what made this book more interesting reading and picking up all these little random pieces of information that I’d never heard about before.  I never really quite understood before exactly what the whole ‘witch trials’ were really like.  I mean they were basically horrendous and seemingly all caused by greed, jealousy, envy and hysteria.

Reading the trials, for example, was so frustrating that I could have thrown the book against the wall in anger.  Just so annoying, innocent people having to confess to all sorts of wrong doings or otherwise be tortured.  What sort of a trial was that anyway – nobody was innocent – they were already guilty before they stepped into the room.

Anyway, rant over.  This book is good.  It pulls you into the lives of the Carriers and makes you care about them and the outcome.

It’s a harsh tale and frankly sad but it’s well written and by an actual descendant of one of the condemned witches. Difficult to believe that this is a first novel.

I liked this book, it didn’t take long to get involved in the story, it was interesting and at the end gripping.

Rating B+

Went mooching at weekend and bought a few books (don’t want to run out after all!!)  The Heretics Daughter – Kathleen Kent; Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier, No One You Know by Michelle Richmond – all these were my charity shop bargains.  Plus I bought Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick.  Decided to read the Heretics Daughter first…

 

The Heretic's Daughter

The Heretic's Daughter

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