[Book Review] Hush, Hush and Crescendo

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After the success of the Twilight saga, it is time for romantic angels to take the stand. But do not imagine that these angels will have fluffy white wings and save anyone from peril: in Hush, Hush and its sequels, they are bad-boyish, black-wearing, dark-eyed, flirty creatures.

When I bought Hush, Hush (Becca Fitzpatrick, Simon & Schuster, 416 pages), more than a year ago, I thought it had a 50% chance of actually being any good. Like many supernatural book sagas, it has a mysterious boy, an intelligent female protagonist and a simple plot with conflict being there probably only because an editor wanted it to make the cut. It has a pretty cover, the “prince charming” is attractive and it has positive reviews by other authors of the genre. That’s not, however, an infallible recipe, and it does end up poorly every once in a while.

It didn’t with the first book. On Hush, Hush, we are introduced to Nora, a girl who lives with her mom on a farmhouse and seemingly has only one friend, Vee. She studies, she doesn’t go wild, she calls her mom everyday: she lives as safely as it gets. Then in comes bad boy Patch, who ends up being her lab partner (I don’t know if the author has read Twilight, but this reminded me immediately of how Bella met Edward to the point of it looking awkwardly like a copycat) and has a mysterious aura around him that Nora is desperate to understand.

The story is incredibly simple. They meet, they talk, conflict comes, conflict is solved. Action, just as in Twilight, plays a nearly secondary role; in fact, if you have consumed enough books/movies/tv shows, you will easily solve the “mystery” much faster than Nora and find it a bit silly, but it doesn’t mean the book is bad. In fact, it covers perfectly the most important part of writing a good book: reaching its goal. The romantic parts are well written and Patch is an incredibly sexy “prince”, one of the sexiest I recall ever reading about. Vee is also an interesting, fun character.

On the second book, however, the author isn’t as successful, even though she tried to. She brings a plot much more complex and interesting than the one from the first book, which means the climax does actually work. The problem is, however, that this is a book with 400+ pages entirely told from Nora’s point of view, which requires her to be interesting (I’m not even asking for charismatic) enough to keep the pages being turned. The protagonist is, however, unbelievably irritating on Crescendo (Becca Fitzpatrick, Simon & Schuster, 464 pages), having unexplainable fits of jealousy and self-destructive behavior because of Patch. In New Moon, this worked out with Bella because it made sense: she got sad to the point of depression after Edward left and needed to feel something, anything. In Crescendo, though, Nora sounds like an annoying brat for about three quarters of the story, which made the book, at least for me, feel like an obligation rather than pleasure.

I have heard that everything improves on the third book, which convinced me to read it someday, but, if you don’t have enough patience, I’d advise on reading only Hush, Hush, which does have decent enough an ending to close the story with no need for sequels. But, if you don’t mind having to quickly scan through Nora’s thoughts on Book 2, I believe there is still enough mystery to make the rest of the books interesting enough – or so I hope.

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