Thursday, 1 December 2011

English Novel Review - "Crescendo" le Becca Fitzpatrick.

As part of our English course we have been asked to review a novel of our choice. Below is my review of the amazing novel, 'Crescendo' by Becca Fitzpatrick. She is an absolutely gifted and talented writer and as you will discover she is one of my favourite authors.
I hope you enjoy this review as much as I loved to write it!
Novel Review
In the novel Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick, there were many elements and features of her work that stood out to me. I was intrigued by her characters, the various styles and relationships and the plot development. Crescendo is the second book of the series, following ‘Hush, Hush’. I was first introduced to ‘Hush, Hush’ and Crescendo was a book that most defiantly had “big shoes to fill”.
Nora Grey, the protagonist of the novel can only be described as a three-dimensional, ever changing character. We gather from the first book that Nora is a conservative character, she wears the basic clothes – jeans and a t-shirt and her hair is never done to any extravagance. Her mother is her only guardian, after the tragic death of her father (which acts as a sub-plot throughout the series). Her mother however is more than often away from home due to work and so Nora has developed an independence that she believes she can do everything alone, which you may call somewhat headstrong. In this novel, Crescendo, Nora and the second main character, Patch fall in love.  As she is with him she changes, in very subtle ways. More than before she is able to speak her mind and protect herself from allowing others to talk her down, which shone through over a dispute with Patch; “I have the right to be angry!”.  It is clear that Nora contrasts to the character she once was, a timid country living girl.
Vee is Nora’s best friend – she is a large girl with a large personality. I was extremely interested to see how Fitzpatrick made two completely opposite characters relate to each other. Vee is louder than life, and has a unique personality. Even the choice of name “Vee” displays that Fitzpatrick wanted to emphasise the difference between Nora and her best friend. I found this very enjoyable to watch, as I could relate to both Vee and Nora throughout the novel in different situations. The contrast between the pair was highlighted several times, however I believe Fitzpatrick’s main message; that two completely different people can be attracted to each other was most defiantly highlighted.
As a reader, the most intriguing part of a novel is most defiantly the styles and features used. Becca Fitzpatrick’s features of writing are highly commendable and her descriptions throughout the novel are breath taking. There are many moments as I read that I was transported into the world of the novel. Fitzpatrick achieved greatly at one point by grabbing my attention with one particular description that stands out to me. She describes an event that happens as Nora is driving home, which was thrilling. I could feel the fear in Nora and noticed the pace of the section picked up. Fitzpatrick used short sentences to heighten the tension and build the moment to a climax. I can say that many the times I have seen movies and find my face cupped in my hands with fear. However, I never thought it to be true that it could happen while reading a book! I had to turn away from the book for a moment while caught in this episode to remind myself that I was only a reader. In my opinion, to have the skill to make a reader feel the raw emotion of the moment it truly astounding, and for that reason I would recommend this book to any reader.

I believe this book is most defiantly aimed towards the teen age group, although I would recommend it to people of all ages. For that reason I thoroughly enjoyed it as it was written from the view point of another teenage girl. This made the book more relatable to me as a reader as I could see and understand her viewpoints. Fitzpatrick, although a woman, flawlessly captured the thoughts and words of a teenage girl. Nora Grey is not your average American high school-going teen and I believe that Fitzpatrick proved this very skilfully.
The novel revolves around the relationship between Patch and Nora. Patch may seem like an unusual name, and there is no doubting it is. However, it is perfectly suitable to his title of a “fallen angel”. Hearing this many of you, I’m sure are comparing this this to the Twilight series, and if you’re not a fan you may feel uninterested. But let me assure you that these books are unforgettable and are once again that book that once you pick it up you cannot put it down. Patch was that boy that nobody understood. He sashayed into the school as a new student and kept to himself. A quiet and incomprehensible boy. Until he met Nora. In the first novel their relationship can only be described as a whirlwind of emotion and there were ups and of course their downs. However in Crescendo the first chapter transports us straight back into the relationship between the two, who are at this point in time deeply in love. Their relationship was built on trust and commitment to each other.  I found their relationship to be particularly fascinating, as we saw them face many obstacles that prevented them from falling in love, in Crescendo and for a time it separated them, yet they overcame these obstacles. As I read this, I could relate back to the novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and compare the relationship of Elizabeth and Darcy to that of Nora and Patch. I loved this aspect of the reading to be able to think about how they could overcome such obstacles and compare it to how Elizabeth and Darcy overcame their difficulties, such as their social class. This relationship developed gradually over the course of the novel .
The plot and plot development in this novel was extremely interesting. The novel moved at a perfect pace and Fitzpatrick did an outstanding job to develop the plot gradually over the course of the novel. She uses small, unnoticeable techniques to remind us of the happenings of the previous book, Hush, Hush, which really appealed to me. The plot was linked perfectly between the books and as it started to unravel even further in Crescendo I was captivated into the world of the text. I felt like an onlooker rather than a reader at moments, which I found truly fascinating – that it was possible to make a reader feel so involved. Our unanswered questions from Hush, Hush were uncovered throughout Crescendo, but new questions also arose – which was another captivating stylistic technique used by Fitzpatrick to absorb her readers into her world and that of Nora’s. I was very moved at certain areas and I would most defiantly agree that Fitzpatrick achieved to develop the plot of her story to a high standard over the duration of Crescendo.
Personally, as a young reader this was one of the most exciting, enthralling,  chilling and unforgettable books I have read. When I heard that the 3rd book (Silence) was soon to be released I was sure to be one of the first Irish buyers. It is the cliché ‘once you pick it up you won’t put it down’ type of book and I honestly read this from beginning to end within two days. Had I the time it most certainly would have been finished within one! It is at the top of my favourite books, and if you haven’t read or heard of it before I would undoubtedly recommend it.
This book was utterly appealing to me as I enjoyed the characters and contrasting friendships, the beautiful and masterful descriptions used to create or emphasise an emotion. The relationship between Patch and Nora had a huge influence on my love for this novel and finally the steady development of the plot was captivating.

1 comment:

  1. Really well written review, Isabelle. Interesting insights and thorough analysis throughout. I like the way you linked it to Pride and Prejudice. What are you reading for your next review?