Monday, 30 April 2012

Shh! Book Review of 'Silence'

Another book review of the wonderful Becaa Fitzpatirck and her wonderful novel, Silence!
Patch ©

Novel Review
‘Silence’ by Becca Fitzpatrick

The novel I have read is ‘Silence’ by Becca Fitzpatrick. It is the third book to the utterly flawless ‘Hush, Hush’ series. I have read all three books and yet I am still unsure as to which book I love the most – they are all so wonderfully written in their own way. Silence, however was intriguing for several different reasons including relationship developments, characters, writing styles and relating to me the reader.

                Within all three novels there are many characters that seem to come and go – some fade in and out of importance but of course Nora is always the centre of attention. Nora Grey is the protagonist of the novel, who over the previous two books was constantly changing. I didn’t believe it was ever possible for someone’s personality to change so drastically but once again she changes in the beginning of Silence. Silence picks up flawlessly where Crescendo (book two) leaves off. Nora has been kidnapped and the opening chapter of Silence transports us to a graveyard, from a prospective of whom we assume is Nora, but something has changed with the way she is telling her story – which we soon discover is because of her drastic memory loss. Silence begins in a heart-breaking way as Nora is found months after her kidnapping with no memory of what's happened during that time period and before that. If trying to piece the last few months together was hard enough, her mother is dating Nora and Patch's enemy, and her arch enemies father, her best friend is keeping something from her, her mother isn't totally honest with her, Scott is back and wants to help her and a mystery guy named Jev keeps popping up when Nora least excepts it.
With the memory loss, Nora’s character has most defiantly changed and the story of Silence is almost following Nora in re-discovering her personality. During the previous novels Nora had developed as a character from a timid country-living girl to an extremely independent woman, but it seems that because of her memory loss Nora’s character development is slowed as she has to become dependent on those around her to piece her life back together.
Patch or “Jev” as he seems to be more well-known in this novel has also changed. We of course know him as Nora’s boyfriend and having a very strong connection with her. He is also portrayed in a different light in this novel, proving he too is a three-dimensional character. As a reader, Patch is known to be the sexy, sleek guy constantly wearing black – his trademark. However when we first hear of ‘Jev’ he has not only changed his name but his entire appearance – wearing jeans and a baseball cap & most shocking of all driving a white SUV. I soon learned that the reason for this change was in relation to Nora’s memory loss which was forced after the terrible kidnapping – Patch wanted Nora to forget about him.

                Although there is a never ending essay that could be written about both Patch’s and Nora’s characters alone – their relationship takes that to an entire different level. Fitzpatrick uses her fabulous skills to portray the relationship between the characters and her descriptions of their time together are unforgettable. In the introduction they are not together and there is barely any mention of Patch, it’s difficult to comprehend at first that he can be absent for such a huge part of the novel because we are so used to hearing from him all the time – I was missing him! Because of her memory loss their relationship is put on hold, because she doesn’t even remember him. As a reader it was hard, I believe to have to read through the novel as if I didn’t know who Patch was (as the story is told from Nora’s perspective). However, the twists and turns in the relationship are what makes the novel so enthralling. 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. Once again, they are faced with the toughest obstacle of all in Silence – one that you believe they may not get over. But I almost laugh in hindsight that I doubted these characters couldn’t tackle anything. They once again return to the Nora and Patch we once knew, and from me that was when the book truly caught my attention . 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 .

                As a young reader, in my opinion the most absorbing aspect to a novel would be the stylistic techniques used by the author. I don’t think I can begin to describe how magnificently Fitzpatrick captivates moments in the novel. She describes scenes with such detail and pays attention to every sense – taste, touch, smell, visual and sounds. As the story is told from Nora’s perspective one aspect that I always become captivated by is the relationship between Patch and Nora. I feel as though I am there living through Nora’s life and as if I can feel every touch she feels, every emotion. Another one of the many techniques which I picked up on in Silence was when Nora went through her memory loss, although I knew her history I was still easily able to relate to her irrational behaviour because of her memory loss. It gave me an insight to how those living with amnesia may feel, although I know it is only a very slight feel in comparison to real life, I still believe it teaches you a great lesson & shows the difficulties that some people are forced to live with. . 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 I have proved that I absolutely love these book series, however I found that there was one feature of the novel that was a slight let down. There were times I felt that the beginning of story was a little repetitive, which given what happened to Nora made sense. I thought Fitzpatrick did an outstanding  job at working Nora's memory loss with recounting certain events that happened in Crescendo into Silence's storyline. What I got a little bit frustrated with was Nora's inability to piece things together quicker. She's a character whom I thought was always on the ball, and I didn't find it believable that it took her so long to put things together, especially when a few things like her connection to Patch were so obvious both to her and me as a reader. Once things do come back to her, the story really took off for me and I found myself having a hard time putting the book down.

                Personally, as a young reader this was one of the most exciting, enthralling, chilling and unforgettable books I have read. 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.

                Although there was one negative aspect to the novel I believe the positives most defiantly out-do the negatives creating an utterly fantastic novel, which was displayed through characters and character development, relationships, relating to me the reader and stylistic techniques. 

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