Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book 52 - Crescendo

At some point over the last year, I began loitering in the Young Adult section at bookstores.

I can't pinpoint, precisely, what was the catalyst event for this shift in reading, though certainly welcoming a teenager into my life could account for some of it.

More likely, though, it has more to do with quality. There are some incredibly talented authors writing amazing teen fiction. Of course I remember all of the classics from my youth, but I don't recall - with few exceptions - them being this raw, this gritty. This compelling.

Since Karen and I started this 100 Books in 2010 challenge, I've discovered many new authors. Some of my favourites are those who write for teens - like Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely series), Judith Graves (Under my Skin), and Kelley Armstrong, who writes for both youth and adults.

Perhaps my most favourite, though, is Becca Fitzpatrick.

From the nano-second I fell in lust with Patch in Hush, Hush, I've been dying for the sequel, Crescendo. Thank goodness Karen picked it up first (launch day) - and was willing to part with it so I could DROP EVERYTHING and fall in love with Patch all over again.

I. Adore. This. Series.

Patch is a fallen angel, assigned to Nora as her guardian angel - and of course, there's love between them. Swoon-worthy love...

Like many of the romances in this genre, Patch and Nora have an unorthodox relationship, and predictably, Patch is a rebel, exactly the kind of bad boy I'm drawn to.

There's an aura of darkness that sets the tone in the very first chapter, and hovers over the whole book with an intensity that almost forces you to turn the page. Fitzpatrick is a talented writer with a firm grip on characterization and suspense. She even managed to make me like Vee, Nora's best friend, who I had a luke-warm reaction to in Hush, Hush.

Despite my enthusiasm, I admit, Crescendo isn't as strong as Fitzpatrick's debut - and though I think I understand why I felt that way, I can't really explain without spoiling the plot. That said, the "adventure" kept me flipping pages until I found - almost near the end - the sigh-inspiring satisfaction I sought. Cryptic? Sorry - I really don't want to ruin the book for you.

There was a time in my life I stuck pretty close to the authors that have been by my side for most of my adult life - Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Iris Johanson, Tami Hoag... While I'm still loyal to them, my tastes have expanded in the last few years and I've experienced not only new writers, but also whole new genres.

I am so thankful.

If you haven't read Becca Fitzgerald, I dare you to take a chance on Hush, Hush. And then go back and get Crescendo. Of the 52 books I've read so far this year, they'd rank in the top 10 for sure.

The Book In My Bag Today: Happily Ever After, Nora Roberts


  1. Ahhh, you'll hate me for this one, but the rise is YA fiction, to my mind is due to J.K. Rowling and ... gulp ... Harry Potter. Others have truly helped, but I do think that she, love her or hate her, nearly single-handedly created a new generation of readers. And, yes, as you know, I, too am venturing into more YA and enjoying it!

  2. Wow. Crescendo was one of my book title options. Glad I didn't pick it!

  3. ROCKSTAR, I don't hate you for saying that. I completely agree that J.K. Rowling was responsible for creating a new generation of readers - and quite frankly, may be the reason YA fiction is rising to such incredible standards. Like her or not, she's a tough act to follow.

    JESSICA - I would have flagged that for you :-)

  4. Ooo! Sounds like good stuff! I'll have to read it. And as for loitering in YA - I do it too. It's cool. I swear. ;)

  5. Honestly J.K Rowling may have opened the door for thousands of YA authors who may have been having trouble releasing their books and/or maybe they we unsure about their choice of genre.

    J.K Rowling..although I am not a huge fan of her writing, is not only a good story teller, but a pathmaker for some. Do you really think we would have seen the YA fiction we do now if not for her? I think not...we would still we wallowing in the likes of Sweet Valley High Romances...Blech!

  6. I am not familiar w/this author, but you have me super-intrigued! I am so checkin this out--thanks, Dawn! :o)

  7. SUZANNE - Yes! You must read it. And I'm happy to be cool like you :-)

    KAREN - completely agree. Though, admit *blush* that I devoured Sweet Valley High. And Nancy Drew. And, gasp, even Danielle Steele...when I was a teen :-)

    Anytime, LTM. Becca is truly amazing. Let me know if you read it...

  8. I haven't read Crescendo yet but I liked HUSH HUSH and many of the other authors you've mentioned. Are you writing YA?

  9. Hi Kiki - I dabble in YA, but mostly write thriller and paranormal suspense. Kind of genre undecided :-) Thanks for stopping by the blog.