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Crescendo (Hush, Hush Saga #2)

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Overview

The sequel to the New York Times bestselling phenomenon, Hush, Hush!

Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that ...

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Crescendo (Hush, Hush Saga #2)

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Overview

The sequel to the New York Times bestselling phenomenon, Hush, Hush!

Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.

The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Feisty teen Nora Grey somehow survived the crises of Hush, Hush!, but dangers just as frightening loom in this standalone sequel. Patch, her guardian angel and love interest, appears to have a dark side and a wandering eye. Worse yet, he seems intent on obstructing Nora as she hunts for the truth behind her father's mysterious death. Even better than the first.

Children's Literature - Lisette Baez
The unique character of Norma Grey is back in Crescendo, the sequel to Hush, Hush. The novel quickly throws the reader into a dark, exciting, tumultuous plot of romance, jealousy, fear and intrigue. The relationship with her newly acquired guardian angel, Patch, seems to be anything but angelic. His questioning behavior and new found friendship with Norma's archenemy, Marcie Miller, quickly puts a wedge in their once blissful romance. Norma now finds herself drawn to Scott Parnell, an old family friend, although her instincts are screaming that he may be hiding something. Danger and Norma seem to go hand in hand as she begins to seek answers about her Nephilim bloodline. Haunted by the images of her murdered father, she believes her ancestry may have something to do with his death. Relying heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel may not be enough to keep her safe. Can she trust Patch or does he possess some dark secrets as well? Norma Grey is a take charge character full of courage and resiliency. Her recent obsession with her father's death may potentially destroy everyone and everything if the secrets are revealed. Crescendo captivates the reader with its web of suspense as Norma fights to uncover the truth. Reviewer: Lisette Baez
VOYA - Lynne Farrell Stover
Nora Grey is trying her best to do well in a summer school chemistry class, find a part-time job, and keep up with a group of dubious friends. Adding to this frenzy of activity is a difficult relationship with Patch, her guardian angel, the unsolved mystery of her father's brutal murder, and an often-absent mother. Interwoven into the complications of Nora's life is the escalating conflict between a band of fallen angels and their Nephilim hosts, which may soon take its toll on all of mankind. This sequel relies on the reader having knowledge of its predecessor, Hush, Hush (Simon & Schuster, 2009 / VOYA December 2009). Unfortunately a short recap does not appear until the middle of the book. Nora, the story's narrator, is a walking contradiction. She is an outstanding student who continues act foolishly. She is a self-professed good girl who has no trouble using a fake identification card, dressing provocatively, visiting shady pool halls, and slugging people. She steals her nemesis's diary, but is too ethical to read it. She trusts bad-boy Patch with her life (even though he tried to kill her in the prequel), but not with another girl. Although Nora's sensual dream sequences advance the story and add romance while keeping her innocent, they come across as contrived insertions. More information about the paranormal world the archangels inhabit may have made up for an overly long story with unlikable characters, a convoluted time frame, and contrived plot twists. Reviewer: Lynne Farrell Stover
Kirkus Reviews

The forbidden romance between Nora Grey and fallen angel Patch that began in Hush, Hush (2009) remains off-limits in this predictable, repetitive sequel as Patch, now Nora's guardian angel, is warned by the archangels to keep his distance from his charge. Prompted by Patch's furtiveness and recent detachment and fueled by his involvement with Nora's longtime rival, Marcie Millar, their steamy relationship becomes a jealous push-pull for the upper hand. When a former classmate and fallen-angel vassal, known as a Nephilim, returns to Delphic Beach, Maine, and she begins seeing visions of her deceased father, Nora's obsession with Patch turns to finding out more about a secret Nephilim blood society, its Black Hand leader, their possible connection to her father's death and their threat to all of humanity. As in the first novel, Nora is continuously placed or places herself in dangerous situations that leave her vulnerable to physically powerful men and that require being saved. Just as the drawn-out plot answers Nora's lingering questions, it introduces a new dilemma and opener for another sequel. (Supernatural thriller. YA)

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In this sequel to Hush, Hush (S & S, 2009), 16-year-old Nora Grey (still leggy, naïve, and constantly home alone in her farmhouse, but inexplicably no longer anemic) starts summer school in Coldwater, ME. It's been a few months since her sleazy lab partner, Patch, turned out to be a fallen angel bent on killing her to acquire a human body, then saved her from his murderous Nephil (half-human/ half-fallen angel) vassal and became her guardian angel. Now they're dating, but Nora starts to doubt his love and her safety when she realizes that he's holding back information about a secret Nephilim blood society; its mysterious leader, "the Black Hand"; Nora's mean-girl nemesis, Marcie; and Nora's father's murder. Fitzpatrick jumbles together a large cast of inconsistent, stereotyped characters and familiar teen horror/thriller scenarios as a foolish Nora wrestles with her tortured passion for Patch and gets drugged, shot at, chased, and seduced sleuthing for answers amid teen parties, seedy pool halls, a creepy amusement park, and cryptic dreams. Pseudo-biblical supernatural elements are confusing and underdeveloped, as is the cluttered, illogical plot. Nora's narrative and the story's pacing suffer from awkward phrasing, clichéd dialogue, and persistent use of the passive voice. An unsatisfying ending, mid-scene, anticipates a third book, but readers may be unwilling to put in the effort.—Riva Pollard, Prospect Sierra Middle School, El Cerrito, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416989431
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/19/2010
  • Series: Hush, Hush Saga Series , #2
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 82,059
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Lexile: HL720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Becca Fitzpatrick

Becca Fitzpatrick’s books, Hush, Hush, Crescendo, Silence, and Finale were all New York Times bestsellers. She graduated college with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she’s most likely running, prowling sale racks for shoes, or watching crime dramas on TV. She lives in Colorado. Visit her at BeccaFitzpatrick.com.

Biography

Becca Fitzpatrick grew up reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden with a flashlight under the covers. She graduated college with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she's most likely prowling sale racks for reject shoes, running, or watching crime dramas on TV. Her first novel, the YA thriller Hush, Hush, was published in 2009.

Good To Know

Some fascinating outtakes from our interview with Becca Fitzpatrick:

  • "My first job entailed spending a summer working in a cornfield in Nebraska. I remember three things about the job: scorching heat, bugs (oh, the bugs!) and playing volleyball during lunch break. My job description included wandering up and down endless rows of corn and sticking small paper envelopes over the immature ears of corn so that they wouldn't become pollinated by the pollen floating around in the air. I think the company I worked for was trying to create hybrid corn to feed cattle, but when I needed a snack, I ate the corn. It was actually pretty good. Every day at lunch, the entire crew would play volleyball for about an hour (two or three when our bosses were out of town). Most of the crew was comprised of guys, which, as you can imagine, I didn't mind one bit. Other than the low pay, it was actually a great job. I could wear my swimsuit and listen to music on my Walkman (I'm showing my age here). My older sister, Heather, worked with me and every day at the end of our shift, we'd stop by McDonald's and buy ice cream cones -- thirty nine cents each. Good times! "

  • "My most noticeable physical trait is, hands down, my hair. It's big, unruly and curly, and you can spot it from a mile away...literally. Six years after I graduated high school in Idaho, I was visiting my husband's family and attending church two thousand miles away in Rhode Island, when a girl came running up to me after the service. She'd gone to high school with me, and said she recognized me from the back based on my hair alone.

    Growing up, I detested my hair. I spent at least an hour every day straightening it, wishing I could make it blend into the crowd, cursing it for being so different. It wasn't until I was in my twenties that I started to appreciate its uniqueness. Different no longer has a negative connotation to me."

  • "I should probably confess that ice cream is my favorite food, and I eat it every night. When I go grocery shopping, I try to buy a new flavor, rather than reverting back to a favorite flavor. I'm on a mission to taste every flavor of ice cream out there! But I will say I have a soft spot in my heart for Ben & Jerry's Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch, Coldstone Creamery's Peanut Butter Cup Perfection and The Pie Who Loved Me, and St. Clair's Banana Nut."

  • "After a long day, my favorite way to unwind is by going running. Not exactly the most relaxing activity, granted, but I always imagine I'm sweating out all the things weighing on my mind. By the time I circle back home, I feel like I've left my cares in the dust. I live in Colorado, and we have some amazing running trails and beautiful scenery. It can be very relaxing and energizing to get out and hit the trails. Of course, I always reward myself with a bowl of ice cream when I finish!"

    <;i>"Writing can be a very solitary profession, and when deadlines are looming, it's tempting to glue myself to my desk, but I try to make sure I get out a few times a month with friends, just so I don't forget what it means to be social. I always look forward to book club, which is made up of my very closest friends in the world. We always meet at a local restaurant or café, order drinks, dinner or dessert, and chat about our book selection. We've had some great discussions over The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Uglies by Scott Westerfield and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. The books are a catalyst for discussing what's going on in our personal lives, so while it sometimes feels like I get wrapped up in work, I always know I'll get to catch up with everyone at book club."

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      1. Hometown:
        Fort Collins, CO
      1. Date of Birth:
        February 3, 1979
      2. Place of Birth:
        Ogden, UT
      1. Education:
        B.S. Community Health, April 2001

    Read an Excerpt

    Crescendo


    • DELPHIC BEACH, MAINE

    PRESENT DAY

    PATCH WAS STANDING BEHIND ME, HIS HANDS on my hips, his body relaxed. He stood two inches over six feet tall and had a lean, athletic build that even loose-fit jeans and a T-shirt couldn’t conceal. The color of his hair gave midnight a run for its money, with eyes to match. His smile was sexy and warned of trouble, but I’d made up my mind that not all trouble was bad.

    Overhead, fireworks lit up the night sky, raining streams of color into the Atlantic. The crowd oohed and aahed. It was late June, and Maine was jumping into summer with both feet, celebrating the beginning of two months of sun, sand, and tourists with deep pockets. I was celebrating two months of sun, sand, and plenty of exclusive time with Patch. I’d enrolled in one summer school course—chemistry—and had every intention of letting Patch monopolize the rest of my free time.

    The fire department was setting off the fireworks on a dock that couldn’t have been more than two hundred yards down the beach from where we stood, and I felt the boom of each one vibrate in the sand under my feet. Waves crashed into the beach just down the hill, and carnival music tinkled at top volume. The smell of cotton candy, popcorn, and sizzling meat hung thick in the air, and my stomach reminded me I hadn’t eaten since lunch.

    “I’m going to grab a cheeseburger,” I told Patch. “Want anything?”

    “Nothing on the menu.”

    I smiled. “Why, Patch, are you flirting with me?”

    He kissed the crown of my head. “Not yet. I’ll grab your cheeseburger. Enjoy the last of the fireworks.”

    I snagged one of his belt loops to stop him. “Thanks, but I’m ordering. I can’t take the guilt.”

    He raised his eyebrows in inquiry.

    “When was the last time the girl at the hamburger stand let you pay for food?”

    “It’s been a while.”

    “It’s been never. Stay here. If she sees you, I’ll spend the rest of the night with a guilty conscience.”

    Patch opened his wallet and pulled out a twenty. “Leave her a nice tip.”

    It was my turn to raise my eyebrows. “Trying to redeem yourself for all those times you took free food?”

    “Last time I paid, she chased me down and shoved the money in my pocket. I’m trying to avoid another groping.”

    It sounded made up, but knowing Patch, it was probably true.

    I hunted down the end of a long line that wrapped around the hamburger stand, finding it near the entrance to the indoor carousel. Judging by the size of the line, I estimated a fifteen-minute wait just to place my order. One hamburger stand on the entire beach. It felt un-American.

    After a few minutes of restless waiting, I was taking what must have been my tenth bored look around when I spotted Marcie Millar standing two spots back. Marcie and I had gone to school together since kindergarten, and in the eleven years since, I’d seen more of her than I cared to remember. Because of her, the whole school had seen more of my underwear than necessary. In junior high, Marcie’s usual MO was stealing my bra from my gym locker and pinning it to the bulletin board outside the main offices, but occasionally she got creative and used it as a centerpiece in the cafeteria—both my A cups filled with vanilla pudding and topped with maraschino cherries. Classy, I know. Marcie’s skirts were two sizes too small and five inches too short. Her hair was strawberry blond, and she had the shape of a Popsicle stick—turn her sideways and she practically disappeared. If there was a scoreboard keeping track of wins and losses between us, I was pretty sure Marcie had double my score.

    “Hey,” I said, unintentionally catching her eye and not seeing any way around a bare-minimum greeting.

    “Hey,” she returned in what scraped by as a civil tone.

    Seeing Marcie at Delphic Beach tonight was like playing What’s Wrong with This Picture? Marcie’s dad owned the Toyota dealership in Coldwater, her family lived in an upscale hillside neighborhood, and the Millars took pride in being the only citizens of Coldwater welcomed into the prestigious Harraseeket Yacht Club. At this very minute, Marcie’s parents were probably in Freeport, racing sailboats and ordering salmon.

    By contrast, Delphic was a slum beach. The thought of a yacht club was laughable. The sole restaurant came in the form of a whitewashed hamburger stand with your choice of ketchup or mustard. On a good day, fries were offered in the mix. The entertainment slanted toward loud arcades and bumper cars, and after dark, the parking lot was known to sell more drugs than a pharmacy.

    Not the kind of atmosphere Mr. and Mrs. Millar would have their daughter polluting herself in.

    “Could we move any slower, people?” Marcie called up the line. “Some of us are starving to death back here.”

    “There’s only one person working the counter,” I told her.

    “So? They should hire more people. Supply and demand.”

    Given her GPA, Marcie was the last person who should be spouting economics.

    Ten minutes later, I’d made progress, and stood close enough to the hamburger stand to read the word MUSTARD scribbled in black Magic Marker on the communal yellow squirt bottle. Behind me, Marcie did the whole shifting-weight-between-hips-and-sighing thing.

    “Starving with a capital S,” she complained.

    The guy in line ahead of me paid and carried off his food.

    “A cheeseburger and a Coke,” I told the girl working the stand.

    While she stood over the grill making my order, I turned back to Marcie. “So. Who are you here with?” I didn’t particularly care who she’d come with, especially since we didn’t share any of the same friends, but my sense of courtesy got the better of me. Besides, Marcie hadn’t done anything overtly rude to me in weeks. And we’d stood in relative peace the past fifteen minutes. Maybe it was the beginning of a truce. Bygones and all that.

    She yawned, as if talking to me was more boring than waiting in line and staring at the backs of people’s heads. “No offense, but I’m not in a chatty mood. I’ve been in line for what feels like five hours, waiting on an incompetent girl who obviously can’t cook two hamburgers at once.”

    The girl behind the counter had her head ducked low, concentrating on peeling premade hamburger patties from the wax paper, but I knew she’d heard. She probably hated her job. She probably secretly spat on the hamburger patties when she turned her back. I wouldn’t be surprised if at the end of her shift, she went out to her car and wept.

    “Doesn’t your dad mind that you’re hanging out at Delphic Beach?” I asked Marcie, narrowing my eyes ever so slightly. “Might tarnish the estimable Millar family reputation. Especially now that your dad’s been accepted into the Harraseeket Yacht Club.”

    Marcie’s expression cooled. “I’m surprised your dad doesn’t mind you’re here. Oh, wait. That’s right. He’s dead.”

    My initial reaction was shock. My second was indignation at her cruelty. A knot of anger swelled in my throat.

    “What?” she argued with a one-shoulder shrug. “He’s dead. It’s a fact. Do you want me to lie about the facts?”

    “What did I ever do to you?”

    “You were born.”

    Her complete lack of sensitivity yanked me inside out—so much so that I didn’t even have a comeback. I snatched my cheeseburger and Coke off the counter, leaving the twenty in its place. I wanted badly to hurry back to Patch, but this was between me and Marcie. If I showed up now, one look at my face would tell Patch something was wrong. I didn’t need to drag him into the middle. Taking a moment alone to collect myself, I found a bench within sight of the hamburger stand and sat down as gracefully as I could, not wanting to give Marcie the power to ruin my night. The only thing that could make this moment worse was knowing she was watching, satisfied she’d stuffed me into a little black hole of self-pity. I took a bite of cheeseburger, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. All I could think of was dead meat. Dead cows. My own dead father.

    I threw the cheeseburger into the trash and kept walking, feeling tears slip down the back of my throat.

    Hugging my arms tightly at the elbows, I hurried toward the shack of bathrooms at the edge of the parking lot, hoping to make it behind a stall door before the tears started falling. There was a steady line trickling out of the women’s room, but I edged my way through the doorway and positioned myself in front of one of the grime-coated mirrors. Even under the low-watt bulb, I could tell my eyes were red and glassy. I wet a paper towel and pressed it to my eyes. What was Marcie’s problem? What had I ever done to her that was cruel enough to deserve this?

    Drawing a few stabilizing breaths, I squared my shoulders and constructed a brick wall in my mind, placing Marcie on the far side of it. What did I care what she said? I didn’t even like her. Her opinion meant nothing. She was rude and self-centered and attacked below the belt. She didn’t know me, and she definitely didn’t know my dad. Crying over a single word that fell from her mouth was a waste.

    Get over it, I told myself.

    I waited until the red rimming my eyes faded before leaving the restroom. I roamed the crowd, looking for Patch, and found him at one of the ball toss games, his back to me. Rixon was at his side, probably wagering money on Patch’s inability to knock over a single weighted bowling pin. Rixon was a fallen angel who had a long history with Patch, and their ties ran deep to the point of brotherhood. Patch didn’t let many people into his life, and trusted even fewer, but if there was one person who knew all his secrets, it was Rixon.

    Up until two months ago, Patch had also been a fallen angel. Then he saved my life, earned his wings back, and became my guardian angel. He was supposed to play for the good guys now, but I secretly sensed that his connection to Rixon, and the world of fallen angels, meant more to him. And even though I didn’t want to admit it, I sensed that he regretted the archangels’ decision to make him my guardian. After all, it wasn’t what he wanted.

    He wanted to become human.

    My cell phone rang, jarring me from my thoughts. It was my best friend Vee’s ringtone, but I let voice mail take her call. With a squeeze of guilt, I vaguely noted it was the second call of hers I’d avoided today. I justified my guilt with the thought that I’d see her first thing tomorrow. Patch, on the other hand, I wouldn’t see again until tomorrow evening. I planned to enjoy every minute I had with him.

    I watched him pitch the ball at a table neatly lined with six bowling pins, my stomach giving a little flutter when his T-shirt crept up in the back, revealing a stripe of skin. I knew from experience that every inch of him was hard, defined muscle. His back was smooth and perfect too, the scars from when he’d fallen once again replaced with wings—wings I, and every other human, couldn’t see.

    “Five dollars says you can’t do it again,” I said, coming up behind him.

    Patch looked back and grinned. “I don’t want your money, Angel.”

    “Hey now, kids, let’s keep this discussion PG-rated,” Rixon said.

    “All three remaining pins,” I challenged Patch.

    “What kind of prize are we talking about?” he asked.

    “Bloody hell,” Rixon said. “Can’t this wait until you’re alone?”

    Patch gave me a secret smile, then shifted his weight back, cradling the ball into his chest. He dropped his right shoulder, brought his arm around, and sent the ball flying forward as hard as he could. There was a loud crack! and the remaining three pins scattered off the table.

    “Aye, now you’re in trouble, lass,” Rixon shouted at me over the commotion caused by a pocket of onlookers, who were clapping and whistling for Patch.

    Patch leaned back against the booth and arched his eyebrows at me. The gesture said it all: Pay up.

    “You got lucky,” I said.

    “I’m about to get lucky.”

    “Choose a prize,” the old man running the booth barked at Patch, bending to pick up the fallen pins.

    “The purple bear,” Patch said, and accepted a hideous-looking teddy bear with matted purple fur. He held it out to me.

    “For me?” I said, pressing a hand to my heart.

    “You like the rejects. At the grocery store, you always take the dented cans. I’ve been paying attention.” He hooked his finger in the waistband of my jeans and pulled me close. “Let’s get out of here.”

    “What did you have in mind?” But I was all warm and fluttery inside, because I knew exactly what he had in mind.

    “Your place.”

    I shook my head. “Not going to happen. My mom’s home. We could go to your place,” I hinted.

    We’d been together two months, and I still didn’t know where Patch lived. And not for lack of trying. Two weeks into a relationship seemed long enough to be invited over, especially since Patch lived alone. Two months felt like overkill. I was trying to be patient, but my curiosity kept getting in the way. I knew nothing about the private, intimate details of Patch’s life, like the color of paint on his walls. If his can opener was electric or manual. The brand of soap he showered with. If his sheets were cotton or silk.

    “Let me guess,” I said. “You live in a secret compound buried in the underbelly of the city.”

    “Angel.”

    “Are there dishes in the sink? Dirty underwear on the floor? It’s a lot more private than my place.”

    “True, but the answer’s still no.”

    “Has Rixon seen your place?”

    “Rixon is need-to-know.”

    “I’m not need-to-know?”

    His mouth twitched. “There’s a dark side to need-to-know.”

    “If you showed me, you’d have to kill me?” I guessed.

    He wrapped his arms around me and kissed my forehead. “Close enough. What time’s curfew?”

    “Ten. Summer school starts tomorrow.” That, and my mom had practically taken a part-time job finding opportunities to drop the knife between me and Patch. If I’d been out with Vee, I could say with absolute certainty that my curfew would have stretched to ten thirty. I couldn’t blame my mom for not trusting Patch—there was a point in my life when I’d felt similarly—but it would have been extremely convenient if every now and then she relaxed her vigilance.

    Like, say, tonight. Besides, nothing was going to happen. Not with my guardian angel standing inches away.

    Patch looked at his watch. “Time to roll.”

    At 10:04, Patch flipped a U-turn in front of the farmhouse and parked by the mailbox. He cut the engine and the headlights, leaving us alone in the dark countryside. We sat that way for several moments before he said, “Why so quiet, Angel?”

    I instantly snapped to attention. “Am I being quiet? Just lost in thought.”

    A barely-there smile curved Patch’s mouth. “Liar. What’s wrong?”

    “You’re good,” I said.

    His smile widened a fraction. “Really good.”

    “I ran into Marcie Millar at the hamburger stand,” I admitted. So much for keeping my troubles to myself. Obviously they were still smoldering under the surface. On the other hand, if I couldn’t talk to Patch, who could I talk to? Two months ago our relationship involved a lot of spontaneous kissing inside our cars, outside our cars, under the bleachers, and on top of the kitchen table. It also involved a lot of wandering hands, tousled hair, and smudged lip gloss. But it was so much more than that now. I felt connected to Patch emotionally. His friendship meant more to me than a hundred casual acquaintances. When my dad died, he’d left a huge hollowness inside me that threatened to eat me from the inside out. The emptiness was still there, but the ache didn’t cut half as deep. I didn’t see the point in staying frozen in the past, when I had everything I wanted right now. And I had Patch to thank for that. “She was thoughtful enough to remind me my dad is dead.”

    “Want me to talk to her?”

    “That sounds a bit The Godfather.”

    “What started the war between the two of you?”

    “That’s the thing. I don’t even know. It used to be over who got the last chocolate milk in the lunch crate. Then one day in junior high, Marcie marched into school and spray-painted ‘whore’ on my locker. She didn’t even try to be sneaky about it. The whole school was looking on.”

    “She went postal just like that? No reason?”

    “Yup.” No reason I was aware of, anyway.

    He tucked one of my curls behind my ear. “Who’s winning the war?”

    “Marcie, but not by much.”

    His smile grew. “Go get her, Tiger.”

    “And here’s another thing. Whore? In junior high, I hadn’t even kissed anyone. Marcie should have spray-painted her own locker.”

    “Starting to sound like you’ve got a hang-up, Angel.” He slid his finger under the strap of my tank top, his touch sending electricity humming along my skin. “I bet I can take your mind off Marcie.”

    A few lights were burning in the upper level of the farmhouse, but since I didn’t see my mom’s face pressed up against any of the windows, I figured we had some time. I unlatched my seat belt and bent across the console, finding Patch’s mouth in the darkness. I kissed him slowly, savoring the taste of sea salt on his skin. He’d shaved this morning, but now his stubble rasped my chin. His mouth skimmed my throat and I felt a touch of tongue, causing my heart to bump against my ribs.

    His kiss moved to my bare shoulder. He nudged the strap of my tank top down and brushed his mouth lower along my arm. Right then, I wanted to be as close to him as I could. I never wanted him to go. I needed him in my life right now, and tomorrow, and the day after. I needed him like I’d never needed anyone.

    I crawled over the console, straddling his lap. I slid my hands up his chest, grasped him behind the neck, and pulled him in. His arms circled my waist, locking me against him, and I snuggled in deeper.

    Caught up in the moment, I ran my hands under his shirt, thinking only of how I loved the feel of his body heat spreading into my hands. As soon as my fingers brushed the place on his back where his wing scars used to be, a distant light exploded at the back of my mind. Perfect darkness, ruptured by one burst of blinding light. It was like watching a cosmic phenomenon in space from millions of miles away. I felt my mind being sucked inside Patch’s, into all the thousands of private memories stored there, when suddenly he took my hand and slid it lower, away from the place where his wings joined with his back, and everything spun sharply back to normal.

    “Nice try,” he murmured, his lips brushing mine as he spoke.

    I nibbled his lower lip. “If you could see into my past just by touching my back, you’d have a hard time resisting the temptation too.”

    “I have a hard time keeping my hands off you without that added bonus.”

    I laughed, but my expression quickly turned serious. Even with considerable concentration, I could hardly remember what life had been like without Patch. At night, when I lay in bed, I could remember with perfect clarity the low timbre of his laugh, the way his smile curved slightly higher on the right, the touch of his hands—hot, smooth, and delicious on my skin. But it was only with serious effort that I could pick up memories from the previous sixteen years. Maybe because those memories paled in comparison to Patch. Or maybe because there was nothing good there at all.

    “Don’t ever leave me,” I told Patch, hooking a finger in the collar of his shirt and pulling him close.

    “You’re mine, Angel,” he murmured, brushing the words across my jawbone as I arched my neck higher, inviting him to kiss everywhere. “You have me forever.”

    “Show me you mean it,” I said solemnly.

    He studied me a moment, then reached behind his neck and unclasped the plain silver chain he’d worn since the day I met him. I had no idea where the chain had come from, or the significance behind it, but I sensed it was important to him. It was the only piece of jewelry he wore, and he kept it tucked under his shirt, next to his skin. I’d never seen him take it off.

    His hands slid to the nape of my neck, where he fastened the chain. The metal fell on my skin, still warm from him.

    “I was given this when I was an archangel,” he said. “To help me discern truth from deception.”

    I fingered it gently, in awe of its importance. “Does it still work?”

    “Not for me.” He interlaced our fingers and turned my hand over to kiss my knuckles. “Your turn.”

    I twisted a small copper ring off the middle finger of my left hand and held it out to him. A heart was hand-carved into the smooth underside of the ring.

    Patch held the ring between his fingers, silently examining it.

    “My dad gave it to me the week before he was killed,” I said.

    Patch’s eyes flicked up. “I can’t take this.”

    “It’s the most important thing in the world to me. I want you to have it.” I bent his fingers, folding them around the ring.

    “Nora.” He hesitated. “I can’t take this.”

    “Promise me you’ll keep it. Promise me nothing will ever come between us.” I held his eyes, refusing to let him turn away. “I don’t want to be without you. I don’t want this to ever end.”

    Patch’s eyes were slate black, darker than a million secrets stacked on top of each other. He dropped his gaze to the ring in his hand, turning it over slowly.

    “Swear you’ll never stop loving me,” I whispered.

    Ever so slightly, he nodded.

    I gripped his collar and pulled him against me, kissing him more fervently, sealing the promise between us. I locked my fingers between his, the sharp edge of the ring biting into our palms. Nothing I did seemed to bring me close enough to him, no amount of him was enough. The ring ground deeper into my hand, until I was certain it had broken skin. A blood promise.

    When I thought my chest might collapse without air, I pulled away, resting my forehead against his. My eyes were shut, my breathing causing my shoulders to rise and fall. “I love you,” I murmured. “More than I think I should.”

    I waited for him to answer, but instead his hold on me tightened, almost protectively. He turned his head toward the woods across the road.

    “What’s wrong?” I asked.

    “I heard something.”

    “That was me saying I love you,” I said, smiling as I traced his mouth with my finger.

    I expected him to return the smile, but his eyes were still fixed on the trees, which cast shifting shadows as their branches nodded in the breeze.

    “What’s out there?” I asked, following his gaze. “A coyote?”

    “Something isn’t right.”

    My blood chilled, and I slid off his lap. “You’re starting to scare me. Is it a bear?” We hadn’t seen bears in years, but the farmhouse was pushed out on the very edge of town, and bears were known to wander closer to town after hibernation, when they were hungry and searching for food.

    “Turn the headlights on and honk the horn,” I said. Training my eyes on the woods, I watched for movement. My heart edged up a little, remembering the time my parents and I had watched from the farmhouse windows as a bear rocked our car, smelling food inside.

    Behind me, the porch lights flashed. I didn’t need to turn back to know my mom was standing in the doorway, frowning and tapping her foot.

    “What is it?” I asked Patch once more. “My mom’s coming out. Is she safe?”

    He turned on the engine and put the Jeep in drive. “Go inside. There’s something I need to do.”

    “Go inside? Are you kidding? What’s going on?”

    “Nora!” my mom called, coming down the steps, her tone aggravated. She stopped five feet from the Jeep and motioned for me to lower the window.

    “Patch?” I tried again.

    “I’ll call you later.”

    My mom hauled the door open. “Patch,” she acknowledged curtly.

    “Blythe.” He gave a distracted nod.

    She turned to me. “You’re four minutes late.”

    “I was four minutes early yesterday.”

    “Rollover minutes don’t work with curfews. Inside. Now.”

    Not wanting to leave until Patch answered me, but not seeing much of a choice, I told him, “Call me.”

    He nodded once, but the singular focus to his eyes told me his thoughts were elsewhere. As soon as I was out of the car and on solid ground, the Jeep revved forward, not wasting time accelerating. Wherever Patch was going, it was in a hurry.

    “When I give you a curfew, I expect you to keep it,” Mom said.

    “Four minutes late,” I said, my tone suggesting she might be overreacting.

    That earned me a stare that had disapproval stamped all over it. “Last year your dad was killed. A couple months ago, you had your own brush with death. I think I’ve earned the right to be over-protective.” She walked stiffly back to the house, arms clamped over her chest.

    Okay, I was an unfeeling, insensitive daughter. Point taken.

    I turned my attention to the row of trees at the edge of the road opposite. Nothing looked out of the ordinary. I waited for a chill to warn me there was something back there, something I couldn’t see, but nothing felt off. A warm summer breeze rustled past, the sound of cicadas filling the air. If anything, the woods looked peaceful under the silver glow of moonlight.

    Patch hadn’t seen anything in the woods. He’d turned away because I’d said three very big, very stupid words, which had gushed out before I could stop them. What had I been thinking? No. What was Patch thinking now? Had he driven off to escape responding? I was pretty sure I knew the answer. And I was pretty sure it explained why I was left staring at the back of his Jeep.

    Read More Show Less

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4.5
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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 2353 Customer Reviews
    • Posted August 24, 2010

      A nail biting sequel

      My thoughts...Crescendo starts with the mysterious death of Nora's Dad, then quickly picks up where Hush, Hush leaves off. If you have not read Hush, Hush, I recommend you read it before Crescendo.

      Some things did not change between the two books. First, Patch is still shady. I still have a hard time trusting him and I lost my connection with his character. While I want to believe he has Nora's best interests at heart, his actions at times are very hard to swallow. I want to cry into my pillow for the pain he causes her. Secondly, the evil character of Marcie is still around causing havoc. Actually she is ten times worse in Crescendo, if that is even possible. Book two does offer some insight into why she is so cruel.

      Fitzpatrick does a great job of writing Nora's character in this book. She acts her age, making reckless decisions, and speaking without thinking. Her jealousy is written in a way I could relate to, many of us could. Her character also shows quite a bit of growth. She is a lot more confident and street smart.

      Crescendo fills in a lot of blanks from Hush, Hush. These details provide a larger picture of Fitzpatrick's world. Nora is still a magnet for trouble, which takes readers on an adventure. Parts of the story were are scary in a way that makes you want to leave the lights on and check under the bed. The ending of the story surprised me a bit and left me hanging. I am eager to continue reading as Nora is already in a heap of trouble.

      46 out of 49 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted April 12, 2010

      I Also Recommend:

      Amazing!!

      I am ashamed to say the original reason I bought the first (hush, hush)book was the amazing cover art. But the book it's self was amazing as well. I read the whole thing in about 1 day. The characters are surprisingly relatable and I must say that PATCH is one "Hawt Piece Of Work!!" Haahaa!! And Nora's best friend Vee... HILARIOUS!!! Becca Fitzpatrick is a fantastic writer and I look forward to see where she will take her series. Becca!! you have a fan for life!! (so far)

      34 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted June 23, 2011

      I Also Recommend:

      Wonderful

      I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.

      31 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 21, 2010

      Absolutely LOVED this book!

      All I can say is WOW! Becca did an awesome job with this book. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and I could NOT find myself putting this book down. Highly recommended!

      16 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted January 8, 2011

      Hard not to Read in one Sitting!

      Makes Twilight Look Cheesey!

      15 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted September 24, 2010

      more from this reviewer

      Pure Crack. So Good It's....

      Hush, Hush was like crack. I read it in a day--well mostly--and when I finally had put it down and went back to my normal routine, I realized all the flaws the book was equipped with. But, I still loved it. It's like a drug. You know it's not the best thing, but Fitzpatrick knows how to write and you can't resist the fun. It's so simple it's sexy and funny. It's great. Crescendo is the same. When I cracked that baby open (I wasn't expecting it to be so thick!) I went at it with a critiques eye. Again, crack. I was on the last few chapters and I knew I needed to finish my paper. But who wants to write a ten page essay on the War in Afghanistan when you can be reading about sexy Patch? Yea. No one. So here's the thing. Cresecndo has the same formula as Hush, Hush, but different. When you read it, you'll understand. Fitzpatrick just threw in some new things that would leave a "WTFFFFFFFF?" cliffhanger. Actually, it's more like a "I jumped off a cliff and now I'm in mid-air waiting to crash into the bottom..." sorta cliff hangers. REally leaves you going WHY BECCA WHY? But these elements definatly open up a third installment (called TEMPEST) and honestly, I'll be back. My annoyances: I wanted to kill Nora. Like if she were real, I would rip her little whiney tongue out. Some of the stuff she did/said, drove me nuts, but Fitzpatrick needed her to do something, so yea. Can't be helped. My last complaint is half the book leaves you with little plot. I mean, things develop, but mostly you're just observing what Nora is getting herself into. "Let's make Patch Jealous." "Let's do some snooping." "Let's spy on Patch some more." Yea. It's fun because Vee is there cracking off jokes but still. It left me wanting more that way. But it picks up half way and it's great. REad it.

      11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 18, 2010

      A Must Read if you loved Hush Hush

      I was so surprised when I went into B&N on Sunday and saw that Crescendo was already on the shelf. I thought it was going to be released on October 19th. It's only been a day and I have already finished the book. It was that good. I couldn't put it down. I had to keep turning the pages. It was suspenseful and had to you really torn as to what and who you should believe. I cannot wait until Tempest comes out next year. What an ending...I was not expecting to be left hanging like that. I must have read Hush Hush at least 3 times and I know I will re-read Crescendo as well.

      9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted May 5, 2012

      An amazing sequel to hush hush!

      I was left jaw dropped by this book. I loved hush hush, but i really enjoyed cresendo. If you are someone who enjoys drama and jealousy have meet a book that delivers on this. This book was filled with suspense and i was unable to put it down. I recommend it to anyone wanting a good read. The only problem was that nora, the main chracter, was a bit hot and cold. One minute she loves patch and wants him at her side, and the next, she wants nothing to do with him. It takes some getting used to, but once you do, you will enjoy the novel to the extreme. Hope this helps.

      7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted August 6, 2011

      absolutely infuriating

      I actually loved the first book but this is so retarded i had to put it away for a month just to keep from throwing my nook across the room!!the only thing the main character doesn't lack drive, but her drive is headed in the wrong direction.Patch is insane, vee is like a puppy she just follows nora around.what person in thier right mind stalks an angel who by the way shouldn't even be having sex even though he sleeps with what's-her-name-stereo-tipical-school-slut.this book just about killed me. i've never put away a book from frustration with the main character.and another thing, it's one of those books that just confuse,confuse,confuse, and confuse.

      7 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted April 16, 2010

      omg. i met her! i love it! im patchs wife!

      i can't wait!!!! its going to be so awesome. but from the sypnopsis im not gonna be happy that patch will be going with marcie millar. that ****. i love that book to death. its my fav. read it reaid it read it!!!!! it is an absolute must!!!!

      7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted January 8, 2011

      Very Highly recommended!-Couldn't put it down!

      At the end of Hush Hush (if you haven't read it yet please do) I was left wanting more. As soon as I learned there would be a sequel I knew I had to get it. All of you twilight fans if you read these books the twilight series will seem like childrens stories. Also if you are one of us who is sick of seeing books only about vampires, Hush Hush and Crescendo are a refreshing break from sparkly dead people.

      5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 1, 2012

      I Also Recommend:

      BETTER THAN ALL BOOKS!!!!!!!

      People are talking about that this book is lame. But yall say Twilight is so much better. Twilight doesnt even follow the myth of a true vampire. And COM'ON those fake slangs from otha movies talking about "its like a lion fell in love with a lamb". I could spit that right out of my own shakeshpere book. The Hush Hush series is WAY better than twilight. So think about it. Is it really lame? To me OF COURSE NOT! I LOVED THIS BOOK AND LOVE THE AUTHOR! Keep up the good work Mrs. Fitzpatrick

      4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 5, 2012

      Patch!

      I LOVE Patch!! He makes me so mad sometimes, though(lol). I can relate to Nora and I like her friend, Vee. Patch is HOT, strong, romantic, cool and sexy. He has swagger, for sure! And, I feel he really loves Nora. I can't wait to read SILENCE!!

      4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted January 3, 2012

      Stunning

      This book had me always wondering what was going to happen next. So many twists and turns it would have any reader dying to see what the meaning if everything is. Throughout reading I had formed many questions, curious about what everything was, but by the end of the book everything made sense! Furthermore with the ending it made me quite anxious to get the next book in the saga, Silence.

      4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted October 15, 2010

      more from this reviewer

      Crescendo is the sequel to the best selling Hush Hush.

      Ms. Fitzpatrick continues the tale of Nora Grey who's coming of age story is more than learning to drive and her first romance she get's an education into fallen angelology 101, where at the end of Hush Hush Nora's love interest Patch a fallen angel gives up what he wants most in the world to save her life. So now instead of being human he's gotten his wings back and has been assigned to Nora. Nora being a typical teenage girl with too high an IQ and too much time alone dreams up a perfect romance between she and Patch and when it seems that it will never be she decides the best thing would be to separate. What Nora doesn't know is that Patch is convinced that she's still in danger and not knowing who are friend and who are foe may just be deadly to Nora, it's up to Patch to save her, but can he.
      In Crescendo Ms. Fitzpatrick gives us a solid sequel to her debut novel Hush Hush with typical teenage angst mixed with otherworldly improbable and impossible to imagine complications which she delivers to her readers with believability in unbelievable situations. Her dialogue could be heard at any video arcade, high school or teen hangout and yet she gives her protagonists a certain air of maturity beyond the other kids in the story. On the subject of her characters, she gives them multi-dimensional facets which makes us want to keep turning the pages to find out more. The romance is in trouble in this instillation of her series and yet even at the height of their problems it's still very clear to her audience that Nora and Patch share the same heart, they just don't know how to make it beat for them (yet).
      Crescendo is marketed as a Young Adult novel but this book will appeal to more than just the 14+ crowd, adults will rush to read it because it speaks to our inner teen. It has been compared to the Twilight series but any serious reader will clearly see the differences and this reader thinks that this series far out shines the other. I don't think it would be appropriate for the teen under 14 and that is a good dividing line.

      4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted August 26, 2012

      Okay so. Let me start off by saying that I did not like this boo

      Okay so. Let me start off by saying that I did not like this book one
      bit. Normally I wouldn’t write and post a review for a book that I hated
      with such a passion, but I feel like I need to because I loved Hush,
      Hush (book one) SO MUCH. I read Crescendo a few weeks back but I’m still
      finding myself in utter shock over the extreme dislike I have for this
      book. For me, Crescendo was a train-wreak complete with choppy
      storylines and weak characters. Not even Patch could save me from hating
      this book. In book one he was rough around the edges and aloof but
      towards the end, as we got to know him better he really began to open
      up. In Crescendo his character pretty much takes 10 steps backwards. It
      was like nothing happened and his character development poofed along
      with everyone else’s. Although she was never really my “favorite”
      character, in book one I really enjoyed Nora. I thought that she held
      her own pretty well. However she neither had that quality nor any other
      enjoyable or mildly likable quality in Crescendo. Never have I hated a
      female character so much. One moment she’s all heart broken and
      miserable because Patch is being aloof and she can’t stand living
      without him, then other times she’s pissed and wants nothing to do with
      him because he’s cruel. SERIOUSLY. It was like Nora was bipolar with her
      emotions flip-flopping back and forth so many times with little or no
      reason as to why. She’d go from completely despising him to being in
      love with him at the drop of a dime. It was exhausting and quite
      annoying keeping up with her feelings. Then there’s the new character
      Scott. I wanted to so badly to like Scott. After being annoyed with
      Patch from the getgo I had high hopes that Scott would be a sweet boy
      from Nora’s past. My wish was not answered in any capacity. Scott was
      annoying and shifty right from the beginning. I kept hoping that like
      Patch, he was just misunderstood and Nora could be the one to open him
      up. Nope. Instead all we got are a few outings that Scott invites Nora
      to that in which Nora ends up being left alone while Scott takes off.
      Seriously everytime the two got together Scott would just disappear with
      Nora not caring at all. The next day she’d act like it was no biggy
      which felt so fake and unreal. His overall part in the plot made no real
      sense and added nothing to the story. I have no problem with
      Fitzpatrick’s writing, it’s clean and the pacing is decent but the
      story… well it’s just bad (in my opinion). I can’t even really remember
      what’s going on or what has happened because nothing is adding up and
      everything is mashed together. I won’t be reading book three because
      Crescendo has completely turned me off from the series. My last solace
      would have been the characters, but like I said, I’m turned off from
      them as well.

      3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted September 2, 2010

      more from this reviewer

      review taken from One Book At A Time http://onebooktime.blogspot.com

      It's been awhile since I read Hush, Hush. But, I remember really enjoying the story and wanting more. The author has done a great job creating a story were you can't wait until the next one. Crescendo was everything Hush, Hush was and more! In fact, I've been struggling with myself on giving it 5 or 4 butterflies. I truly loved this book.

      I feel for Norah immensely in this one. She's struggling with finding the truth about her father's death. She struggles with her relationship with her mom. But, most of all she struggles with her relationship with Patch. And this I really identified with. Fitzpatrick has done an amazing job making this feel very real. In fact, I think all the relationships in the book are one of the things that make this story fantastic. Take away the supernatural elements of this story an it could be about any teenager anywhere.

      But the supernatural also adds to this story. I loved learning about Patch and his problems with being a guardian angel. There were so many times I thought he was just being an a$$, but there were actual reasonings behind all of his actions. He was trying to protect himself and Norah. By the end of the book, I was in love his character. I was floored by the ending. I never suspected for one minute what was really going on (although I also didn't believe what the story was trying to make you think either).

      So, I highly recommend Crescendo to those who have read Hush, Hush. And if you haven't...maybe you should. I think you might be missing out on a great series (and PATCH!)!!

      3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted June 27, 2010

      OMG

      Anyone who is reading this has to get this book. Compare twilight to this well twilight doesnt have a chance and i swear if patch and marcie get together i wont be a happy camper.Nora and vee put together is soooo funny i literaly read this in three hours.If you dont get this book than you obviously dont know what you'er missing. becca, THANK YOU for such a hot book!!!!!

      3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 20, 2013

      Great

      Awesome series. I reccomend you read them in order to get the full effect. I loved them all

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted December 29, 2012

      I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!

      One of the best books ever! :)

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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