There are two types of writers in the world - storytellers, or those who can spin a fabulous plot but may have lackluster writing skills, and craftsme...moreThere are two types of writers in the world - storytellers, or those who can spin a fabulous plot but may have lackluster writing skills, and craftsmen, whose beautiful, lush prose make you want to weep but whose stories often meander or lack in plot. Rarely is any writer both at the same time. J.K. Rowling is one of the lucky few - who manages to apply both substance and beauty to her writing. But for the most part, I find YA fiction tends to follow the trend of story-telling. The worlds and characters are imaginative (if sometimes derivative), there is constant action and escalating drama, which in combination with the shorter chapters and dumbed-down language, keep the reader plowing through. It's formulaic, but it's a formula that works - you know when you pick up any YA book nowadays it's going to have a romance, angst, some form of love triangle and often a supernatural element. It's comforting because you know what to expect. You're not reading it because the writer won a Pulitzer Prize. You're reading because it's a fun, fast-paced, satisfying read. Like eating candy as opposed to a filling meal. Which is why YA books are such a delight to devour, but less life-altering in the long run.
Which brings me to Crescendo. As expected, the writing was awful, riddled with cliches and reading like a first draft the author never bothered to revise. This is the norm for a lot of YA sadly. Another worrying trend in YA is the utter unlikable nature of the characters. The male protagonist is handsome, cocky, stand-offish, rude and borderline abusive to the heroine. The heroine is weak, has stalkerish tendencies, is a purportedly intelligent, straight-A student who can't stop doing really unintelligent things and acquires the deep, real love that only hormones and two months of dating can supply.
I know a lot of readers here gave this book four or five stars, but I think this is because YA readers tend to have different expectations. Was there romance, angst and smoldering looks in this book? Yes! Was there also a lot of bad writing, loose plot holes and awful characterization? Yes. I wasn't crazy about Hush, Hush, but this book took YA to a whole new level of awful.
It makes me long for the wonderful heroine and writing in the Hunger Games. Whatever Crescendo was, I don't want it. I want candy.(less)