Wynndmill's Reviews > Silence

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
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did not like it
bookshelves: brain-drains
Recommended for: no one

** spoiler alert ** Normally I don't write reviews for this series but something just had to be said. Silence is probably the worst of the lot of them so far. My gripes with this novel don't end at the protagonist, it digs into the use of obvious plot devices, the insensitive way mental illness was portrayed, the disturbingly light way murder was handled, and the awful writing style. Here, have a breakdown:



Nora is an Annoying, Horrible Person



The first third of the book was dedicated to Nora not remembering anything from the past 5 months of her life. She whines and moans constantly about this fact. Now, I understand the sense of loss, trauma and depression that can come out from amnesia, but Nora takes liberties to remind us every single chapter that she is sad because she can't remember anything and anyone who doesn't fall all over themselves to try to help her remember and do what she wants them to is a big meanie and she hates them.



There was a passage during one of these chapters that destroyed any sympathy I might have for her plight. Nora wonders why her. But she didn't leave it at that, she wonders why her in all the billions of people in the world, SHE had to be the one who got amnesia. Where did I leave my tiny violin?



This pattern of annoying, selfish behavior from Nora is constant throughout the book (and somehow amplified from the first two books). She frequently becomes angry with people for little reason, makes completely nonsensical decisions, lies to people she supposedly cares about, purposefully puts herself in danger then blames it on her amnesia and later on blames her poor life decisions on her biological father, and she gets angry whenever someone disagrees with her. It makes her wholly unsympathetic. Then to add to her list of personality disorders, she becomes completely psychotic from the middle of the book onward.



Nora's a Psycho



Now, I understand completely the feelings of anger toward someone who kidnapped you and (from what I read) may have temporarily deprived you of food for a couple of days. But from the middle of the novel, Nora actually wishes to murder her captor. It was very disturbing to read about a sixteen year old girl plotting to murder another person and having absolutely no qualms about it.



So even the craziest of crazies are written so that the reader can tell the character isn't quite right in the head and that going around murdering people isn't exactly the best way to solve your problems. Fitzpatrick wrote Nora's lust to actually kill her captor like it was the sanest possible decision she could have made.



Anyway, in the end Nora does kill the guy after her and Patch plan to keep him around for eternity to torture. Yes, an eternity of torture. That sounds wholesome, right /s? And instead of being traumatized or at least feeling a little bad that she killed somebody, she actually feels vindicated about it.



Patch is Still the Worst Thing



Patch has always been creepy in these books. In the first book, he was sexually harassing Nora. And somehow she fell in love with him anyway. In the second book, he ignored her completely and hurt her emotionally. And she was still in love with him. In this book, HE REQUESTS Nora's memory be wiped as far back as five months to "protect her". By the end of the book, she still loves him. I don't know if that sounds like an abusive relationship to anyone else, or is it just me?



Despite finding out it was really Patch who took so many of her memories, Nora forgives him within a few days. And here I thought she was so upset about it, considering it was all she talked about for over a hundred pages.



Often during the book, the only thing that seems to keep Nora from dumping Patch's sorry ass is the fact that he's repeatedly described as "hot". In fact, every time Nora goes to touch him, we get a description of his "toned [insert body part here]". It was incredibly nauseating and even after three books, two covers with Patch on them, and a graphic novel coming out, I still have absolutely no idea what Patch is supposed to look like--and I don't give a damn.



The Writing Never Got Better



I tried to understand the sloppy plot devices in Hush, Hush because it was Fitzpatrick's first novel. But the writing never seemed to get any better between the three books. The style is still generic, often repetitious, and Fitzpatrick seems to be in love with plot devices because Silence is loaded with them. YA readers deserve better than this.



Let me talk about devilcraft, because it will be mentioned about a hundred times in the novel as this vague magic thing that came from hell. Basically devilcraft is capable of being used to do anything from erasing memories, to capturing archangels, to making a grilled cheese sandwich. If there was anything in the plot that needed to make sense, but Fitzpatrick didn't introduce it in the first two books, it was always explained as this vague "Devilcraft" thing. It wasn't even hard to pick out as a plot device because it used every damn place the author didn't have an easy way to explain why someone could do something whereas someone else could not.



While we're still talking about plot devices, I hope you like the sound of "mind-tricked" because it's used even more than devilcraft. Basically in moments when the author can't shoehorn devilcraft to explain something, she'll use mind-tricked. Why do strangers refuse to help Nora when she's clearly in trouble and begs them to? They were mind-tricked. Why is Nora's mother even more useless than normal? She's mind-tricked. Why do I always lose a sock on laundry day? I was mind-tricked. Why does this sound like some cheap plot device ripped from Star Wars? Probably some kind of devilcraft or mind-trick.



At the end of the book, it is revealed that Nora becomes a full on Nephilim. She bemoans this at first because she thinks Patch will hate her now that she's not a human and Nephilim are the enemies of the Fallen Angels. I found it ridiculous that the only person Nora seems to be concerned about is Patch. She's only known him for five-six months and instead of thinking about how her mother or her best friend will react, she goes off sobbing about how her deeply disturbed boyfriend might not like her anymore.



With all of this stupidity, do I even need to talk about the sloppy writing style and prose? Here are a few lines you better get used to because you'll see them plenty:



His/Her eyes cut to mine/person/object.



His eyes contained a [verb] edge.




Secondary Characters: A Mixed Bag of Awful



There's really nothing more I can say about Nora's mother being a horrible mother. She's dating a guy that Nora hates. Instead of having a bit of sensitivity for her daughter, she goes ahead and does whatever she wants, pushing forward with her love life and seemingly ignoring Nora's needs. Good mothering job, Blythe.



Marcie Millar is made out to be a bitch in the previous books. At least that's what the author wants us to think. Only in this book, she managed to make Marcie out as the most sympathetic character. Here's a teenaged girl whose parents just divorced, found out her father doesn't love her, and that her entire life has been secondary to some idiot girl with a creepy boyfriend. Between Marcie and Nora, it was Marcie who chose to comfort her mother after a divorce. Contrast this with Nora who acted like a huge ass to her mother, lies to her mother, and at the end of the book leaves her drugged mother at her best friend's house to go sleep over at Patch's place. Priorities, amiright?



Despite Vee Sky being obnoxious in the previous two books, she came off significantly better in this one. For two reasons. 1) Vee called out Patch's name. She said what we were all thinking which was essentially, "isn't Patch a dog's name"? 2) She calls out Nora's insane, illogical lust for Patch. She straight up tells Nora that she only sees the 1% of good in Patch and is blind to the 99% of psychopath in him. It's too bad Vee wasn't saying all this from the beginning.



Speaking of strangely sympathetic characters, Dabria makes another appearance in this novel. Nora's reaction to her is so outlandishly hostile that every time Nora felt jealous, I got annoyed. As a result, I felt really bad for Dabria because the woman wanted to help Patch and willingly did so. Then there's this crazy girl complaining constantly about how jealous she is. The "funniest" part was that Dabria tried to kill Nora in Book 1, but that gets mentioned once or twice by Nora compared to the fact that Dabria and Patch used to be a thing. I always knew Nora had messed up priorities, but COME ON.



Scott Parnell makes another appearance, though his return itself is a plot device. Basically he shows up, gives Nora an infodump, then lives in a cave. I wish I was kidding about the cave thing



I'm Shutting Up Now



So I think I've made this long enough. In the end Silence was much worse than Hush, Hush and Crescendo combined. Nothing happens for the first part of the book unless your idea of delightful Sunday reading involves going over the musings of an underdeveloped character. Then Nora falls into Patch's life again and she goes from annoying to psychotic. I can't think of a single redeeming thing in this entire novel.
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Reading Progress

October 8, 2011 – Started Reading
October 8, 2011 – Shelved
October 23, 2011 – Finished Reading
January 10, 2013 – Shelved as: brain-drains

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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message 1: by Camila (new)

Camila this review made me regrett ever wanting this book.thanks for the heads up.


Sanni Hey, you wrote what I thought! I can't remember having read a book with such an erratic (not to mention crazy annoying, idiotic and whiny) protagonist. And I've read Twilight!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Go crap in a corner.


Mandy I really love the book, and I think people should still read it because everyone's opinion is different. The book is great so it just proves you just don't have a passion for reading. But I would have stressed because I lost months of my life. I guss people don't like mysterious guys who are hot. But date a normal guy with normal looks and do nothing most of the time. But, as negative of this comment I still have the decency to respect your opinion.


message 5: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Thank you for this review. I read the first two books and felt like I wasted my life (which I did)... instead of digging into the third one, I wanted to first know if Nora was still as stupid, ignorant, selfish, and delusional as the last two books. I'm so sorry you had to read something like Silence. Thanks for the review, I'm not wasting another 8 hours of my life on a piece of trash.


message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel @Mandy: Did you seriously just say "it just proves you just don't have a passion for reading"? Are you freaking crazy? Just because this user didn't like a book that you love, doesn't mean that person doesn't have "passion". That just shows how judgmental and ignorant you are.

Oh, and I "respect your opinion". *rolls eyes*


Wynndmill Mandy wrote: "I really love the book, and I think people should still read it because everyone's opinion is different. The book is great so it just proves you just don't have a passion for reading. But I would h..."

I'm not sure where you based this particular observation that I don't have a passion for reading upon. Disliking a book doesn't say anything about a person except that they didn't like the book for the reasons they outline. It's like saying if I don't enjoy the musical stylings of Justin Beiber that I hate all music.


Misanthropist I just started reading this book, but considering how AWFUL the previous two have been, I'm not surprised this is going to be crap as well. Even without the things that apply to this 3rd book in particular, you said the things I've thought about the previous ones too! We'll see what I think when I finish it, but I'm not holding my breath for improvement in this crappy, crappy series. -_-


Alice Elizabeth Agreed, I wasted so much time with this series.


Isabella You have written a beautiful review. This is so accurate. :)


Heyyyyy I totally agree with a lot of your complaints about Nora's selfish, annoying personality. She was bearable in the first two books, but completely inconsistent as a character in this one. The mental illness I hadn't thought about but is also a good point. I also think some of the judgements are too harsh. We can't forget that people are complex creatures who make irrational decisions a lot of the time, especially since most of the characters are in a stressful situation.


Kelley Cortright You took so much of what I felt about this book and put it here. This book was absolutely horrible and I really cannot understand how it has so many high ratings. I can only think they must all be 12 year olds who, once they get a little older, will look back at their 5 star review and wonder how they ever thought so highly of this terrible piece of writing.


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