“I want to wake up with you every morning and fall asleep beside you each night…I want to take care of you, cherish you, and love you in a way no other man ever could. I want to spoil you-every kiss, every touch, every thought, they all belong to you. I’ll make you happy. Every day, I’ll make you happy.” -Patch
Admit it, if you’re a girl, you would want a guy to make that promise, even if it is cheesy. Girls worldwide will swoon in the arms of Patch Cipriano. Forget Edward Cullen. He is so 2005.
“Love Has No Finale,” the name of Becca Fitzpatrick’s book tour, implies that love will overcome all. Finale, the last book in her four-book series concludes the epic forbidden romance of Nora Grey, average girl turned leader of the Nephilim (descendants of the offspring of angels and humans) army, and Patch, a fallen angel who will do anything to protect her. More like a guardian angel, don’t you think? Well, if you’ve been keeping up with the Hush Hush series, he used to be her guardian angel.
The finale begins with Scott Parnell, Nora’s childhood friend and Nephil, clearly stating that he sees Nora as a sister. The possibility of a love triangle dissolved before the reader could turn to page 5. Also, Nora’s best friend, Vee is obsessed with Scott. In the world of girl code, Nora could not touch him even if she met him first because her best friend has dibs on him. So no love triangle here, folks. It follows a common genre trope in Young Adult literature, but not really. Readers are roped in to believe that Nora could never live without Patch, her true love. There is simply no one else.
However, Fitzpatrick introduces Dante Matterazzi, Nora’s personal trainer and a respected Nephil, to rile Patch. Nora and Patch cannot end up together until the very end. If they were happily together so soon, then there is no story. In order for the Nephilim society to respect Nora as a leader, she misleads them to think that she is dating Dante. Also, it would be too convenient and predictable if Nora and Patch were together all the time (even though they do sneak around a lot). Since we can’t have a real love triangle, let’s just pretend that the Nephilim army will believe in this ploy.
Other than the romance driving the story, Nora also undergoes an identity change. The protagonist undergoing a change, emotional and or physical, is also commonly practiced in YA lit. In the previous novel, Nora makes a blood oath (to lead the Nephilim army to war against the fallen angels) to her dying, evil father and ex-leader of the Nephilim army, Hank Millar, in exchange for Patch’s life. But Nora planned to keep peace between the fallen angels and the Nephilim (c’mon, like that was a possibility). Due to a turn of events, she begins to believe that the fallen angels should not have the right to inhabit the bodies of the Nephilim during the Jewish holiday of Cheshvan or ever. Even though she was reluctant to follow her father’s orders, she changes her mind nonetheless.
To further her character development, Nora is also led down a dark and treacherous path. But as the heroine of the story, she learns from her mistake. This experience allows her character to grow and also serves as an instance in which Fitzpatrick provides an example of how doing the wrong thing is normal for teens. Sure, Nora is Nephil, but she was once human. Strength and power does not mean that Nora will be perfect.
Fitzpatrick successfully develops a character arc, but falls short of delivering the anticipated battle as the climax. The long-awaited epic battle between fallen angels and Nephilim fails to live up to its hype, which does not take place until page 421, lasting for less than twenty pages. Since its first page, the book hypes up this battle, but it felt like waiting for Christmas to come, but then finding the wrong presents under the tree.
Yet Fitzpatrick’s ability to surprise the reader with plot twists stands out. I did not see the unexpected events, but they do involve the people closest to Nora. I cannot help but warn you that jealousy and betrayal follows war. (Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the rest for you).
But let’s get to the most important issue at hand (finally!) Fitzpatrick poses the grand question, “will love conquer all?” Authors of YA novels that build a romance for four books are not going to disappoint the readers. They know better.
Romantics root for Nora and Patch despite uncertain and gloomy circumstances. Readers may add “Nora and Patch” to the Most Famous Couples Throughout History mentioned in the novel’s Halloween party. Kudos to Fitzpatrick’s publishing team for releasing the novel a week before Halloween.
And of course, the sexiness and allure of Patch never fails to enrapture the attention of the reader. From his mysterious and daunting presence to his over-protectiveness and his joyride motorcycle, Nora falls deeper and deeper in love with Patch. (But so do I…)
Patch’s tracking devices on Nora’s jacket and phone are presented as a way for him to reach her in case she is in trouble. In the 21st century, if any person were found plotting a device on another, boyfriend or no boyfriend, it is known as stalking. But in Maine, where danger lurks around each corner, Nora happily obliges because Patch cares enough about her safety to no end. He’s an angel, and an angel protects, even if it means using tracking devices.
Despite Patch’s insistent protection, Fitzpatrick purposely leaves him out in Nora’s chance in defeating evil. Patch’s absence allows the female heroine to prove that she can fend for herself. After meeting Patch and losing not one but two fathers, Nora’s stronger than she looks. Her character’s obstacles in the previous novels make the stakes much higher in Finale.
But let’s get down from cloud nine (had to include the angel reference) and return to reality. Readers, pick up Finale, the last installment of the Hush Hush series, if you want an epic love story (and if you have read the other three books!)