Original review posted here: http://www.yourentertainmentcorner.com/2011/12/book-review-hush-hush-by-becca-fitzpatrick/
So, I read Hush, Hush—which is Becca Fitzpatrick’s first novel—and liked it (with some reservations). I read a few reviews before buying it, and since they didn’t sway my decision to read it, I dove right in. My first thoughts were the cover is beautiful; the story reminds me of Fallen by Lauren Kate—the fallen angels theme, stalkerish tendencies by love interests, etc.—and there are a lot of things that don’t make sense. Yet, I actually enjoyed reading it. But it just so happens that flying through a book in a day leaves little things to be discovered upon a second reading—the odd way people appear out of nowhere; how a character has nothing to do with the story; or the author has absolutely no idea what she is writing about. Hence, this book and it’s fallen angel theme. I’m no expert, but I know a few things about the topic, and this book is not following that train of thought. It tries to, but veers off on a tangent and never gets back on track. To that I say, cool, but make up your own stuff (which Fitzpatrick obviously does). However, you can’t quote scripture from the Bible making readers think your fallen angels are part of those who originally fell, like Lucifer.
Now, on to the meat of the story. I was confused and shook my head quite a bit at the protagonist, Nora. She does things which are completely asinine and I can’t think of any good reason why. Yes, she’s 16—and a sophomore in high school—but still. The whole idea of her mother being away at least once a month for work is questionable. In addition, her unrelenting connection relationship with her best friend Vee is also suspect. The constant reminders of Vee’s weight (she’s curvy/big-boned or any other adjective you’d like to throw in) and her dieting seem like a way to distinguish Vee from Nora at every turn, but not in a good way. And Vee is always eating. Always. Nora annoyed me too but not to the point where I wanted to shake her. (Okay, maybe I did want to shake her—twice.) Vee is supposed to be a good friend yet she constantly talks Nora into doing things she doesn’t want to do. Note, it doesn’t take much to convince Nora to do these things because she has no backbone. Enough said.
The discrepancies are too many to name but I will provide a few. The biology class we get a glimpse into is weird, to say the least. You don’t learn about human reproduction in biology (unless that’s something brand new in high school) and telling said teacher of biology you’re uncomfortable with your partner—to which he does absolutely nothing—is off. It’s pretty much like going to your boss, telling them a co-worker is harassing you and your boss says, “You’ll have to work it out between the two of you.” I can say this for certain because I had this experience and I’m still pissed at my boss for not handling the situation. But I digress. If a teacher won’t do something to protect a student while in school, who will? Not the guidance counselor/psychologist who tells you to stay away from the student who makes you uncomfortable (but doesn’t tell you why) and knows things about you they shouldn’t. Yeah, that happens too.
If any of this is confusing, you’ll understand how I felt while reading Hush, Hush. But here’s the real kicker: I seriously enjoyed the book. So much so, I bought the sequel. I didn’t hate it because I found myself wanting to know what would happen next, but then I was left asking WTF? Nora knows Patch is a bad guy, knows she should stay away from him, yet can’t. Even though she thinks (and is pretty sure) he’s stalking her, she loves likes him. What does this say about her? What is Fitzpatrick saying to her teen readers? If a boy is stalking you or you think he is, he likes you? NO! That’s bullshit. It means he’s crazy and you should stay away from him! Alert your parents; alert the police and any other authority who will listen, except for your biology teacher (I seriously hate the biology teacher in this book). Once you learn who and what Patch is, his consistently showing up where Nora is makes sense. Though it’s still creepy because his intentions go from crazy to ‘huh?’ in zero point two seconds. Don’t even get me started on the age difference between Patch and Nora, because that’s still bugging the hell out of me. But, whatever.
I think this book could have been better—much better. This review would be extremely long (which it’s already close to now) if I listed all the things which need to be fixed in order to make this story great (Nora needs to grow up, stand up for herself, and twenty-five other things; Patch needs to decide whether he’s a bad boy or just bad boy turned good; Vee needs to stick to a diet and if she doesn’t like herself, stop eating donuts six at a time—or not). As it sits, I probably wouldn’t recommend Hush, Hush to anyone who takes everything they read literally. It’s good for entertaining anyone above the age of 18, but skirts the line of ‘What Not to Do When Writing a Novel.’ Take that as you will.