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Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

I was pretty excited to get a hold of Hush, Hush after I saw the cover, which is completely awesome, and began hearing murmurs of dark goodness floating around the verse. Then I was fortunate enough to win an ARC over at Steph Su Reads. Thanks, Steph and Becca! I'm going to preface my comments by saying that if you really want to know what I thought of this book you should go read Chelle's review over at Tempting Persephone because I agree with every single thing she said. No joke. Chelle and I are often one on our reactions to a book, but this time I feltexactly the same way. In every particular. Unfortunately, in this case, it was a book neither of us loved. We wanted to. But we didn't. Several things got in the way.

Nora Grey is your average high school sophomore. Intent on getting through the year with her grade point average intact and her best friend Vee at her side, she is dismayed to find herself partnered with the broody, mysterious Patch in biology class. Patch seems to delight in intimidating the hell out of Nora. He goads her, teases her, persists in getting to know all her hidden quirks and fears and exploiting them. No one seems to know where he came from or who he really is and, as he continues to pursue Nora, she becomes obsessed with finding some answers to the mystery of Patch and his mercurial smile. Against her friend's, her counselor's, even her mother's advice, Nora spends more time in Patch's questionable company. Bit by bit, as she puts two and two together, Nora develops an impossible theory as to stalkerboy's origins...along with a pretty healthy attraction to her dark shadow.

Let's start with the good. Becca Fitzpatrick displays some solid writing skills in her debut novel. I enjoyed her way with words, the honest and wry observations Nora made about her world, and the deft descriptions of bad boy Patch. And you've got to hand it to Simon & Schuster's packaging job. That's one gorgeous cover, coupled with a killer title given the subject matter of this YA paranormal. Lastly, the whole idea behind this book is top notch. The Paradise Lost fangirl in me loves the notion of fallen angels, struggling to reclaim their former glory and still maintain their fierce independence, tangling their destinies up with mere mortals. It's a recipe for a cracking good story. The problem I ran into was in the characters themselves. Everyone knows I'm a sucker for the bad boys. I'll take Spike over Angel, Logan over Piz, Eric over Bill, and George over Jonathan any day of the week. On the surface of things Patch seemed made to order. Except he never won me over. He was just bad. No boyishness at all, really. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of chemistry between these two. But when he wasn't smoldering, Patch was pretty creepy. And not in a good way. He felt cold, alien, and like your worst stalker nightmare. I was unable to find romance in his meanness and I didn't want Nora to be with him. Unfortunately, I didn't really want him to be with her either. Nora didn't wear any better for me. She felt like a stand-in for a cool character and I couldn't seem to summon the energy to care whether or not she died, fell in love, or passed biology. Not necessarily in that order. The rest of the characters felt annoyingly one dimensional and forgettable and this proved to be the ultimate stumbling block for me. There were also several unfortunate and distracting similarities to Twilight (I'm sorry, but it's just no longer possible to have your smart-but-uncoordinated heroine meet and become lab partners with the dangerously-handsome-and-supernatural-to-boot bad boy in biology class), some strangely pointless plot threads, and an unconvincing denouement. But my lack of enjoyment remained rooted in the unsympathetic characterization. Now, this reaction is mine alone and will certainly not be true for all (or even very many) readers. I see Hush, Hush finding a very fond, dedicated readership (just check out some of the glowing reviews below). As Chelle said, it just wasn't for me.

Comments

  1. I am reading it next. I am TERRIFIED now. LOL.

    and I am sort of really tired of the books drawing comparisons with Twilight. Enough already.

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  2. Great review!

    I agree with you as well. The characters just weren't fun. It needed someone with spirit and laughter. I missed laughing in this book. :(

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  3. Nice review. I'm really looking forward to reading this book, and I'm hoping I'll love it too. Hopefully I'll be one of the ones that like it, because, from the reviews I've read about this book, it seems you either love it or you don't. But thank you fro the heads up! :)

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  4. Anonymous11:56 AM

    Thank God. I thought I was the only one. All I've been seeing is rave reviews, and, even creepier, swooning over the biggest asshole ever to grace the pages of a YA novel. I had to stop reading this book about halfway through because I was afraid it was causing my brain to hemorrhage.

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  5. Frankie and I at the First Novels Club blog did a co-review of Hush, Hush a couple months ago. We both loved it - not that we didn't notice some of the flaws you pointed out, but for whatever reason, they didn't deter our overall opinion of the book. Either way, great review - and I love that you're being so honest.

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  6. I am worried, this is the second review today I have read that was just soso. I hope it is good, since I already preordered it.

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  7. Because of Twilight, any book that I read from now on that involves an uncoordinated girl who somehow attracts a dashing, very poised fellow, will remind me of Twilight. It can be very distracting! Not that I wouldn't still give this book a try if I ever do see it!

    --Sharry

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  8. Hey, Angie! Thanks for the linkage on your blog :) I was also a bit unhappy with the direct connections to Twilight, but I agree - Becca has a nice way with words. And PS: I'll take Eric over Bill, too.

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  9. Fabulous review. You already know I agree since you linked to my review.

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  10. oh, oh the inhumanity of it all! How could you go and give a book such an outstanding cover and title and then ruin it with meh characters??!

    Thanks for the review Angie, I've been waiting on this one too and now I'm nervous to even pick it up.

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  11. Ana, be afraid. Be very afraid. lol. J/k. You may love it. Who knows? I just really, really didn't. And the TWILIGHT stuff made me sad. Shouldn't have been there. Didn't need to be there. But I was unable to overlook it.

    Jessica, that's it exactly! I didn't realize it but I never laughed once. And Vee was clearly supposed to be funny and likable. But there was no humor and no one likable in this book.

    Jenn, I hope you love it, too. I was sad I didn't and hope you don't have the same reaction. It does seem to be a love or hate thing.

    Anon, I hear ya. I was beginning to question my sanity. But there is nothing swoon-worthy about the guy and, as it's all built around him, it fell flat for me. Rich secondary characters would have helped a lot as well, but no dice.

    Donna, thanks. I felt so bad writing this negative review. I'd been putting it off. But I figured I always appreciate a variety of opinions before I jump into a book. And I'm glad you two enjoyed it! I can totally see the potential.

    elnice, you'll just have to see for yourself. Don't take my word. But definitely let me know what you think after you've read it!

    Sharry, it's sad but true. I just think an editor should have caught that. As the storylines were SO similar anyway, a few things like that could have been removed to help distinguish the book.

    saradobie, hey there, and yay for Team Eric! Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed your review and I do plan on picking up a future book by Becca (just not the sequel to this one) because I did enjoy her writing.

    Sharon, right back atcha! I read yours and felt better about my reaction.

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  12. Michelle, I know. The horror! You're welcome to borrow my copy and see what you think for yourself.

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  13. Anonymous8:15 PM

    Great review, Angie. I didn't enjoy this one either, and I was really looking forward to it. Patch was creepy and there wasn't a moment when I felt Nora should trust him. That makes rooting for them impossible. I love the idea of fallen angels, but Hush, Hush didn't satisfy my curiosity about them. Karen S

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  14. Well, the title and cover certain makes this books seem drool worthy. Looks like I'll wait for the paperback on this one, I still would like to give this book a go. I read a similar review over at Book Reviews by Jess.

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  15. *sigh* I was really hoping it would shape up for you. It's such a shame, really, because there is so much potential there. And, like you, I didn't want to write negatively about it and put it off as a result. Sometimes, even if the first book doesn't catch me, I'll still read the sequel; that's not the case here, and for the same reasons you gave.

    On another note, I just read ON THE EDGE based on your review - so glad I did!

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  16. Karen, I was wondering what you'd think of this one. I agree completely. Loved the idea but was disappointed with the execution.

    Donna, they absolutely do. I love the outside. The inside was another matter. But you should definitely give it a shot to see.

    Chelle, grin, I knew you were pulling for me to like it despite your own opinion. But we are one on this one. And I'm gonna wait for the next one she writes not in this series. Done with this one.

    I'm so glad you liked ON THE EDGE! Andrews is pretty great, huh?

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  17. Really? I couldn't get enough of Patch--I really liked not knowing whether he was the villain or one of the good guys. And if it weren't for that, I probably wouldn't have bothered with it at all.

    But you're right--I didn't care about Nora. And I noticed the irritating similarities to Twilight, too--it was really hard not to make comparisons in my review (to be posted in a few days).

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  18. Thanks for the review. I've been intrigued by this novel for awhile, and still plan on reading it but it will most likely be a read from the library.

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  19. Jena, see, there you go. Patch worked for you. And I'm glad. I'm also down with ambiguity in my bad boys, but I actually felt like there was none with him. I saw the lust, but not the love. And I couldn't buy the ending, his atoning for how he'd treated Nora. And since I didn't care about her either...I just didn't care at all. I still wish it were otherwise.

    Christine, definitely read it and see. I will really be interested to hear your thoughts on it because I usually find myself responding similarly to you to characters. :)

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  20. Great Review! I thought I was the only one who dislikes Hush, Hush.


    Peace
    Michelle

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  21. Michelle, you were definitely not alone. There have been a few lately that have reviewed it negatively. Unfortunately, because we all really wanted to love it, but it just did not live up at all to the hype surrounding it. A lot of potential, poor execution.

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  22. I'm sorry you didn't like the book, but I am so glad to find another negative review. I felt like I was losing my mind when I saw that the average review on Goodreads was over 4! Fantastic review!

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