Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush
Hush, Hush is published by Simon & Schuster and will be released tomorrow, 13 October 2009.
Length: 392 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy; I’m sure it’s supposed to be Paranormal Romance, but since I don’t find stalking romantic, we’re going to stick with just YA Fantasy.
Started: 11 October 2009
Finished: 11 October 2009
Where did it come from? From the publishers for review.
Why do I have it? I was hoping for good teen paranormal romance, alas.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 28 July 2009
Angels are the new
vampires, but stalking still
just isn’t sexy.
Summary: When Nora is assigned a new partner in biology class, she’s pretty unhappy. She’s even more unhappy when her new partner, Patch, seems to know all of her secrets… while clearly hiding more than a few of his own. Patch seems like nothing but trouble, and more than a little dangerous, but he won’t leave her alone, and despite herself, Nora finds herself falling for him. But she begins to suspect that Patch isn’t exactly human… and that there might be more to his pursuit of her than meets the eye.
Review: When I first got this book, read the back cover, and realized it was a straight-up Twilight clone, I was very afraid it was going to be equally silly or rage-inducing, or possibly both. Still, I was hopeful – I thought the same about Wicked Lovely and wound up loving it, so I was willing to be surprised again.
I should have trusted my instincts the first time.
…which, ironically enough, is my main problem with the book. To back up a little bit: Patch is stalking Nora. Nora a) realizes that he is stalking her; b) can sense that he is Bad News; c) knows that she should run screaming in the opposite direction; but d) doesn’t, because he’s also sexy and alluring. Roughly every other paragraph contains some variation on the following internal monologue: “Patch is stalking me. But he’s hot! But he’s dangerous. But dangerousness is sexy! But I’m having serious misgivings about this situation. But he’s really, really hot!”
The idea that anyone would treat Nora and Patch as romantic ideals is what’s making me so angry. I really wish these books came bundled with a copy of The Gift of Fear, or at least with warning stickers that say “ATTENTION GIRLS: If a guy in real life makes you feel threatened or creeped out, no matter how hot he is, get the hell away from him posthaste.” And I’m sorry, but if a guy was physically blocking me from leaving the room, manhandled me up against a wall, and kissed me with his hands wrapped around my throat? “Little shivers of panic and pleasure shot through me.” would NOT be my first reaction. Pleasure?!? That’s not sexy, that’s sexual abuse.
Even divorcing myself from all of the gender politics issues I had with this book, it was still only a passable read. In its favor: it was a very fast read, and I did stay glued to the pages (mostly waiting for Nora come to her senses.) However, I felt like the pacing was off – we got few to no hints about what was going on, or what Patch’s real story was, until almost the very end – and then there was a rush of exposition that didn’t entirely make sense, and then the book ended. I didn’t really connect with the characters, to the point where I had forgotten Nora’s name less than 24 hours after having finished the book. There are some subplots and mythological details that aren’t worked in particularly well, and a number of small but important-seeming details (Nora’s mental connection to her best friend, the persistent fog around her house) that are brought up occasionally but never explained. The writing itself was mostly innocuous, if somewhat repetitive, although it did contain a few utter howlers (“His eyes looked like they didn’t play by the rules.”)
Of course, my feminist moral outrage about this book’s glorifying of sexual harassment is going to matter not one whit in terms of the number of copies it sells. Twilight fans in all their legions are going to snap it up, since it’s essentially the same book. I just hope most of them use their heads and trust their instincts a little more than does Hush, Hush‘s narrator. 2 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Pass, unless you’re feeling the need to get angry and morally righteous about something.
Other Reviews: Bogormen, Book-a-Rama, The Book Lush, The Book Smugglers, BookMagic, Boy With Books, Dog-Eared and Well-Read, The Eclectic Reader, Frenetic Reader, Harmony Book Reviews, In Bed WIth Books, Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf, Lost in Books, Muse Book Reviews, My Favourite Books, The Neverending Shelf, The Page Flipper, Persnickety Snark, Read This Book!, Reader Rabbit, Reading Keeps You Sane, Reverie Book Reviews, Reviewer X, Stephanie’s Confessions of a Book-a-holic, The Story Siren, Tales of a Ravenous Reader, Tez Says, Today’s Adventure, Unmainstream Mom Reads, Violet Crush, Vulpes Libris
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.
First Line: Chauncey was with a farmer’s daughter on the grassy banks of the Loire River when the storm rolled in, and having let his gelding wander in the meadow, was left to his own two feet to carry him back to the château.
Cover Thoughts: This, I actually really like. It’s very eye-catching, and the black and white makes it very evocative… even more so when you realized the uppermost feathers have a blood-red tinge.
**All quotes are from an advance copy and may not reflect the finished text.**