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Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush

October 12, 2009

123. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (2009)
Fallen Angels, Book 1

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.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing

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.**

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50 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2009 11:44 pm

    I so enjoyed reading your review. I haven’t read the book, but based on your description, I think I might react similarly to you. Patch sounds like quite the creep.

    • October 18, 2009 7:13 pm

      charley – I certainly thought he was, but then, I’ve never been a girl who goes for the bad boy.

  2. October 13, 2009 2:28 am

    This is the second review I’ve read of this book and you both say the same thing about it – essentially it’s the kind of book you do not want teenage girls to read and take to heart but sure that they will. So sad. :(

    • October 18, 2009 7:14 pm

      Peta – I’ve mostly gotten over my urge to take aside every 12-year-old I see reading Twilight aside and have a Serious Talk About Boys and Girls… but this might rekindle it.

  3. October 13, 2009 4:41 am

    I could not agree more. I was outraged as well with this book!

    • October 18, 2009 7:15 pm

      Ana – I can’t believe I missed your review. I’ll have to rectify that!

  4. October 13, 2009 6:49 am

    This is so disappointing. I didn’t like the parts of Twilight that are exactly how you describe. I have a review copy of this, but I’m not looking forward to it now.

    • October 18, 2009 7:16 pm

      Meghan – Oh, I’m sorry. Hopefully I was just having a cranky day and you’ll have a better time with it than I did. And, if nothing else, the font’s huge, and there’s all of about 12 words per page.

  5. October 13, 2009 7:21 am

    I was so looking forward to this one. yet another disappointment to add to the pile in the wake of Twilight.

    -Aimee
    http://www.myflutteringheart.blogspot.com

    • October 18, 2009 7:16 pm

      Aimee – There does seem to be a flood of them, doesn’t there?

  6. October 13, 2009 8:02 am

    I had a feeling this book wasn’t for me and you just confirmed it. Thanks for the great review.

  7. October 13, 2009 8:40 am

    Wow. Ick. I’ve seen this book around but I guess I forgot anything I’d heard about the plot. I really love the cover! They couldn’t have saved that cover and given it to a more excellent book?

    • October 18, 2009 7:18 pm

      Jenny – I love the cover too… although it amuses me that the guy kind of has Robert Pattinson’s hair. I wonder if that was intentional?

      …Plus, he’s got a belly button, which seems incorrect. :)

  8. October 13, 2009 9:21 am

    I agree with the Ick response. What a shame for girls to perpetuate this kind of idea.

    • October 18, 2009 7:19 pm

      rhapsodyinbooks – Yeah, I just don’t get the appeal of guys like that, and guess I never will.

  9. October 13, 2009 1:03 pm

    I think if I read this it will be through the library… Reviews are too all over the place!

    • October 18, 2009 7:20 pm

      Kailana – It’s true, it seems like there are plenty of people who really loved it, so your luck might be better than mine.

  10. October 13, 2009 2:15 pm

    Loved this book, hated twilight, where Bella was just utterly lacking in any kind of self image and was completely irritating Nora was occasionally frustrating. But hey, I wasn’t a paragon of good sense at that age, so why should she be. As for Edward vs Patch, E is supposedly in love from the get go and then stalks her, Patch is stalking Nora for entirely more sinister reasons, which makes some sense at least. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • October 18, 2009 7:22 pm

      hagelrat – It makes more sense as to why Patch vs. Edward was stalking the female lead, but it makes far less sense as to why said female lead eventually bought into it.

  11. October 13, 2009 5:40 pm

    I don’t think the teenage girls reading these books will know what the word “posthaste” means. I don’t know what a strong enough synonym would be though. Quickly and “as soon as possible” just don’t seem too weak.

    • October 18, 2009 7:24 pm

      Cara – “As fast as your UGG-booted feet will carry you.”?

  12. October 13, 2009 8:43 pm

    They may not know “posthaste” now but they’ll understand “repent at leisure” down the road if they try to have a relationship with a guy like that. Most likely, they’ll settle for the nice solid family guy and then die of boredom down the road and wish they’d gone for the bad boy. Either way….bad news.

    Hmm. I think I had cynical for breakfast today.

    • October 18, 2009 7:25 pm

      Carrie – Hee, hee, I’d totally buy a box of Cynical Flakes.

  13. October 14, 2009 3:39 am

    Hmmm, I wondered about this one. I’ll probably skip it.

  14. October 14, 2009 4:37 pm

    I have this one for review too…but haven’t gotten to it yet. I hope I enjoy it, but I’m sure you’ve raised some valid points about the book. Thanks for the honest review.

    • October 18, 2009 7:25 pm

      Serena – I’ll be interested to hear your take… reviews really have been all over the map.

  15. October 14, 2009 8:56 pm

    I wouldn’t read it at all (I’m very anti-twilight.) So even with the cool cover No.

    • October 18, 2009 7:26 pm

      fyrebyrd – Yes, for the Anti-Twilight crowd, this is a definite Pass.

  16. October 17, 2009 10:56 pm

    I’ve got some misgivings about this book. I’ve read a lot of good reviews, but the whole abuse angle really puts me off. I had a lot of trouble with the abusive stuff in TWILIGHT, and it sounds like this is about seventeen times worse.

    • October 18, 2009 7:27 pm

      Memory – Let’s put it this way… in bitching about this book to some friends, I actually caught myself describing Edward Cullen as “comparatively not that bad.” *shudder*

  17. October 18, 2009 10:22 pm

    Great review! The more reviews of this book I read, the less likely I am to read it. The way you talked about it reminds me of what I didn’t like in Twilight, and I’ve read a few other reviews making similar comparisons… so all in all, I think that’s not for me. Your opening line (Angels are the new vampires, but stalking still just isn’t sexy) is great, by the way! And I agree, stalking : not sexy!

    • October 18, 2009 10:25 pm

      Kay – Not romantic, either, but that didn’t fit in the haiku. :)

  18. October 21, 2009 6:11 am

    Totally with you on this, although I wasn’t quite as outraged as you about the stalking thing – but the way I figured it was that Twilight made it seem so super romantic that it’s a given other books will try the same thing. I just sit and shake my head in lost hope at a world of girls that actually fall for it.

  19. Johanna permalink
    December 14, 2009 8:48 am

    Awww…along with Leviathan, this was on my wishlist. Mainly because the cover, too, was quite attractive.

    Now that you describe the abusive parts of the book, I’m ambivalent about it. It’s just a shame that the story itself isn’t as great as its cover.

  20. Celia permalink
    May 17, 2010 8:48 pm

    I am probably the first one here to admit that I really like Twilight but it doesn’t make me like Hush, hush. I know normal girls do sometimes stupid things but Nora nearly only does that.

    And I won’t even talk about the freaky Patch.

  21. July 28, 2010 1:28 pm

    Awesome review! I agree 100000000000% percent!!! Here’s my review:
    http://idsoratherbereading.blogspot.com/2010/04/15-stars-book.html

    I was beginning to think I was the only one who felt this way…so glad I’m not.

  22. sammi permalink
    October 5, 2010 5:09 pm

    well i have read the twilight series and many others since that and i am sorry to disagreee with the review but i have read hush hush and found it enjoyable and have pre ordered the second one, i think that anyone who reads this after reading twilight need to FORGET about twilight, its totally not the same. as for the stalking refernces i think thats a joke, every girl who reads this book hope that somewhere out there, there is a patch for them :D so i highly recomend this book for all those who can seperate there feeling for twilight and look at it as an individual story.

  23. mandi permalink
    December 16, 2010 7:03 pm

    i havent read the book yet but i have read some excerpts from the book. i think its pretty interesting from why i read but i probably wouldnt but it after reading this . i think i’ll read it threw the library instead.

  24. Kat permalink
    December 31, 2010 6:07 pm

    Yeah, I read this book. I read your review and I was like ‘Yeah, stalking isn’t romantic.’ xD. But I found Patch irresistible. I want to read the next book. 8D

  25. Christina permalink
    January 6, 2011 6:56 pm

    This book is very dangerous and sexy.. I love it because its not the same as twilight! plus by the way your describing Patch I think hes a lot sexier than Edward! I got Hush Hush from my parents for Christmas I didn’t think i was going to read it because I am not a big fan of reading but once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down! I secretly wonder what if I had the chance to date a secy guy like Patch hmm I think that would be a dream come true lol!

  26. January 8, 2011 12:52 am

    I agree with you. Unfortunately after reading Crescendo, I think I am on the Hush Hush train a little more. The first book was a little pathetic in it’s attempt to create a love story with uninteresting Nora and bad boy Patch who just like you said, gives people the creeps. The only thing I think the book has that makes it interesting is the mystery factor. But, your review was very interesting and gave me a different insight on it. I hope that my reviews will be as inspiring and insightful as all of yours seem to be.

  27. Latasha jones permalink
    February 28, 2011 4:57 pm

    I can nt wait 2 rd it my hrt is poundin I dnt no why I would dO if I was her. Would i try 2 stay away frm him or would I gt closer 2 him?

  28. Sasha permalink
    October 7, 2011 4:51 am

    I love this book and love how this is different from any books i have read because it makes your wonder is there anything out and keeps you dreaming and dreaming that one day you might found your even own Patch.

  29. Haylee permalink
    March 31, 2012 2:56 pm

    I read the book and I thought it was amazing. :/ It isn’t a COMPLETE Twilight copy. I’m getting really sick of everybody relating EVERY book to Twilight. Not trying to troll or flame there, just saying. But everyone does have their own opinions, so….

    I do have to agree on the part of Nora going against her instincts and getting closer to Patch. I hate when characters do that unless something really good comes out of it.

  30. Meggy permalink
    April 30, 2012 4:33 pm

    i Disagree i seriously loved this book so much i couldnt put it down im doing a book report on it right now

    • Meggy permalink
      April 30, 2012 4:34 pm

      plus i thought Patch was very sexy

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