Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, Hush...

This book is sort of difficult for me. I originally called it cute but I am not quite sure if that is the right word for it.

First of all, I love the cover. I mean, who wouldn't?  It's perfectly dark and a little bit twisted. The feathers are beautifully rendered and it seems intensely emotional.  Is it the fall of an angel?  Is it an angel being ripped apart?  Who knows.  It is really well done and gives me the impression of a slightly twisted book.

I was expecting something a little bit darker, judging by the cover. I think I was expecting a little bit more of a horrible world ending thing to be happening but I misjudged it. That's not to say that scary bad things aren't happening, but it just wasn't on a similar scale.

Nora is a good girl. She gets things done and writes for her school newspaper. Her mother trusts her to leave her at home pretty much alone for days on end. Her best friend, Vee, is a bit of a wild child but still has her best interests at heart. She has the appropriate amount of fun for a normal teenager.  No drugs, no crazy parties, no wild sex with random strangers.  She is normal and well balanced for the most part.

Then Patch comes into the picture. And terrifying things start happening.

After a few heart attack inducing scares, Nora starts to wonder about her sanity. Is she imagining all of this or is it really happening? Maybe she is just over reacting...but maybe it is something much more fantastic that is going on.

Do not read this book expecting intense depth of character and a bulletproof plot line. There are mistakes and it is all a bit disjointed. But don't you remember high school? Not everything is perfectly linked together and that's what make this work for me. Some of the characters are shallow. Vee is a good example. And her shallow nature gets them into trouble so I guess that is a good moral to the story.  

You expect to see shallow or vapid characters in young adult books.  They are necessary in many ways but I wish the author had developed the supporting characters more.  It seemed like a cop out that Nora's mother isn't in the picture.  If you don't want the characters to have parents around, why not send them to a boarding school so you can skip that step?

Patch is sold as the bad boy but it doesn't really feel like he is truly bad. He reminds me of Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You.

Sure, he acts like he is all tough with his smart ass remarks, tough attitude and standoffish persona but he is really a marshmallow underneath. Patch is a lot like that, in my mind. Sure he rides a motorcycle and likes to dress in all black but it never really felt like he was a truly "dangerous" guy in any sense.

We never really see him get in trouble. That's what cemented it for me. Anybody can ride a motorcycle.  Anybody can dress in black and wear a ball cap and lurk in the background.  That doesn't make them anything.  It is just an image.  Your actions define your character and Patch frankly fell short of the bad boy he was supposed to be.

Nora seems like she is easy to peer pressure into things and that made her a somewhat weak character. But, once again, look back to your own high school experience. Someone that was pushed into things was not necessarily a bad person. They just couldn't say no easily to their friends and they suffered for it. Nora is hurt but her friend pushing her around but we all had that friend and that didn't mean we loved them less.

The paranormal aspects of Hush, Hush aren't perfect but they work. It's not like you expect this book to be real in any way (I'm still waiting on my Hogwarts letter, by the way) but it works in this context. The beauty of a well written book is that when you read it, there is no reason in your mind that it didn't actually happen. While this book does not achieve that, it is a decent read and I enjoyed it.

I'll keep reading this series but it is nothing to fangirl over or write home about. Better than Twilight though. Much better.

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