Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Review - Hush Hush / Becca Fitzpatrick

Summary - For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Review - Having eagerly anticipated this novel for a few months, I found that the combination of gushing tweets and online reviews tainted my enjoyment of the book. I was expecting a story that would floor me with mystical undertones and a toe curling bad boy. That's not really what I found myself reading.

Bec Fitzpatrick has an intriguing concept in that of a fallen angel attempting to gain something out of his reach. Patch has an interesting back story, one that it set up cleanly in the prologue and then elaborated on later in the story. His current story wasn't all that interesting. He was provided with some smouldering looks, some cool life skills and a need to speak in creepy cliches and yet he didn't really become fully formed in my eyes. Many see him as the ideal bad boy but the depth of emotion wasn't present enough for me to engage with him. Declarations of loyalty and love felt a little off kilter with his actions. I never felt that he "loved" Nora, rather that he wanted or lusted after her.

As evident in the blogosphere, people have gravitated towards these characters. In my case, I found it hard to engage with the characters as I didn't feel that were well rounded or dynamic enough. Vee was a character that infuriated me on the pure basis of her reaction to an incident between Nora and a guy. It's not one that would be expected from any best friend, especially one who has been touted to be the best best friend ever. Nora herself is a little blah but that's how she's set up from the beginning. At times she resembled a blindfolded nincompoop as she wandered through the truly bizarre situations that were occurring to her. To be honest though, there is no good way to react to enforced visions, sleazoid boys and a couple of attempts on her life. She's got it rough. Her father has recently deceased, her mother works all the time and she's got one friend. Her grief at her father's recent death could have provided the character with a great grounding for the events that occur but it's never really explored.

Hush Hush has a fantastic premise, some action packed scenes filled with shadowy dread and a guy that makes most girls go weak at the knees. It's a fun read, one that takes one teen girl's grief, desertion and loneliness and takes it to a spooky place.

Published: November 2009
Format: Paperback, 400 pages
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Aust.
Origin: USA
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prophecygirl said...

This is a realy good review, Adele. I love how the blogosphere has different opinions on books - I personally loved Hush, Hush, but I do still agree with some of your points.

I found Patch to be a pretty rockin' bad boy, and thought his character was well formed. Nora wasn't my favourite, but I still really enjoyed her voice, and thought her actions, for the most part, were expected.

At least it has an amazing cover, eh?!

MySharonAnne said...

Yes! It is such a relief to see more non gushing reviews of this book.

"I never felt that he "loved" Nora, rather that he wanted or lusted after her." agreed and I stated as much in my review. It was obvious that he just wanted to jump her bones and I never got any sense of loving feelings.

Vee drove me nuts too and ditto with Nora. It was like, dumb and dumber. Great review!

kate.o.d said...

ah, a boring girl and a smouldering boy and their love that has no real basis ...sounds like twilight! no wonder it's being lapped up.

great to hear honest reviews. i haven't read it (and probably won't) but a co-worker really liked it.

keep your eye out for 'beautiful creatures'. it'll appeal to the same crowd.

Sandy said...

I personally loved Hush Hush but I do agree with the points you brought up in your review. Vee wasn't the best friend ever but she did give make me laugh at some of the things she said. I know that Becca's planning to better explain Nora's father's death in Crescendo... I can't wait for that! :D

Angiegirl said...

I enjoyed your review, Adele. Mine went up today and I agreed on pretty much every point with you. I couldn't stand Patch. Given how you and I enjoy our bad boys, I thought he was a real let down. He was nothing but a creep. Boring Nora. Wanted to kill Vee. I had been looking forward to this one and was sad at how it played out.

brizmus said...

Oh, why did you have to say that?!?
Does this mean that I'm also not going to like it as much because of the high expectations I haev of it.

Thao said...

I've read this book yet but I'm eager to because of the different ideas of the bloggers. I want to see how much I'll love Hush Hush.

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Adele, you've been SPLASHED by The First Novels Club! Come check out your award:)

Anonymous said...

I think you're completely utterly, totally wrong!!! I thought that the book was amazing in every single way possible. I totally and completely thought Patch was the very image of a bad boy and that Nora fit in perfectly with the whole story. This book is awesome in every way imagineable. and i think that you're a jerk.

Anonymous said...

There is no need for name calling are we 12?.. Adele is entitled to her own opinion.
Personally I am quite excited about reading this one.

Adele said...

Thanks for commenting Anon 7.30am! While I regretfully disagree that the book was "awesome" - everyone is entitled to their own opinions, reading is subjective after all. I think I explained why my opinions weren't gushy but it doesn't mean I hated the book. Or that I am a jerk.

If you don't want to read constructive and sometimes critical reviews then perhaps you need to strike me from your Google Reader. Thanks for taking the time to drop by.

Michelle Zink said...

I haven't read Hush, Hush yet (though I plan to!), but I feel that this review is fairly and sensitively worded. At no point does Adele personally attack the author or her talent (of which I'm certain there is plenty).

I find it sad that someone finds it necessary to comment anonymously by throwing around personal insults in response to a simple - and prior to that, respectful - difference of opinion. And the Anonymous button is a friend to the coward anyway, in my humble opinion.

In order for the blogosphere to remain relevant, it's necessary to get a realistic view on things. Otherwise, what's the point in reading? If we already KNOW it's all going to be good, why bother reading the reviews?

I still plan to read Hush, Hush. But I also come to Adele's blog BECAUSE I know that she is honest in representing her opinions. Most of us read reviews to get a big-picture view on a book - not as a way to rule out reading a book on the basis of one review. If the review isn't glowing but still seems fair and well-rounded like this one, I'll probably read the book anyway. If anything, I'll be more curious and more anxious to reconcile my own opinion with the varied opinions of reviewers.

Anyway, my book has taken its share of hits in the blogosphere, but I'm always grateful that no one feels it's necessary to jump in and "defend" my book's honor by making it personal. You wouldn't be doing me any favors, you know?

Well-written review, Adele.

And I look forward to reading Becca's book!

Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

I personally loved this book, but I can see your reasons of why you didn't like it. And I don't think you're a jerk for stating them since that's what a book blog is all about ;)

I'm still on the fence about Patrick's feeling for Nora. But I was told by the author that's a good thing which kind of made me raise my eyebrows a bit. I guess I'll find out why in the sequel.

Diana Dang said...

Thanks for your honest review!

JK said...

Hm...I hadnt thought of the aspect you pointed out, where it doesnt seem like Patch really loves Nora, he just lusts after her. That's a great observation. Personally I thought it would've been a pretty good book but the ending fell short for me. It was a bit too cheesy.

Rhiannon said...

I felt such tremendous relief reading this reveiw! I rushed out and bought Hush Hush and whipped through it in a couple of days, only to find myself mystified enough at the end that I had to double back and read it again to see if i missed something. But no, I had missed nothing unfortunatly!
I couldn't see the turning point or even why there was a supposed turning point in the Patch trying to kill/loving Nora story line. I also couldn't stand Vee, like wanted to skim her parts disliked.

I decided that I had to give this book some air and come back and read it at a later point and then review it to see if i feel the same. Like Need, although I'll read the next book, I didn't love the first and had to wonder what the authors editor was thinking.

Nat said...

Agree 100% with this review. Patch lusted after Nora, but I didn't feel the love. I also didn't like how Nora keeps saying "no" and it's taken as a yes---felt like that sent a bad message to teens. I read this one twice thinking I was too critical the first time around and had the same problems the second time too.

And boo to the anon person who called you a jerk!

Snark and White said...

I've been searching for YA blogs to read, and this entry made me hit the "follow" button. So glad you are not buying the romance in this book. Patch is a creep! I don't agree with what I've read of your opinions on other books, but thus far I think you defend your opinions well!