by Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Hush, Hush #1
Publication Date: 13 October 2009
Simon & Schuster BFYR, Paperback, 391 pages
A SACRED OATH
A FALLEN ANGEL
A FORBIDDEN LOVE
Romance was not part of Nora Grey’s plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems 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 she 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 Nora her life.
I wanted to like this book. I really did. Many of my friends have said wonderful things about it and so I thought I should give it a go. Also, since the series have finished, I wouldn’t have to go through agonizing waits. That said, I did not like Hush, Hush. At all. I feel bad saying this but I’m being honest. Sorry if I’ve offended the Hush, Hush fans out there but I do have supporting evidence. I understand that authors put in a lot of effort and time to write a novel, that was what one of the stars was for, and I myself, have not written anything close to book – yet – but I just could not get into the story no matter how hard I tried.
Firstly, Hush, Hush is a book about angels. Fallen angels, guardian angels, Nephilims and all that. I’ve only read a few other trilogies/series about these topics (The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, Unearthly trilogy by Cynthia Hand) and this is the first time Nephilims are portrayed as mostly evil. This didn’t really sit well with me but that was only because I was not used to it, hence, something to be overlooked. However, the whole book felt boring due to the lack of action. It was one of those books that you read 300+ pages of day-to-day life and just about 40 pages of action at the end that sort of reveals everything. Obviously, that irked me as the blandness of the book made me too bored to even look forward to the action-packed ending.
As for the characters, Nora, the protagonist, was your normal 16-year-old with a normal life. Except that her dad died a few months back and she’s gorgeous but doesn’t realise it (can’t help but roll my eyes at this cliché). I was fine with her through the first few chapters but after a while, it got frustrating how she can’t stand up for herself. She’s letting both Vee (her best friend) and Patch push her around. Sure, she complains that she hate their bossiness but she doesn’t do anything about it. Moreover, she’s unnecessarily reckless. So, she knows some creepy person is stalking her but hey! Since the fastest way to a party her best friend’s at is through a dangerous neighborhood, lets take a walk through it! Really, does she have no common sense? It’s almost as if she’s finding every bad situation there is and jumping headfirst into them. You do not want to know how many times I was tempted to stab Nora repeatedly. Please excuse my violent tendencies.
If Nora was stab-worthy, Vee, the best friend, should be burned to death repeatedly. She is completely annoying, uncaring, dumb and did I mention annoying? There’s a clear line between fun wild-child and crazy convict-wannabe. The intended effect was the former, the actual result was the latter. I don’t understand how Vee can even be called a best friend nor how Nora puts up with her. When a drunk boy violently shoves your best friend up against her house and threatens her, you do not make excuses for the boy no matter how drunk he is and then still beg your bestie to go on a camping trip with said guy and his creepy friend. Thank heavens my own best friends are nothing like Vee.
Patch was by far the character I least wanted to attack. But that doesn’t mean I like him. I get that many girls are into the whole ‘bad boy’ thing but Patch isn’t bad-boy hot, he’s just plain bad. He was the sort of trouble I wouldn’t even be tempted to touch. Want a good example of a bad-boy (the irony)? Jackson from Poison Princess by Kresley Cole. Patch was so mysterious, it went overboard and lost the enticing effect. Moreover, the revelation of his ‘love’ for Nora towards the end was completely unsupported and you can’t fall in love with someone by stalking them for months. Let me quote from Requiem by Lauren Oliver, “And you can’t love, not fully, unless you are loved in return.” There was no evidence of the process of them falling for each other. Mutual lust? Check. Sexual tension? Check. But romantic feelings and sparks? Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Zero.
Basically, Hush, Hush was mostly bland apart from the end and filled with characters that lacked personality. I have absolutely no desire to find out what happens as the series progresses because I’d rather sacrifice a sense of closure than go through the misery of reading another book like this one. What happened to strong female leads and adventure? On the other hand, I have to applaud Becca Fitzpatrick on the witty conversations between Nora and Patch at the start of the book. That was one of the only interesting aspects of the novel, I’m sad to say.
I’ve mentioned the action-packed ending at the end but it wasn’t actually very wowing. Sure, there was violence, throwing people around and punches, but it just wasn’t emotionally explosive. The conclusion was abrupt and unfluent. It felt like the start and end of two different stories were pieced together by a toddler – messy and unsatisfactory. Maybe the very last page was supposed to be romantic, with a make out scene. However, it just felt cliché and shallow.
I wished I had better comments for Hush, Hush but I unfortunately don’t. I had high expectations from this book due to the numerous recommendations and am definitely, undoubtedly disappointed. Everything needed more depth and the story-line needs a lot of smoothing out. I won’t recommend this to people who likes their books with an underlying meaning but I’ve heard that fans of Twilight (I’ve never read Twilight after seeing the movies, Bella didn’t seem like my sort of protagonist) would enjoy this read.