Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, Hush

A SACRED OATHA FALLEN ANGELA FORBIDDEN LOVERomance 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 t...

Title:Hush, Hush
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1416989412
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:391 pages

Hush, Hush Reviews

  • Misty

    NOW WITH SPOILERY RANT @ BOTTOM!

    is the story of Nora Grey, an average high school student going about her business as usual -- until her Biology teacher rearranges the class seating and places her next to the dangerous-looking new kid, Patch Cipriano.  Nora gets a weird feeling from Patch, and things just keep going from bad to worse as Nora becomes convinced that she is being stalked, and may even be the target of murderous intentions.  Add to the list Nora's strange feelings about t

    NOW WITH SPOILERY RANT @ BOTTOM!

    is the story of Nora Grey, an average high school student going about her business as usual -- until her Biology teacher rearranges the class seating and places her next to the dangerous-looking new kid, Patch Cipriano.  Nora gets a weird feeling from Patch, and things just keep going from bad to worse as Nora becomes convinced that she is being stalked, and may even be the target of murderous intentions.  Add to the list Nora's strange feelings about the Archangel ride at the amusement park and her constant near death experiences, and well, Nora's life is becoming anything but average.

    When I finished reading

    , I had to mull it over for awhile.  I really wasn't sure what to say.  I am absolutely enthralled by the cover (athletic looking, darkly mysterious fallen angel, contorted in mid-air in grayscale?  What's not to like?).  I

    to have it because of that cover*.  But I had a sneaking suspicion that a cover that good had to be masking something.  Yep.  It's a bright light to dazzle the eyes and make you *ahem* overlook any faults.

    It didn't work.

    Inside was the most confused, schizophrenic piece of writing I've read in some time.  Becca Fitzpatrick didn't seem to know

    what she wanted, only that it had to be Ominous and Scary and Dangerous -- and Titillating, of course, and Mysterious and Sexy.  So with those buzz words in mind, she threw a bunch of things together and let her narrator, Nora, sort them out. Nora, understandably, had some trouble with this, and the result is a thoroughly frustrating heroine who jumps to insane conclusions based on inane evidence one moment, and the next goes blithely along into obvious danger.

    Patch is intriguing, and perhaps the most consistent character**, and I was fully prepared for an 'anti-hero as the hero' story.  I wanted a little boundary-pushing and a not entirely likeable or trustworthy male lead who may or may not redeem himself, but who gives you the dangerous and alluring in spades.  For the most part, Patch wasn't a let-down in this regard, and as screwed up as it is to like him, he was the stand-out character for me. (Not to say I didn't have issues with him, too.)

    But it wasn't enough.  Patch's bad boy antics couldn't save this book from itself.  It was self-indulgent, cheesy, melodramatic in the worst sense, and confusing. I wanted to like it; I loved the fallen angel premise, the idea of an anti-hero, and bits and pieces of the writing throughout.  But

    suffered from too many villains and too much shock and awe, and not enough thought and follow-through.  Maybe Fitzpatrick can pull it together for round two, and with some strong convincing by trusted, like-minded people,

    (never gonna happen). But this was a monstrous let-down for me.  You've been warned.***

    *We all know how that whole so-pretty-I-just-had-to thing works out.  See my

    on Jo's blog about this.

    **And by 'consistent' I mean he was consistently a douche. Vee was pretty consistent too, and was a lot of fun, but she started to get annoying and a little strange...

    ***You're still going to read it, aren't you?  Damn you, James Porto and your beautiful, beautiful cover!

    ***HERE THAR BE SPOILERS***

    If you haven't read Hush, Hush and intend to, or if you don't want me dissing the melodrama that is Patch and Nora, look away....NOW!

    Commence rant:

    You already know I had issues with this book. I think a lot of people are going to take offense to the idea of Patch as the hero, as teen girls' fantasy, just as they did with Edward in Twilight. Patch goes beyond the simple term "bad boy" in that yes, he does actually mean Nora harm. Consistently.

    I'm not going to go into that, because frankly, I don't care. He can be an anti-hero all he wants, whatever. If that's where the story's going, fine. Most of my issues -- but not all -- lie with Nora.

    Here's the thing:

    Nora is that girl you yell at in the horror movie, the idiot that goes up the stairs instead of out the door, or reaches to turn over the downed bad guy

    . We all know that's frustrating, but we've come to expect it in movies, and that dumb big-breasted, scantily clad girl normally gets killed off.

    Nora is so much more frustrating than that.

    : She continually suspects Patch (and Elliot, and just about everyone else in this story), and with good reason. However, she then continually ignores her instincts and puts herself in danger. In fact, she can't seem to agree with herself. She will think to herself that Patch is stalking her and trying to kill her, and then within pages think 'Oh, but he could never hurt me.' This just cycles and cycles throughout the story.

    Also throughout the story, Nora makes insane jumps in logic -- whether they turn out to be true or not, it's not believable when she immediately jumps to the most bizarre conclusions

    . At the same time, she will be directly confronted with some piece of real evidence, something that would make a normal, non-fictional person take notice and say something's not right here -- and she will completely ignore it. It's like she's being willfully obtuse.

    Examples:

    * Early(ish) in the story, Nora hears a voice in her head and thinks Patch has "breached normal communication methods and could, at will, speak to me without ever opening his mouth." Naturally, she thinks she's delusional. Hearing your name and a few inane comments would make one think they are imagining things, and this I could buy. Even Nora not being exactly sure what happened and being creeped out I could buy.

    , making her look like a loon.

    I wouldn't be even all that bothered by this, if it was consistent throughout the story; if Nora either consistently thought that she was going crazy because of all the implausible things that are happening, I could buy it; if she wanted to prove she wasn't crazy and kept confronting Patch and sleuthing, I could buy it. It would be 1 solid choice on Becca Fitzpatrick's part. She could be the ultra-paranoid girl who thinks she's going crazy and jumps to conclusions about everything. Annoying, but doable. But to present this as if it's normal...and I'm out.

    * Conversely, near the near the end of the story when the shit's really beginning to go down and nearly everyone has become a villain, Nora and Patch walk out of a movie theater to find that "...both the tires on the driver's side were flat: '"I can't believe it!" I said. "I drove over two nails?"'

    O_O

    ???

    She thinks she's being stalked, she thinks her best friend has been kidnapped by a teenaged murderer named Elliot, and by this point she thinks she's the target of not one but two murderous angels, and yet all she can come up with is that she ran over two nails? Come on! If Nora will jump to conclusions on the barest of evidence, how in hell does she not comprehend the obvious?

    * Throughout the story, Nora thinks everyone's out to get her (she's right, but I'll get to that), especially Patch. Patch is Ominous, capital 'O', and yet...And yet, no matter how much Nora thinks he's badbadbad, she trusts him. Why?

    Weirdest of all, when Nora confronts Patch about his intentions,

    ; her reaction? 'I know Patch could never hurt me' -- and she trusts him implicitly from that point on. Really? The whole story, you've suspected him and been insistent that you should stay away on the barest of evidence, but once he's confessed his (albeit previous) intentions of murder, you trust him.

    . Her sudden bizarre trust of Patch comes too late for any real belief in their romance. Or her sanity.

    There is no consistency in Nora's thinking. I just can't understand why Becca Fitzpatrick couldn't pick one Nora to write and stick with her.

    She could have just always thought she was losing her mind; self-doubt would have been interesting, and made her root-forable.

    If she had just been reckless and always convinced that yes, maybe something is a little off about Patch, but she still found herself attracted to him, it would have been interesting, and could have been used to slowly reveal the truth and up Nora's anxiety.

    If Nora had just been naive and always convinced that everything was fine despite any indicators, it would have built tension.

    But combining it all made Nora seem confused and a little off herself, and made the writing seem schizophrenic.

    : Fitzpatrick makes the rookie mistake of lack of restraint. Nora suspects everyone, and everyone does in fact seem to be a villain. This makes the book seem unfocused and sort of cheesy. When everyone is under suspicion, and everyone seems to be a bad guy, it makes it seem like no one really is. It's like if you use a really great word once or twice it's going to stand out. But if every word you use is some great, unusual word, none are going to stand out. There's no negative space, no background to make the focal point pop. Everywhere Nora turns, someone's trying to kill her. It just gets silly after awhile. Also, it has the added negative effect of making it hard for Fitzpatrick to "top" as it were. Where does she go from here? If there are 4 different people trying to kill Nora in book 1, how many people will there be out for blood in book 2? She didn't leave any room to grow the suspense.

    Another bad thing about the amount of villains and Nora's instant suspicion (and the overall over-the-top nature of the book) was that there was precious little suspense. By giving everything away rather freely, Fitzpatrick deprived the reader of the slow build-up and the privilege of the mystery; we never got to have any suspicions of our own, or choose sides. There was too much in the way of ominous overtones, and not enough restraint.

    On a side note, not that I'm calling Vee a villain, but even she became a little weird* as the story went on. It's one thing to be the wild and crazy girl in the best friends dynamic, but constantly trying to get your best friend alone with a guy who she says makes her uncomfortable, who she believes broke into her house and may be stalking her, and who she knows was a murder suspect is reckless beyond the pale, and shitty, shitty friendship.

    *By which I mean she goes from being quirky and funny to a godawful, shitty friend. You know, for no other reason than apparently to help lure Nora into bad/ridiculous situations. Plot device: ☑

    : I saw glimpses in Fitzpatrick's writing that demonstrated how this could have been a good book. She does sexual tension and confrontation scenes fairly well, and there is some good humor. Vee -- in the beginning, at least, before she becomes a really reckless, really bad friend -- was pretty amusing as the traditional sidekick. Patch had great one-liners, both funny and smoldering.

    But for all the occasional good, there was quite a bit in the way of bad. The dialogue was often stilted and weird. The analogies were completely out of left field. They were those turns of phrase that you can tell were used because they sounded cool, or because one was needed, but they don't mean anything, or they leave you thinking wtf? "His eyes looked like they didn't play by the rules." What does that even mean? What rules do eyes usually play by? Does he not blink? This is a mild example, but I got sick of making note of them. I got this really hit-and-miss feel about the writing and the language in the book. Pieces of literary crap mixed in with the really good bits blended to form a "throw it all in and something's bound to work" style. A total lack of finesse made it hard to want to keep reading -- and made me feel like if I kept rolling my eyeballs, they were going to roll right out of my head.

    Rant complete.

  • Kat Kennedy

    How I Would Have Ended It

    *This post was inspired by the fantastic videos over at

    . Italicized text is the original publicized text from the book and is entirely the work of Becca Fitzpatrick.

    This rendition is entirely satire. It is not meant to offend and I mean no discourtesy. I recognize that authors put a lot of time and work into their novels and I am not trying to disrespect that. Writing a novel is hard work and is something I have never done and I certainly don

    How I Would Have Ended It

    *This post was inspired by the fan­tas­tic videos over at

    . Ital­i­cized text is the orig­i­nal pub­li­cized text from the book and is entirely the work of Becca Fitzpatrick.

    This ren­di­tion is entirely satire. It is not meant to offend and I mean no dis­cour­tesy. I rec­og­nize that authors put a lot of time and work into their nov­els and I am not try­ing to dis­re­spect that. Writ­ing a novel is hard work and is some­thing I have never done and I cer­tainly don’t think I could do a bet­ter job. I am sim­ply, with light-hearted inten­tion, using humour and imag­i­na­tion to spark book dis­cus­sion and fun and point out some issues I had with the novel.

    And lastly, please don’t sue me. I have no money. And I have chil­dren to feed. And I have a cat to feed as well. You wouldn’t want a cat to go with­out food, would you? Also, pretty please with a cherry on top. I’ll be your friend?*

    “Okay,” I said, straight­en­ing up and slip­ping out from his over­bear­ing pres­ence to put some space between us.

    “Okay?”

    “Okay, I’m out of here.”

    “You can’t go!” Patch said, his face twist­ing into a con­fused expression.

    “Well, you’ve pretty much admit­ted that you were going to kill me, in a very per­sonal way, might I add. I think that jus­ti­fies a quick and hasty exit,” I spat at him, straight­en­ing my out­fit in indig­na­tion and stand­ing up to him with more con­fi­dence than I felt.

    Patch splut­tered for a moment, blink­ing his eyes dis­be­liev­ingly. “But… I wasn’t… I mean…” he looked lost for a moment before vis­i­bly col­lect­ing him­self and slip­ping back into his usual, con­fi­dent demeanor.

    I arched an eye­brow and stared at him in dis­be­lief. “Well, I have a dif­fer­ent plan, Patch. Mainly revolv­ing around the fact that you pur­posely entered my life in order to stalk, harass and mur­der me for your nefar­i­ous schemes. So I think this would be a pretty good time for you to quit the mys­te­ri­ous bull­shit and be extremely trans­par­ent about every­thing I need to know. I mean, you haven’t even assured me, at this point, that you’re not actu­ally going to kill me. And I don’t mean to harp on this point – but that’s a pretty impor­tant facet of this dis­cus­sion for me.”

    He stalked close to me again, affect­ing a brood­ing, intense expres­sion and caus­ing my heart to thud painfully in my chest.

    I exerted con­sid­er­able effort to con­tain an eye­roll, but it slipped through at the last minute.

    in dis­taste.

    I pressed my finger-tips to his chest. He glanced at the spot where we touched and then back up to my eyes. “If my vocab­u­lary is caus­ing you dis­tress,” I whis­pered huskily, look­ing up to him with a wicked smile on my face, “then let me express my dis­plea­sure in the only way you seem to understand.”

    Patch’s brow creased in con­fu­sion a moment before my heel came down hard on his instep. He hopped back in pain, look­ing at me with both hurt and bewil­der­ment. “Per­sonal bound­aries, Patch. Respect them when I ask you to. See, I have this rule about let­ting would-be mur­der­ers within ten feet of my very stab-able body. Now, tell me. Is Dabria going to be com­ing after me.”

    Patch, mirac­u­lously less inter­ested in encroach­ing on my per­sonal space, shrugged from where he was.

    he looked down at his injured foot and winked,

    “I don’t think I need you for much of any­thing,” I sneered, turn­ing on him and head­ing to the door.

    from behind me.

    “Lis­ten, the only unfin­ished busi­ness we have is between my knee and your crotch if you come near me again.”

    “In fact,” I said as I pulled it out, “you’re going to go away and I don’t ever, EVER want to see your broody, mopey face again. You have for­ever cured me of bad­boys. When this is over, it’s strictly account­ing nerds and bank­ing types for me! This was absolutely the WORST way to pun­ish my mother for her absence, assert my inde­pen­dence and act out my grief from los­ing my father. I should have just stolen money from my mother’s purse and bought alco­hol like a NORMAL teenager!” I pressed the accept but­ton on my cell. “What?!”

    I groaned in dis­be­lief and promised myself that if I sur­vived this, I’d choose friends who weren’t com­plete and utter dumbasses.

    I sighed heav­ily. “That was my brain­less, drop­kick friend phon­ing me to pass along the mes­sage that Elliot and Jules are going to mur­der her vio­lently unless I go meet up with them.”

    “What was that you were say­ing about never again see­ing my broody, mop­ing face?” Patch asked, his con­fi­dence returned tri­fold and an enor­mous grin spread across his face.

    I resisted the urge to smash my face into the tiled wall repeat­edly. “Oh, shut up and come on. I’ll prob­a­bly end up nobly sac­ri­fic­ing myself and sav­ing your ass any­way, so cut the shit, Patch.”

    He unlocked and opened the door, let­ting me out ahead of him.

    “Still going to set­tle for an accoun­tant or banker?”

    “You had bet­ter be so damn awe­some in bed or I am going to stab you through the eye with your own lit­er­al­ized ego.”

    “I have ninety-nine prob­lems, Nora, but per­for­mance in the sack is NOT one of them.”

    The end.

  • Hannah

    About three things I was absolutely positive:

    First, that

    was, without a doubt, one of the worst Twilight rip-offs I've ever had the misfortune to read.

    Second, there was a part of me -- and I didn't realize how dominant that part actually was -- that insisted on reading

    to the bitter end in the hope it would redeem itself.

    And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably wrong in that decision.


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