Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hush, Hush [Review]

Title: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Hush, Hush #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
What They Say:
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...until Patch comes 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 whom 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 far 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.
What I Say:
Because of its ALA Teens’ Top Ten nomination, its sequel coming this October, and the fact that I’m waiting by the mailbox for Mockingjay to get here, I though I’d review this one today. People like to compare this book to Twilight, and I admit there are some weird similarities (Biology Partner of Death, anyone?), but this book brings fantasy and reality together in a way than Stephenie Meyer just couldn’t figure out. You know, like a protagonist who didn’t just step out of an Austen novel? That said…

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Plot: wow
So Nora Grey and also-conveniently-short-named Vee Sky are best friends. When their seats get moved (horror of horrors) in biology, Nora gets a new partner: mysterious new badass Patch. Nora is deeply offended by Patch’s impressive handle on sarcasm and suggestiveness (that’s a word?), so she hates him. Meanwhile, there’s another mysterious new guy (two in one book? This is a first!) Elliot with his mysterious best friend Jules. Charismatic and cute, Elliot is much better match for Nora, or is he? Mean-meanwhile, Nora’s being terrorized (sort of) by a dangerous hooded stalker who’s making her think she’s crazy. As Nora tries to solve Patch’s mystery and Elliot’s mystery and the stalker mystery (so much mystery!), she has to bring all the facts together before she finds herself in grave danger. (Spoiler: she finds herself in grave danger anyway.)

Once this story broke away from its Twilight similarities, I really got into it. If Fitzpatrick does anything, it's keep you interested by adding more and more story elements, not lingering too long on any of them. If you're trying to figure out what's what, you can't really get bored, can you? I'm not sure how the story lends to a sequel, though there is one character left unaccounted for at the end...

Characters: ooh
While I applaud Fitzpatrick for giving us a female protagonist who isn’t a starry-eyed waif or age-inappropriately-poetic, we sometimes fall to the other end of the spectrum with Nora. She’s smart and determined, but she gets all fired up about petty things (like getting her seat changed in biology. Like, calm down!) and acts all superior around Patch without even knowing him (in that preppy-snob way, ehh). However, once we pass that I-hate-you-Darcy! stage (does every little romance have to start like this?), I really like her. She doesn’t whine, she can handle herself, and she’s a pretty genuine teenager. Being a believable protagonist made it easier for me to believe the fantastic parts. Much appreciated.

So I love Patch. Why? First off, he’s a fallen angel (this is only a spoiler if you ignore the front and back cover of this book, my friends). He is the Snark King. Archduke of Snarkland. Head of the mon-snarky. Just because Nora can’t appreciate that doesn’t mean I can’t. And finally a stalker who is actually a stalker. Not just in that Are-you-following-me? way, but in that How-were-those-two-cups-of-OJ-I-saw-you-drinking-this-morning-while-hiding-in-your-bushes? way. I am impressed. Also, finally a guy who calls himself a bad person and is actually a bad person! It’s great! Only thing: I get that Patch is a nickname, but really? It’s kind of terrible. I have yet to meet a Patch that I like (that isn’t, like, a teddy bear with a missing eye).

Vee is our cliché boy-crazy, clothing-obsessed, going-to-have-to-save-her-from-danger-at-some-point sidekick. That said, I like her. She wasn’t exactly comic relief - because she wasn’t exactly funny - but she brought a lightness to the story, which it needed from time to time. And what’s the point of having Supernatural Secrets and Lies if there’s no painfully human best friend to lie to?

Relationships: ooh
Nora and Patch - After the Darcy phase, Nora and Patch are pretty good together. I won’t spoil anything, but when he tells her about the actual events leading up to their almost-first kiss, ohh boy. That's a dark romance, right there. I found it extremely refreshing that, while they have a relationship, they don’t fall in love on fast-forward. In fact, they don’t fall in love at all! It’s great! I didn’t roll my eyes even once; that must be a record!

Special Features: wow
Angels? Awesome. I mean, obviously we’ve all heard about angels before, but I’ve never read a novel with an angel as a main character. At least, not a badass angel. We only get a peek into the whole system in this book, but I’m hoping we’ll see more in the sequel. One thing that bothered me: what the hell does the title “Hush Hush” have to do with this story? I spent maybe an hour thinking about this. It makes absolutely no sense. Is it because she’s keeping a secret?

Parting Quotes:
"You possess other people's...bodies."
He accepted that statement with a nod.
"Do you want to possess my body?"
"I want to do a lot of things to your body, but that's not one of them."
Sometimes these quotes have meanings. Sometimes they just make me laugh, haha.

1 comment:

  1. I've had this sitting on my shelf for a while now. I think it's time I dive in, for sure. Great review! Nice and thorough.