Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

2 Stars. (Young Adult - PNR)

I really wanted to like this one. I know the reviews are VERY mixed but I always make up my own mind about things because sometimes my tastes are very different. I wasn't a huge fan of Twilight so when other reviews complained of too many similarities I was weary but also keen to see if maybe Fitzpatrick could write something similar but do it better.

This book started out well. I was intrigued by the narrator, by the setting and the people. There was a real sense of normal vs. something very eerie and mysterious at work. Fitzpatrick did a great job of pulling readers into the suspense without giving too much away. Of course from the back blurb you know going in what Patch is, but its all the other weird events going on in Nora's life that are left unexplained. How are they all connected? and what do they have to do with Patch?

These questions were enough to keep me reading but not enough to make me love this book. I felt all the way through that there was such potential that wasn't being reached. The meat of the story was there but it was almost like the author didn't quite know how to pull it all together in a believable way.

Nora was a nice narrator, she wasn't annoying or frustrating, she was sweet and naive at some points and tough and go-getting in others. She seemed like a normal girl you'd meet in high school, not popular, not bitchy, not particularly whiny or snotty. Average but cute and someone you wouldn't mind knowing. Patch was suitably mysterious and kind of edgy but really fell short of the "ultimate bad boy" Fitzpatrick claimed to have written. I've read a lot of YA and a lot of fiction with bad boys and Patch isn't exactly in their league. He's on his way but not dark or dangerous enough. I couldn't really ever get a clear shake on his personality or what he was trying to do. Was he trying to scare Nora or pull her in? He wasn't as well realized as he could have been.

The story also fell flat for me when it came to Nora and Patch's relationship. The mystery of the who, what, when and why almost had me intrigued enough for the relationship not to matter but it became such a focus for Nora that I couldn't ignore it. Which was also weird. The first meeting between Nora and Patch was strained and she seemed not to like him, but then he began to continually consume her thoughts.
Patch is supposed to be dangerous and there are several moments all through out the book where Nora accuses him of some pretty serious and messed up acts and yet she claims in the same breath to really like him. She can't shake her attraction to him and all the while I'm thinking "why?", "when did you start to like him so much? When he was supposedly beating people up, or supposedly stalking you?" It seemed really silly and I thought that I had missed some key moment of interaction between them which would have believably perked Nora's serious interest in Patch. The moments were there where I could see an attraction build but it seemed unrealistic that Nora would like him given her inability to trust him. In the real world if you were ready to accuse someone of violent acts I doubt you'd be thinking about making out with the guy. Also, in the real world if you accused someone of violent acts I doubt he'd be receptive to dating you. Nora has no idea Patch is anything other than a normal teenage guy, so it seemed weird that she'd be comfortable calling him out on stuff. How did she know he wouldn't think she's nuts, or just get pissed with her for accusing him of wrong doing?

The setting was interesting and could have been a real asset to the story, but I wanted more description.
The characters waffled and weren't consistent and problems and dramatic events were too easily explained away or dismissed. 
The fact that Nora is being forced to see the school psychologist because of her father's murder was also a huge missed opportunity. Nora never seemed to suffer because of her dad's loss. She barely ever reflected on it unless she was talking about the reasons she had to see the shrink. The inclusion of such a dramatic event without the follow through character-wise showed a lack of technique in the writing. Don't include something so dramatic without explaining it fully to readers. It should have affected Nora's character more than it did.

Nora had potential as a character but ultimately the unrealistic nature of her relationship with Patch ruined it.

I would have given this book a 3 star, but I got bored towards the end and never felt a real pull to pick it up and keep reading once I'd put it down. I know when I love a book I will drop everything else to whip through pages and I never once felt that with Hush Hush

Ultimately this book had tons of potential but never quite reached it!


  1. Good review. I loved Hush Hush but I read it some time ago. And don't remember a lot of the story. I read Crescendo more recently, but wasn't really sure how to feel about that one.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Hush, Hush and Crescendo got mixed reviews from me. I wasn't sure if I liked it or not but it was an enjoyable read. Patch and Nora's relationship was missing something and now that you pointed it out it was the realism of it. Thanks for the honest review :)