Saturday, August 22, 2009

Book Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Hush, Hush

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick

Pages: 391

Summary (from

Falling in love was never so easy . . .

or so deadly.

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.

I'm going to try to keep this post spoiler free and, seeing as every little detail winds up into the big finale, this might turn into a very short review.

It's no secret that the hype around Hush, Hush has been staggering, ranging from mild excitment to "tear-my-hair-out-I-can't-stand-it-any-longer" anticipation. Already the success in pre-order sales has been through the roof for this debut effort by Ms. Becca Fitzpatrick (who I imagine is staring at the numbers in awe as we speak). There are many questions that come to mind: why is the hype for this so huge if this author has never published anything before? Is it the KICK-ASS cover? Perhaps the hot lad on said cover? It might even be the actual story, filled with delicious romances and fallen-angels--a seemingly lost genre of literature, these days. Who knows. But I could care less about these questions. There is only one question that any self-respecting reader should ask themselves:

Can it live up to the hype?

I am happy to report, dear readers, it can. And it has.

We begin the story with a passage from Peter 2:4, an excellent forshadowing tool from Ms. Fitzpatrick:

...God spared not the angels that sinned,
but cast them down to hell,
and delivered them into chains of darkness,
to be reserved unto judgment...

Then there is the prologue; Chauncey is a boy living in the year 1565, France, the son of the Chateau de Langeais (whatever that is) when he meets another boy while walking home. The boy wants something from Chauncey; an oath of fealty. Forced to one knee, Chauncey swears his allegience to the strange boy under an influence he can't describe. Then, the boy informs him he is not, in fact, the son of the Chateau de Langeais, but a Nephilim, a biblical race consisting of half mortals, half fallen angels.

As the boy runs off with the promise that he will be back for the start of Cheshvan (the Hebrew "unholy" month), Chauncey asks the boy if he's a fallen angel. He does not respond, only dissapears with his laughter echoing through the darkness.

CHAPTER ONE: Coldwater, Maine, present day.

When Nora walks into Biology, she does not expect for her life to change forever...okay, that sounds cheesy. Whatever.

Anyway, her coach/biology teacher for completly unknown reasons decides to switch seats. I'd like to take this time to point out, for future reference, that Ms. Fitzpatrick is excellent at forshadowing. Not the obvious, you-can-see-it-coming-from-a-mile-away forshadowing. I'm talking subtle, hardly there hints that, upon reflection, were SO OBVIOUS that you feel stupider just for not getting it.

So. A boy named Patch--who has completly slipped her radar for the entire year---has taken her best friend's seat beside her, automatically winning Nora's disdain with his arrogance and rude remarks. She attempts to brush him off, even as he displays a disturbing knowledge of her past, revealing just enough to get under her skin. The chemistry leaps off the page as these two silently duke it out, both keeping something from the other. Nora denies any feelings between them--he's dangerous, after all, and she can't afford any danger in her life.

Soon, though, she starts seeing him everywhere--at the mall, at the arcade, at the store. It's almost as if he's following her. While this technique has been tried and failed in the past (I'm looking at you, Edward), Fitzpatrick manages to create a believable, even sympathetic motive (even when Patch makes sympathy a hard card to draw).

Concerning Patch, there is only one thing I can say--move the FUCK over, Eddie Cullen. Deep, dark and dangerous has a new name, and it DOESN'T SPARKLE! Becca Fitzpatrick writes a forbidden romance that hasn't even been touched before, in a way so intoxicating it should, by everything decent, be illegal. But, like booze and Red Bull, I'm so happy it's not.

Nora doesn't know whether to trust him--in fact, she thinks he's trying to kill her. But there's this animal magnitism between them that is undeniable.

HUSH, HUSH focuses mostly on developing Nora, Patch, and their dance of a relationship. While it sometimes proves to be more of a fight for power, there is a very honest tenderness hidden beneath the surface that is so subtle, you don't even realize it's there until you put the book down and reflect on it. Nora and Patch are so well drawn out that I could imagine myself there, could picture the characters in my head, living and breathing and there. Though the story does lag a bit, and the secendary characters are rather dull and shapeless, the beauty of Patch and Nora is undeniably the factor that makes this book what it is; a dangerous romance of biblical perportions (please, excuse the pun).

While I have to say some of the subplotting, like the constant mention of Nora's dad being shot, is a bit unnecessary to the ACTUAL plot, it does add some nice angst to the picture and doesn't deter the reader to much from the story.

Like I said, the secendary characters like Vee and Dabria are pretty thinly drawn out, and I would have liked to see more from them. However, this really is Patch and Nora's story, and I have a feeling if it were more of the minor characters, I would be whining about that and this would be a completly different review. Thankfully, I have very little to rant about other then how amazing this novel is and how much I urge you--yes, you, with the face--to pick it up immediatley when it hits shelves this October. I assure you, it will not dissapoint.

For reference, here's a hilarious (at least to me) dialogue when Patch and Nora are in a movie theatre that does a lovely job of demenstrating Patch's power:

"Walk out," he repeated. "We need to talk."

"About how you need to sacrifice me to get a human body?" I asked, my tone light, my insides feeling leaden.

"That might be cute if you thought it was true."

"I do think it's true!" Sort of. But the same thouht kept returning--if Patch wanted to kill me, why hadn't he already?

"Shh!" said the guy next to me.

Patch said, "Walk out, or I'll carry you."

I flipped around. "Excuse me?"

"Shh!" the guy beside me hissed again.

"Blame him," I told the guy, pointing at Patch.

The guy crained his neck. "Listen," he said, "if you don't quiet down now, I'll get security."

"Fine, go get security, Tell them to take him away," I said, again signaling at Patch. "Tell them he wants to kill me."

"I want to kill you," hissed the guy's girlfriend, leaning around to address me.

"Who wants to kill you?" the guy asked. He was still looking over his shoulder, but his expression was puzzled.

"There's nobody there," the girlfriend told me.

"You're making them think they can't see you, aren't you?" I said to Patch, awed at his power even as I despised his use of it.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Also: Is it just me, or do Bob Dylan and Neil Gaimen look scarily alike?



Jessica (BookLover) said...

This book sounds fantastic! I want it!!

Sarbear said...

I'm glad you liked it -- I am waiting around for my freaking arc still : (

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