Book review: Becca Fitzpatrick’s “Hush, Hush”

Want to know what I found out this morning? This is what I found out.

If you’re too lazy to click on the link, it’s a campaign to get “Hush, Hush” author Becca Fitzpatrick over here to our fair islands. Our fair capital is leading the survey, but the Fitzpatrick fans want to make sure the deal is locked down.

If the country does win, I will end up interviewing Fitzpatrick. There’s no two-ways around it. And while I have no trouble talking to her, I may have some trouble not being critical of her writing.

You see, I hate “Hush, Hush”. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I hate it so much I talked to Lauren Kate about it, which turned out to be a horrible decision since the two of them are friends. I hate it so much, I take every possible opportunity to tell my friends and anybody who’ll listen not to read it.

I hate it so much I wrote a review about it for a newspaper

In this post-“Twilight “ world, everyone is intent on finding out the next big thing in young adult supernatural romance. It seems everywhere one looks there is a new book about a paranormal being engaged in a possibly doomed romance with a human teenager.

Some authors have certainly succeeded in bringing other supernatural creatures into the public consciousness. Maggie Stiefvater’s “Shiver” takes a fresh look at the werewolf mythos and even has an engaging love story to boot, while Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s “Beautiful Creatures” has witches and page-turning plot complications.

Hoping to achieve the same measure of success is first-time author Becca Fitzpatrick, who brings to tween and teen readers “Hush,” Hush”, a novel about a fallen angel and the irresistible attraction that springs between him and a normal teenage girl.

“Hush, Hush” begins in the 16th century, when a young French nobleman finds himself accosted by a mysterious creature who extracts an oath of fealty from him. The book then jumps to the present time, where Nora Grey, the book’s heroine, finds herself a new biology partner in the form of transfer student, Patch Cipriano.

The first meeting between the two doesn’t go smoothly. Patch refuses to cooperate with Nora on their biology assignment, and is even belligerent towards Nora, arguing with her and teasing her relentlessly. But even with this bad first impression, Nora can’t help
but be drawn to Patch.

However, this attraction may not be to Nora’s advantage, because as soon as Patch comes into her life strange things start happening to her. She becomes the focus of several attacks, most of which happen whenever Patch is around. She can’t shake the feeling of being watched, and as the attacks come closer and closer to home, Nora must
find the truth about Patch before she ends up losing her own life.

But when Nora does find out the truth about Patch, her feelings for him, and the connection she shares with the French nobleman mentioned at the beginning of the book, she finds herself in an even deeper conundrum. Is she willing to make the ultimate sacrifice if it means the fulfillment of the dream of the one she loves?

In theory, “Hush, Hush” seems like a sure thing. The heroine is constantly in distress, providing plenty of opportunities for the dashing hero to swoop in, save her, and make himself even more attractive to the book’s intended audience. Its focus on fallen angels
makes it stand out among the vampires and werewolves currently prowling the young adult bestsellers list, and gives Fitzpatrick lots of opportunity to adapt an established mythos to modern sensibilities.

On paper, however, “Hush, Hush” falls flat. As soon as Patch is introduced to the readers, less than 20 pages into the novel, he is already lobbing innuendos as Nora, and he never lets up throughout the book. Fitzpatrick has barely built up Patch as a character but she already expects the readers to let Patch put his tongue in their mouth. Rather than make Patch look like a dashing bad boy, Fitzpatrick has instead succeeded in making him look like that sleazy classmate you always try to avoid sitting beside with in class.

And it’s not like Nora is any better as a character. If readers complained about the lack of depth in Twilight’s Bella, they have even more cause for concern in the character of Nora Grey. At the very least, Bella had enough character to be irritating. Nora is such a badly written character that it seems as if she was just written to float stupidly along with the plot points Fitzpatrick has devised to move the story along.

The plot itself is a convoluted mass that never seems to pull itself together long enough to make sense. Situations feel fake and put on, and the amount of eye-rolling readers will be doing just to stomach Fitzpatrick’s “plot” will be enough to give him a migraine. There is
barely any characterization, and at no popint in the narrative do you feel concern for anybody. And the one thing that would have set “Hush, Hush” apart – the mythology of fallen angels – is tacked on haphazardly at various points in the novel just so their presence in the book can be justified.

With a poorly-executed plot, unsympathetic central characters, and a romantic relationship that will leave readers feeling sleazy rather than swoony, one wonders what it is that teenagers see in “Hush, Hush”. Readers looking for a love story to lose themselves in are better served buying something else.

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7 thoughts on “Book review: Becca Fitzpatrick’s “Hush, Hush””

  1. I completely agree. Honestly i loved the cover and i read the book thinking ‘wow, this is an interesting and controversial topic. let’s see that the author does with it.’ and i’m completely disappointed. The characters are about as flat as a sheet of paper! She has so much potential with the plot and the ties to old christian/jewish texts, but she blew it. what’s worse she wasnt even accurate with the religion aspects, leaving her completely insensitive to the beliefs of millions! A fallen angel? Sure. Bad Nephils? Okay. But really? The angel of death swooping to earth to kill her ex’s love interest? And where the hell does she go anyway? She gets her wings ripped off and then…bygones? what? And this whole plotting against archangels and stuff, it’s like, where’s the Head Hauncho in all this? He doesnt get a say?
    And what’s than THAT, Nora never even thinks about it! Wow, my boyfriends my guardian angel that still wants to rip off my clothes and ruin my purity and he can’t even feel it anyways? Cool! Like, absoluteeeely no character depth or speculation at all. It was pathetic. I wish someone could take the plot and rewrite the book for her. It pisses me off that this made best seller, but you know what it was? The shirtless guy on the front. that’s why i read it. i’m glad it was from a library so i didn’t waste a single cent.
    DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY READING THIS BOOK PEOPLE, IF YOU’RE TOO CURIOUS, THEN GO TO THE LIBRARY. I cannot believe someone published this, what’s more, I cannot believe people are paying for it. ‘Nuff said.

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