Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title:  Hush, Hush
Author:  Becca Fitzpatrick
Release date:  October 13, 2009
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Pages:  291
Genre:  Young adult fiction, Urban fantasy
Source:  Personal copy

Caution: This post might get a bit spoiler-y.  I usually don’t do that, but in an effort to explain myself adequately I may give away some plot points.

Hush, Hush has been talked about as the next Twilight, and I must admit that I can see how the stories are similar.  In both books, a good girl falls for the bad boy.  In both books, that bad boy turns out to be some kind of supernatural being.  In both books, the boy must save the girl in order for them to have any type of relationship, even though that relationship is, of course, full of problems due to the human being/supernatural being dichotomy.

Let me come right out with it – I did not enjoy the experience of reading Hush, Hush.  Very rarely am I this explicit in my dislike for a book, but in this case I feel I can be nothing but honest.  And honestly, the entire novel made me cringe.  I read a review of Hush, Hush awhile back that went on and on about how this novel is so damaging to young girls because it encourages them to fall for a stalker, how it insinuates that abuse in a relationship is okay, etc., and I completely agree with that.  (EDIT: I found said review, it’s courtesy of Bookshop)  Nora Grey, the protagonist of Hush, Hush is not a stupid girl.  She knows when she meets Patch that he is bad news.  He is creeping her out, she thinks he might be following her, and she doesn’t want anything to do with him at first.  However, when she goes to her teacher to ask that they not be lab partners any longer because she is scared of him, the teacher dismisses her concerns and instead tells Nora she is required to tutor Patch.  Okay – if this happened to my daughter at school I’d be furious!  No way.  Yet, in this novel Nora is forced to go along with the assignment.  What does this teach teen girls?  It just upsets me so much.

Furthermore, there is another boy besides Patch who Nora is scared of – a kid named Elliot, who her best friend Vee likes.  Well, some bad stuff happens to the two of them (a guy jumps in front of Nora’s car, Vee is attacked, Nora’s room is broken into and ransacked while she is in the house), and Nora is convinced it’s Elliot doing these things.  Yet Vee tells her she is crazy and spends tons of time with Elliot anyway.  This whole Elliot thing made me so mad – when I was in high school, if I was convinced that someone was out to hurt myself or my best friend, I would do everything in my power to make sure the two of us stayed away from that person.  But in this novel, Elliot simply gains a bigger and bigger presence in the girls’ lives.

For those of you who have read the book and are thinking now, “but Patch didn’t turn out to be so bad, and Elliot was actually not the person who did all those horrible things”, I know that, and to me that is not the point.  The point is that whether or not these two were or were not out to hurt Nora and Vee, the two of them would have fallen for these guys either way.  Nora fell for Patch while thinking that he could possibly be stalking her.  And Vee kept getting closer and closer to Elliot, at the same time that Nora was warning her about the potentially terrible things Elliot was doing to the two of them.  The point is that Hush, Hush made me feel like falling in love with someone who stalks you and hurts you and possibly steals from you, possibly assaults your best friend, is perfectly okay.  And if the book managed to get that message across to me, a twenty-six-year-old woman who has plenty of experience with bad boys, been stalked myself, and isn’t looking to fall in love with anyone except my husband, imagine what kind of message is coming across to a fourteen-year-old girl.  That’s all I’m sayin’.

Add that to the fact that the book didn’t particularly wow me in terms of plot, well-written characters, or atmosphere, and I really just did not enjoy it one bit.  Sorry, Hush, Hush fans, but I just cannot endorse this one.

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17 thoughts on “Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

  1. The idea of a teen girl being REQUIRED to spend more time with a boy who’s creeping her out after she complains to a teacher just kind of makes my head want to explode :S

    What I find noteworthy about these new ordinary-girl/supernatural-guy romances is the HUGE power imbalance that they imply almost by necessity, and the way the story addresses or fails to address this. I wish more reviews would consider this issue. There are probably several thesis in the making about it, I expect :P

    • Yeah, my head sort of throbbed when I was reading that. I was like “WTF?!?!” It was not a good moment in the book. Actually, there weren’t many good moments in the book, but I think I’ve been over that already.

      I so agree about the huge power imbalance in these books and now that you mention it, I wish I would have addressed that in my review. Oh, well. But yeah, in Twilight, every time Bella found herself in trouble, Edward magically showed up to save the day. Same thing with Hush, Hush – except for the fact that we find out toward the end that Patch actually placed thoughts in her head at points throughout the book – so not only did he save her from this stuff that happened to her, but he also MADE HER THINK IT HAPPENED in the first place. UGH.

      I do hope you read this one, Ana, simply because I’m sure your review will be extremely thought-provoking and full of analyses I hadn’t even considered.

  2. What you’re saying tallies pretty well with other reviews I’ve read of this book – too bad, because I think this cover is lovely. But having read one Twilight is enough for me, without reading “the next” Twilight. :/

    • Yeah, although I’ve seen plenty of shining reviews too. I was actually a little nervous that I’d get a bunch of hater comments, but hopefully the Hush, Hush lovers will leave me alone. :)

  3. I’m actually really glad to read this review. It seems like everyone is raving about this book, and yet I have had absolutely no desire to read it. I don’t think I realized quite why, but you articulate the problems so well. Now I’ll really stay away!

  4. I think the only reason a teenager might possible like this book is hunger for sexual content, seriously it’s so bad and characterization is very poor (those characters are described by adjectives and sentences like “dangerous, sexy, bla bla bla” but there is little action and they don’t really grow during the story). It’s also really creepy and this is universally true regardless of how old a girl/woman is.
    I admit that I saw an improvement towards the end.

    • Emily, I’m afraid I have to agree with just about everything you’ve said here. There wasn’t much to say in endorsing this book, and I too didn’t find much good about the characters or the plot, there’s a lot of telling and not showing, etc.

      So yeah, just a bad experience overall. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way!

    • If you were disappointed with the Twilight saga, you will REALLY be disappointed with Hush, Hush. I certainly didn’t love Twilight, but I could at least see the appeal. Hush, Hush, to me, had none of the appeal Twilight had.

    • YES! That is the exact review I was looking for! Thank you so much for pointing it out to me, it has now been added to the post.

      I actually decided to read the book precisely because of the huge range in reviews I’d seen. It brings out such a love or hate reaction out of people that I had to see what all the fuss was about.

    • Whew! I’m so happy that I’m not the only one who felt this way. Not that I HOPE people dislike a book, of course, but I felt so in the minority!

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