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.