Sunday, 4 July 2010

Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Dear Blog,
I took Hush, Hush camping with me last week and I haven't had time to write a review since then *sigh* what more can I say?  Unfortunately, I must have a life outside the internet or my neck will get even more stiff than it is now, my eyes will turn square and I'll start getting Cyberspace Withdrawal Symptoms every time I have to go for just five minutes.  Anyway. 

Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

Review: It's true that if somebody holds up a book and, while summarising it, mentions "paranormal" or "urban fantasy", or "for fans of Twilight", I will probably run a hundred miles in the other direction.  I haven't read Fallen, House of Night, Kissed by an Angel, Vampire Academy,  the Morganville Vampires, Beautiful Creatures, Shiver, the Dark Divine, Wicked Lovely, or anything else that looks remotely paranormal.  This is probably because I really don't buy the whole hype around Twilight.

It's also true that Hush, Hush is effectively Twilight but with angels.  There are many, many similiarities; everything from being attacked on a night out on the town, as they say, to sitting together in a science class, which is sort of annoying.  I suppose it must be kind of tricky to write something truly, truly original in the paranormal genre these days, but surely not everything had to be almost exactly the same?  Hmm. 

One thing I really didn't like about this book was Patch.  I think the whole bad-boy impression the reader got about him was what was supposed to make him so mysterious and attractive.  But to my mind he is a stalker, and even when he and Nora were in love and he saved her life numerous times, I still wasn't too keen on him.  If I were to have a fallen-angel boyfriend, I would at least like him to be sweet and tell me why he was stalking me.   Eventually, though, all is revealed and Patch becomes Nora's guardian angel , which sort of works out well for them both. 
Despite the fact that I didn't like Patch, Nora was a likeable character. She had a best friend, she was critical without being overly emo-y, and SHE TALKED!  She had a mind of her own, even though for lots of the books evil angels sort of messed around with it and made things appear that weren't actually there.  She was a pretty cool character (compared to Bella, she was nice, but compared to Sophie from Hex Hall she seemed a little lacking in awesomeness.  I feel guilty writing this review, like poor Nora can't really win.

Another thing that got on my nerves was that although we as the reader know about Patch being a fallen angel, although Nora begins to sort of work things out, she doesn't really find out the whole story until about three-quarters of the way through the book. But the cover and the writing that says "a fallen angel...a forbidden love", etc, etc.  The whole book just screams, "FALLEN ANGEL! FALLEN ANGEL!" Which sorts of takes the fun out of the mystery element of the book.  In which sense, it was pretty predictable. 

Despite plot-related flaws, other stuff such as the pace and the writing style were good.  It certainly sounded realistic from Nora's point of view.  The descriptions were good, the action scenes were exciting, it was creepy in the creepy scenes and the romantic scenes were, well, romantic, even though Patch creeped me out a bit. 

Summary: well worth a read, and I'll read the sequel, Crescendo, when it comes out, even though Hush Hush is not absolutely amazing and lacks originality. Oh well, it was pleasant enough, and I'm glad I read it.  And sorry for so many comparisons to Twilight.  Rating: 3.

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