Book Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

6339664Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult, Angels
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: October 13th 2009
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Author Website

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…until Patch comes 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 whom 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 far 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 must admit that Hush, Hush totally surprised me. It went above and beyond my expectations. After reading Fallen, The Vampire Diaries, The House of Night series and Evermore by Alyson Noel, I thought nothing could surprise me anymore. I thought I had seen it all when it comes to angels, paranormal romances, and high school girls falling for supernatural creatures. I had seen cliché scenes, slightly more original ways to handle it, I had rolled my eyes on plenty of occassions and I had felt like slapping the heroine on the head on equally as many occassions. I grabbed Hush, Hush from my local bookstore and thought “Well, maybe it’s time to go through all of it again. Because even though you sometimes get annoyed with the clueless heroine or her annoying bratty friends or the clichés are so overwhelming that you feel like puking – that still doesn’t change the fact that you love those paranormal romance books. Especially when in the young adult genre. You love them. Try it.” Notice how I say ‘you’ when I address myself in third person? Anyway, that was the debate going on in my head before I eventually succumbed and purchased Hush, Hush. I wasn’t going to be dissapointed.

Let me get the bad stuff out of the way first. Hush, Hush is not original. Let’s not pretend it is. It’s the same basic story we’ve seen remodeled, reshaped and redecorated for over a thousand times now: fallen angel falls in love with human girl. Initially he was supposed to kill her, but we can’t argue about that once fluffy feelings get in the way now, can we? But that’s where the large cliché part stops.

Nora Grey, the main character of this book, is your average teenage girl. With ‘your average’ I mean that she’s actually pretty average. She is far from being ugly, but she isn’t Prom Queen either. Moreover, she somewhat holds the balance between Elena Gilbert and Bella Swan, except that she’s one hundred percent cooler and more down to earth. She doesn’t get asked out a lot, but she doesn’t really mind because she’s picky about boys as well, which is fine by my standards. She is pretty realistic about herself, has a wonderful best friend (God I loved Vee…More about that later though!), gets along pretty well with her Mom, at least better than half the teenage population nowadays, and hopes to get into a major university once day. She’s quiet but not exactly shy, studious and a bit nerdy, but she isn’t exactly going to win an award for being adventurous or outgoing. As I said, she’s average, your average everything. And I liked that. I liked to have an average, normal heroine for once rather than an insecure little brat (read: Bella Swan) or an over-confident, mindless cheerleader (read: Elena Gilbert). In fact, Nora reminded me a lot of myself, apart from her sometimes rather stalkery sleuthing adventures with her best friend Vee…Even I have to admit that was often over the top, but hey…We all do crazy things when we’re teenagers. So let’s forgive Nora that so I can safely give her the award for ‘most awesome, down-to-earth and normal heroine ever’.

With this ordinary and average girl in the main role, you need to have a male counterpart who’s gripping, interesting, a bit rough around the edges, and confident enough to pull the reader into this story from the moment he walks in. May I introduce you to…Patch. Trust me when I say that he’s all that, and more. It’s been a while since I ever felt my heart flutter when I read a character’s name or imagined how he would be like in real life (in fact it’s been ever since I read In The Forests Of The Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes for the first time when I was roughly ten years old), but Patch accomplishes just that. He’s your typical bad-boy, hanging around in clubs he shouldn’t be in, getting into bar fights, driving a motorcycle…You name it, and I’m pretty sure Patch has done it. Where do you think he got the name Patch from? Add to that list that Patch is perfectly capable of getting under Nora’s skin, has an amazing sense of humor, is cocky in a way that practically screams sexy…It’s like my dream boyfriend became reality. Well, except that unlike Nora, I would not jump to the conclusion that he’s some psycho-serial killer, but I would go all “Meh, he’s probably just a fallen angel”. Because I’m cool like that. Anyway, Patch is amazing. If you like cocky bad boys who are excellent and giving snarky remarks, then Patch will melt your heart.

The thing I enjoyed most about this book, is Nora’s interaction with her best friend Vee. Vee is nothing short of amazing. She’s funny, the voice of sillyness when Nora is the voice of reason, a friend you can truly depend on, the best team mate a girl could wish for, outgoing, hilarious and wonderful. Alright so she sometimes goes a little crazy when Nora and Vee go on a sleuthing spree to find out what exactly is going on, with who and when, but that’s what you expect from sugar-high high-school girls. But Vee and Nora’s interactions are the best. They really warmed my heart, because they’re so honest, down-to-earth and so obvious best friends in every way. Their relationship is what really lifted this book from a 4 to a 5 stars for me. Too often I see practically non-existent, continuously backstabbing ‘friendships’ developed in YA literature, and I’m just so relieved to see that it also can be done differently. There is a real bond between Vee and Nora, they have this entire friendship code with a particular kind of humor attached to it, inside jokes, etc. It just feels real, and that’s what makes it special and unique.

As I already mentioned, the plot line might not seem all that original at first. And truthfully, it isn’t. But Becca Fitzpatrick really brings her characters to life. It’s the characters that make this book, that drive this plot forward. She also adds some mystery, surprising plot twists and some authentic ancient mythology to the mix, resulting in a book that I can’t help but find both outstanding and surprising. If you’re a fan of paranormal romance, Hush, Hush is definately an excellent choice.

Speak Your Mind