Sunday, November 22, 2009

[Review]: "Hush, Hush"

Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date: October 2009
Genre: Teen Fiction/Fantasy/Romance
Summary (B&N):
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.
Places to Order Hush, Hush at:
My Review:
From the moment the cover for Hush, Hush hit the blogging community early this year, the buzz surrounding the book has been astronomical, making it one of the most sought after books for reviewers and readers alike, with numerous people quickly adding it to their wish list. Everywhere you looked online, people were talking about this book, eager to get their hands on an ARC. And when some were lucky enough to get an early copy, their reviews were (almost always) full of praise and good comments. A fallen angel falling in love with a human girl-- who wouldn't want to read it after the huge influx of vampire romances?
But after finally reading Hush, Hush for myself, I have to wonder if perhaps all the pre-release hype only helped to set me up for the disappointment I found upon completion. Despite the high expectations I had going into the book, countless recommendations from fellow bloggers, and various top ratings for this book, I found it to be lacking.
Although I'd like to say it was due to the fact that I was expecting something else, something more from Hush, Hush, I'll be honest: it's also due to a few flaws in the book.
It's not that I disliked the book-- I did very much like it. However, it didn't reach the "5 Star" potential for me like it did for many. While still an enjoyable enough read, Hush, Hush fell short for me in a few critical areas.
First, no matter how I hard I tried, I simply could not connect with Nora, our heroine for this novel. She seemed too shallow at times, annoying during others, and as the reader, I found very few spots that made me even want to like her. Perhaps if Becca Fitzpatrick had developed her a bit more, I would have felt differently. But for me, good characters are key to a good book. Unfortunately, she wasn't the only character in the book I had this problem with-- in fact, I can't think of one from the entire novel that I can honestly say I loved. They were all too bland, average, stereotypical even.
Second, I felt like the plot was based more on the suspense leading up to the discovery of Nora's would-be killer than the romance between Nora and Patch (more on this later) or even the supernatural theme. The story behind Patch's fallen angel status was buried beneath more than 3/4 of the book, and what little we did get was no where near enough to feed my hunger for his background, and therefore the development of the story. I love when an author tells us the story behind the characters, their pasts, and the novel's fantasy world in general. For me, sadly, Hush, Hush disappointed on all three accounts.
The romance between Nora and Patch was a bit strained, practically hidden until the last few pages or so of the book. Although she supposedly fell for him from day one, I didn't really see the connection--- why was she attracted to him, besides the cliche "mysterious new boy in class"? I couldn't really find any other evidence, and for me, this is vital to not only a realistic relationship, but also making the characters themselves seem more real.
And as for Patch... Well, I know he was meant to be a big mystery to everyone, the "bad boy" hero, and Nora is lead to believe he may be behind the attacks for most of the book--- but shouldn't the hero of a novel still be able to reach out to the readers and somehow reassure us that he's the good guy? To me, Patch was just another typical bad boy, also underdeveloped as far as a main character goes. Up until the last few chapters of the book, I was practically convinced that Patch was truly the evil one-- and not due to the author's ability to write suspense and mystery, but because I simply could not see him as the hero, little lone the love interest. Much like I did with Nora, I often found myself wondering where the depth and connection was. Instead of being a solid, physical part of the story, they both almost seemed like ghosts-- dormant, but still technically there.
There were, of course, parts that were well done in the book. I enjoyed some of the more witty conversations between the characters, and during some of the scenes, the writing did have some very good descriptions. Not to mention the suspense and mind-altering scenes, which worked on not only Nora, but even the reader too.
Over all, this book was a good, quick read. Not perfect, but not terribly flawed either. What it lacked was adequate details, more development (in characters, story, and plot) and a stronger connection with the reader. There was so much potential in the plot line, yet I didn't feel that it really accomplished what it could have-- at times I thought maybe I was reading a contemporary teen fiction novel that had "fallen angel" plugged in randomly throughout the book. In my opinion, a bit more information (specifically around the fallen angels and other supernatural themes in the book) and this could have easily been a spectacular debut for Fitzpatrick.
Though my words may almost make it sound otherwise, I really did like this book. But I just didn't love it. My constructive criticisms are meant only as that-- helpful, polite, but not snarky by any means. Of course, this is just my opinion.
4 STARS! Though it hit a few snags along the way instead of flowing clearly, Hush, Hush is still a good choice if you want something besides vampires and werewolves. A bit humorous during some scenes, and thrilling during others, this one is an enjoyable book to curl up with--- light and mildly romantic, but not deeply saturated with paranormal themes.
~~~ This time, I did not receive this book from a contest or publisher to review-- it was one of the few that I simply read from my pile and decided to review.
Okay-- next review I put up, a bit later this week, will be back to adult fiction/romance instead of YA, like my last... 4 reviews have been. I promise! :-D
Until Next Time,


Teddyree said...

YAY someone of the same opinion as me. Totally agree with you, liked it but didnt love it but I am looking forward to Crescendo

The_Book_Queen said...

:) Honestly, I'm happy to know that I wasn't the only one that found it a bit lacking. Not that it was a horribly written book, by any means, but I just didn't feel that it lives up to the "5 star-- OMG I loved it!" that so many other reviewers gave it. Personal preference, of course, but I simply found myself wanting to know more, about the characters and the background to the story.

I am, however, looking forward to future books by her-- thanks for bringing to my attention that she has 'Crescendo' coming out in a while. I'll have to look into it, see if maybe it can wrangle the elusive 5 star rating out of me. :D LOL.


Erotic Horizon said...

"Though my words may almost make it sound otherwise, I really did like this book. But I just didn't love it"

I do get this alot regarding this book. I don't read alot of young adult, and I am awaiting my son's thoughts on this one - He is my barometer for which YA to read...

I am so liking that cover - ever since I saw it, I loved it..