Hush, Hush

Hush, Hush

A SACRED OATHA FALLEN ANGELA FORBIDDEN LOVERomance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.But after a series of t...

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Title:Hush, Hush
Author:Becca Fitzpatrick
Rating:
ISBN:1416989412
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:391 pages

Hush, Hush Reviews

  • Becca
    Jun 03, 2009

    Let's see. My review/What I learned from this book:

    Well, I learned that it was a lot of fun to write! Enjoy the fall, all!

  • Misty
    Oct 28, 2009

    NOW WITH SPOILERY RANT @ BOTTOM!

    is the story of Nora Grey, an average high school student going about her business as usual -- until her Biology teacher rearranges the class seating and places her next to the dangerous-looking new kid, Patch Cipriano.  Nora gets a weird feeling from Patch, and things just keep going from bad to worse as Nora becomes convinced that she is being stalked, and may even be the target of murderous intentions.  Add to the list Nora's strange feelings about t

    NOW WITH SPOILERY RANT @ BOTTOM!

    is the story of Nora Grey, an average high school student going about her business as usual -- until her Biology teacher rearranges the class seating and places her next to the dangerous-looking new kid, Patch Cipriano.  Nora gets a weird feeling from Patch, and things just keep going from bad to worse as Nora becomes convinced that she is being stalked, and may even be the target of murderous intentions.  Add to the list Nora's strange feelings about the Archangel ride at the amusement park and her constant near death experiences, and well, Nora's life is becoming anything but average.

    When I finished reading

    , I had to mull it over for awhile.  I really wasn't sure what to say.  I am absolutely enthralled by the cover (athletic looking, darkly mysterious fallen angel, contorted in mid-air in grayscale?  What's not to like?).  I

    to have it because of that cover*.  But I had a sneaking suspicion that a cover that good had to be masking something.  Yep.  It's a bright light to dazzle the eyes and make you *ahem* overlook any faults.

    It didn't work.

    Inside was the most confused, schizophrenic piece of writing I've read in some time.  Becca Fitzpatrick didn't seem to know

    what she wanted, only that it had to be Ominous and Scary and Dangerous -- and Titillating, of course, and Mysterious and Sexy.  So with those buzz words in mind, she threw a bunch of things together and let her narrator, Nora, sort them out. Nora, understandably, had some trouble with this, and the result is a thoroughly frustrating heroine who jumps to insane conclusions based on inane evidence one moment, and the next goes blithely along into obvious danger.

    Patch is intriguing, and perhaps the most consistent character**, and I was fully prepared for an 'anti-hero as the hero' story.  I wanted a little boundary-pushing and a not entirely likeable or trustworthy male lead who may or may not redeem himself, but who gives you the dangerous and alluring in spades.  For the most part, Patch wasn't a let-down in this regard, and as screwed up as it is to like him, he was the stand-out character for me. (Not to say I didn't have issues with him, too.)

    But it wasn't enough.  Patch's bad boy antics couldn't save this book from itself.  It was self-indulgent, cheesy, melodramatic in the worst sense, and confusing. I wanted to like it; I loved the fallen angel premise, the idea of an anti-hero, and bits and pieces of the writing throughout.  But

    suffered from too many villains and too much shock and awe, and not enough thought and follow-through.  Maybe Fitzpatrick can pull it together for round two, and with some strong convincing by trusted, like-minded people,

    (never gonna happen). But this was a monstrous let-down for me.  You've been warned.***

    *We all know how that whole so-pretty-I-just-had-to thing works out.  See my

    on Jo's blog about this.

    **And by 'consistent' I mean he was consistently a douche. Vee was pretty consistent too, and was a lot of fun, but she started to get annoying and a little strange...

    ***You're still going to read it, aren't you?  Damn you, James Porto and your beautiful, beautiful cover!

    ***HERE THAR BE SPOILERS***

    If you haven't read Hush, Hush and intend to, or if you don't want me dissing the melodrama that is Patch and Nora, look away....NOW!

    Commence rant:

    You already know I had issues with this book. I think a lot of people are going to take offense to the idea of Patch as the hero, as teen girls' fantasy, just as they did with Edward in Twilight. Patch goes beyond the simple term "bad boy" in that yes, he does actually mean Nora harm. Consistently.

    I'm not going to go into that, because frankly, I don't care. He can be an anti-hero all he wants, whatever. If that's where the story's going, fine. Most of my issues -- but not all -- lie with Nora.

    Here's the thing:

    Nora is that girl you yell at in the horror movie, the idiot that goes up the stairs instead of out the door, or reaches to turn over the downed bad guy

    . We all know that's frustrating, but we've come to expect it in movies, and that dumb big-breasted, scantily clad girl normally gets killed off.

    Nora is so much more frustrating than that.

    : She continually suspects Patch (and Elliot, and just about everyone else in this story), and with good reason. However, she then continually ignores her instincts and puts herself in danger. In fact, she can't seem to agree with herself. She will think to herself that Patch is stalking her and trying to kill her, and then within pages think 'Oh, but he could never hurt me.' This just cycles and cycles throughout the story.

    Also throughout the story, Nora makes insane jumps in logic -- whether they turn out to be true or not, it's not believable when she immediately jumps to the most bizarre conclusions

    . At the same time, she will be directly confronted with some piece of real evidence, something that would make a normal, non-fictional person take notice and say something's not right here -- and she will completely ignore it. It's like she's being willfully obtuse.

    Examples:

    * Early(ish) in the story, Nora hears a voice in her head and thinks Patch has "breached normal communication methods and could, at will, speak to me without ever opening his mouth." Naturally, she thinks she's delusional. Hearing your name and a few inane comments would make one think they are imagining things, and this I could buy. Even Nora not being exactly sure what happened and being creeped out I could buy.

    , making her look like a loon.

    I wouldn't be even all that bothered by this, if it was consistent throughout the story; if Nora either consistently thought that she was going crazy because of all the implausible things that are happening, I could buy it; if she wanted to prove she wasn't crazy and kept confronting Patch and sleuthing, I could buy it. It would be 1 solid choice on Becca Fitzpatrick's part. She could be the ultra-paranoid girl who thinks she's going crazy and jumps to conclusions about everything. Annoying, but doable. But to present this as if it's normal...and I'm out.

    * Conversely, near the near the end of the story when the shit's really beginning to go down and nearly everyone has become a villain, Nora and Patch walk out of a movie theater to find that "...both the tires on the driver's side were flat: '"I can't believe it!" I said. "I drove over two nails?"'

    O_O

    ???

    She thinks she's being stalked, she thinks her best friend has been kidnapped by a teenaged murderer named Elliot, and by this point she thinks she's the target of not one but two murderous angels, and yet all she can come up with is that she ran over two nails? Come on! If Nora will jump to conclusions on the barest of evidence, how in hell does she not comprehend the obvious?

    * Throughout the story, Nora thinks everyone's out to get her (she's right, but I'll get to that), especially Patch. Patch is Ominous, capital 'O', and yet...And yet, no matter how much Nora thinks he's badbadbad, she trusts him. Why?

    Weirdest of all, when Nora confronts Patch about his intentions,

    ; her reaction? 'I know Patch could never hurt me' -- and she trusts him implicitly from that point on. Really? The whole story, you've suspected him and been insistent that you should stay away on the barest of evidence, but once he's confessed his (albeit previous) intentions of murder, you trust him.

    . Her sudden bizarre trust of Patch comes too late for any real belief in their romance. Or her sanity.

    There is no consistency in Nora's thinking. I just can't understand why Becca Fitzpatrick couldn't pick one Nora to write and stick with her.

    She could have just always thought she was losing her mind; self-doubt would have been interesting, and made her root-forable.

    If she had just been reckless and always convinced that yes, maybe something is a little off about Patch, but she still found herself attracted to him, it would have been interesting, and could have been used to slowly reveal the truth and up Nora's anxiety.

    If Nora had just been naive and always convinced that everything was fine despite any indicators, it would have built tension.

    But combining it all made Nora seem confused and a little off herself, and made the writing seem schizophrenic.

    : Fitzpatrick makes the rookie mistake of lack of restraint. Nora suspects everyone, and everyone does in fact seem to be a villain. This makes the book seem unfocused and sort of cheesy. When everyone is under suspicion, and everyone seems to be a bad guy, it makes it seem like no one really is. It's like if you use a really great word once or twice it's going to stand out. But if every word you use is some great, unusual word, none are going to stand out. There's no negative space, no background to make the focal point pop. Everywhere Nora turns, someone's trying to kill her. It just gets silly after awhile. Also, it has the added negative effect of making it hard for Fitzpatrick to "top" as it were. Where does she go from here? If there are 4 different people trying to kill Nora in book 1, how many people will there be out for blood in book 2? She didn't leave any room to grow the suspense.

    Another bad thing about the amount of villains and Nora's instant suspicion (and the overall over-the-top nature of the book) was that there was precious little suspense. By giving everything away rather freely, Fitzpatrick deprived the reader of the slow build-up and the privilege of the mystery; we never got to have any suspicions of our own, or choose sides. There was too much in the way of ominous overtones, and not enough restraint.

    On a side note, not that I'm calling Vee a villain, but even she became a little weird* as the story went on. It's one thing to be the wild and crazy girl in the best friends dynamic, but constantly trying to get your best friend alone with a guy who she says makes her uncomfortable, who she believes broke into her house and may be stalking her, and who she knows was a murder suspect is reckless beyond the pale, and shitty, shitty friendship.

    *By which I mean she goes from being quirky and funny to a godawful, shitty friend. You know, for no other reason than apparently to help lure Nora into bad/ridiculous situations. Plot device: ☑

    : I saw glimpses in Fitzpatrick's writing that demonstrated how this could have been a good book. She does sexual tension and confrontation scenes fairly well, and there is some good humor. Vee -- in the beginning, at least, before she becomes a really reckless, really bad friend -- was pretty amusing as the traditional sidekick. Patch had great one-liners, both funny and smoldering.

    But for all the occasional good, there was quite a bit in the way of bad. The dialogue was often stilted and weird. The analogies were completely out of left field. They were those turns of phrase that you can tell were used because they sounded cool, or because one was needed, but they don't mean anything, or they leave you thinking wtf? "His eyes looked like they didn't play by the rules." What does that even mean? What rules do eyes usually play by? Does he not blink? This is a mild example, but I got sick of making note of them. I got this really hit-and-miss feel about the writing and the language in the book. Pieces of literary crap mixed in with the really good bits blended to form a "throw it all in and something's bound to work" style. A total lack of finesse made it hard to want to keep reading -- and made me feel like if I kept rolling my eyeballs, they were going to roll right out of my head.

    Rant complete.

  • Tatiana
    Nov 05, 2009

    This book is simply appalling.

    I won't lie, my expectations going in about this book were pretty low. But even so, "Hush, Hush" managed to disappoint me.

    First, there are many similarities with "Twilight" - you have a regular average girl here, absent parents, a love affair with a dangerous supernatural boyfriend, a final showdown with a villain of his own kind. The mythology, while somewhat unusual (I haven't read anything about fallen angels in YA so far), is paper thin. The characters are shal

    This book is simply appalling.

    I won't lie, my expectations going in about this book were pretty low. But even so, "Hush, Hush" managed to disappoint me.

    First, there are many similarities with "Twilight" - you have a regular average girl here, absent parents, a love affair with a dangerous supernatural boyfriend, a final showdown with a villain of his own kind. The mythology, while somewhat unusual (I haven't read anything about fallen angels in YA so far), is paper thin. The characters are shallow and undeveloped (BTW, Vee is the dumbest character I've read about maybe ever).

    But this is not even what makes this book a barely tolerable read. This book is just plain silly, and silly not in a cute-and-funny way, but more in it's-pretty-dumb-and-dangerous-to-fall-for-this-crap way. Many things are just so contrived about the story, I got a headache rolling my eyes while reading it. For instance: a bomb threat to steal an empty personal file that nobody investigates later? a biology class which is centered on discussing one uncomfortable and almost harassed student's sexual attractiveness? why would a mother whose husband was murdered leave her 16-year old daughter alone in a remote house for weeks at a time? why would parents of another teenage girl let her go out NEXT DAY after she had surgery following a violent attack on her? dressing up like a hooker to get some dirt on a guy you are investigating? why would an angel fall for loving a human and then get his wings back while loving another human?

    And finally, why exactly Patch and Nora are in love? They know nothing about each other. Even more, Nora spends most of the book calling Patch creepy, being scared of him, being roughly pinned by him to various walls in dark places or being at his knife's point, and yet she is full of desire for him? It just makes no sense. As for Patch, I don't know one thing about him or why he loves Nora. My list can go on and on...

    But surely enough, teenage girls will eat this story up. You have everything for success here: a fabulous cover and font, and pages and pages of flirtatious banter filled with sexual innuendos (very often bordering on sexual harassment) fit for 30-year olds and not 10-graders.

    I am rarely for any kind of censorship of books, but reading nonsense like "Hush, Hush" makes me wonder: what are these writers thinking? In my opinion, YA writers should be held to a higher standard than your usual writers of adults fiction. Why would they want to promote such outright disturbing relationships as normal to impressionable and silly teenage girls? In my book, the relationship between Patch and Nora is not simply shallow, but dangerous. I wish some of the authors exercised better judgment writing their books, otherwise they are setting up many-many girls for a lot of disappointment, because whatever is presented in this book as romantic is disturbing at best in real life.

    Well, to sum this tirade up, "Hush, Hush" is pretty much a book that gives YA literature a bad name. Naturally, the sequel is in works, but surely enough, I won't be reading it. I'd rather dedicate my time to something better written and less contrived and misguided.

    Reading challenge: #1 - F

  • Megan
    Dec 04, 2009

    begins with the teacher stating, “Human reproduction…requires mature handling. And like all science, the best approach is to learn by sleuthing. For the rest of the class, practice this technique by finding out as much as you can about your new (seating assignment) partner. Tomorrow, bring your write-up of your discoveries, and believe me, I’m going to check for authenticity…I want to see real interaction and teamwork.” This is a

    begins with the teacher stating, “Human reproduction…requires mature handling. And like all science, the best approach is to learn by sleuthing. For the rest of the class, practice this technique by finding out as much as you can about your new (seating assignment) partner. Tomorrow, bring your write-up of your discoveries, and believe me, I’m going to check for authenticity…I want to see real interaction and teamwork.” This is a

    class! Teaching kids how to get to know one another reflects the teaching of the science of human reproduction

    The next day, class focuses on what qualities each student looks for in a “potential mate” and the nuances of body language when hitting on someone. Again, this is Bio! Not health, not ~ well I don’t know what cause I never took a class this ridiculous. But I took a lot of sciences, and this ain’t it.

    Later on in the book,

    Uh… that has nothing to do with high school biology! And even less to do with human reproduction. WTF? Furthermore, in the blood pressure lab, “Vee is lying faceup on a table.” Argh! Those lab tables are

    . Chemicals, dissections… kids are not allowed to sit on them, much less lay on them. And, really unless you are checking orthostatic BP, there is really no need to lie down for five minutes before hand! All I can say is that Becca Fitzpatrick must have been homeschooled.

    Later, Nora approaches her Bio teacher about switching her seat away from Patch because he makes her feel uncomfortable.

    This all takes place right after Patch is seriously sexually harassing Nora in class, in front of the teacher and seemingly with the teacher’s encouragement. More support for the homeschooled theory!

    Nora is driving home one night, and approaches a traffic light. The light turns yellow and Nora,

    What the hell? Who stops at a yellow light to see if traffic is clear?? Why wouldn’t it be when the other side still has a red light? I’m guessing that Fitzpatrick has never owned a driver’s license. Ever.

    A rollercoaster called

    . Do people at a park really give a crap about biblical lore? Furthermore, the car Nora & Patch ride in has a “grouping of four paintings” depicting an angels’ fall from grace. Don’t all rollercoasters have large flashy graphics that can be seen from a distance & look cool when speeding around the track? Since when do they sport fairly intricate and thoughtful artwork?

    So, in addition to being a non-driving, homeschooled, amusement park avoider… Fitzpatrick is clearly unaware of laws protecting minors in this country.

    The article continues to state that Elliot was released after a suicide note was found in the victim’s apartment. There are no further news stories regarding this matter. Nevertheless,

    And this girl has hopes of getting into an Ivy league school????

    Nora has the police at her house for a 911 call, and again to question her about an attack on a fellow student.

    I shouldn’t be surprised, because it has already been established that Fitzpatrick has no understanding of laws pertaining to minors.

    Nora sees Patch’s bare back and notices that,

    Is it just me?!?! If an

    Right? Fitzpatrick could have written that the gashes started at his shoulder blades, and extended to his kidneys as they widened to form an upside down V. But the way it’s written? It doesn’t make sense! Furthermore, the kidneys are pretty much right below the shoulder blades, not further out from them. Yeah, I’m nitpicking.

    The final irrational aspect of

    is

    .She is naïve, spineless, and a horrible and chronic liar. When she doesn’t want to do something, she will make up lame excuse after lame excuse… even when she gets called out for her excuses, she never has the balls to simply say, “I am not interested in having dinner/date/whatever with you.” She just continues to make up excuses ~ never comes clean or sticks up for herself. When Patch is attempting to corner & kiss her, Nora tells him to go. When he doesn’t, she says, “My legs are falling asleep” What? Who says that?! Lord, if you want him to go and he doesn’t then TELL HIM AGAIN! BUT DON’T MAKE UP SOME LAME ASS EXCUSE! No wonder people walk all over Nora and take advantage of her! Nora is so frightened of Patch, that there is even a scene where he is playing cat and mouse with her ~ chasing her around a parked car, until she breaks out in a run, only to be caught by him in a matter of seconds. But despite her fear, she never tells him NO.

    I don’t take issue with Patch. Really. He is thousands of years old (presumably), isn’t human, and for some reason has developed a crush on a very immature teen. So I actually expect him to mess with her a little bit. But dumbass Nora actually

    him to manipulate her. Not that she deserves it (although, really she does!) but Nora does nothing to defend herself against Patch, Elliot, Vee… anyone! She loses control of every conversation and interaction she participates in. And still manages to come out the “heroine.” Whatever! Had Nora grown or changed as a result of her experiences, I could have forgiven her. Or if Nora had suffered some severe consequences as a result of her stupidity, I could have forgiven Fitzpatrick. As it is…I’m considering destroying this library book and facing the repurcussions of a library black mark (or god forbid ban!) all in the name of saving young, impressionable teen girls from thinking Nora is the sort of protagonist to look up to. Even Bella Swan is more admirable. And that’s saying something!

  • Kat Kennedy
    Feb 09, 2010

    How I Would Have Ended It

    *This post was inspired by the fantastic videos over at

    . Italicized text is the original publicized text from the book and is entirely the work of Becca Fitzpatrick.

    This rendition is entirely satire. It is not meant to offend and I mean no discourtesy. I recognize that authors put a lot of time and work into their novels and I am not trying to disrespect that. Writing a novel is hard work and is something I have never done and I certainly don

    How I Would Have Ended It

    *This post was inspired by the fan­tas­tic videos over at

    . Ital­i­cized text is the orig­i­nal pub­li­cized text from the book and is entirely the work of Becca Fitzpatrick.

    This ren­di­tion is entirely satire. It is not meant to offend and I mean no dis­cour­tesy. I rec­og­nize that authors put a lot of time and work into their nov­els and I am not try­ing to dis­re­spect that. Writ­ing a novel is hard work and is some­thing I have never done and I cer­tainly don’t think I could do a bet­ter job. I am sim­ply, with light-hearted inten­tion, using humour and imag­i­na­tion to spark book dis­cus­sion and fun and point out some issues I had with the novel.

    And lastly, please don’t sue me. I have no money. And I have chil­dren to feed. And I have a cat to feed as well. You wouldn’t want a cat to go with­out food, would you? Also, pretty please with a cherry on top. I’ll be your friend?*

    “Okay,” I said, straight­en­ing up and slip­ping out from his over­bear­ing pres­ence to put some space between us.

    “Okay?”

    “Okay, I’m out of here.”

    “You can’t go!” Patch said, his face twist­ing into a con­fused expression.

    “Well, you’ve pretty much admit­ted that you were going to kill me, in a very per­sonal way, might I add. I think that jus­ti­fies a quick and hasty exit,” I spat at him, straight­en­ing my out­fit in indig­na­tion and stand­ing up to him with more con­fi­dence than I felt.

    Patch splut­tered for a moment, blink­ing his eyes dis­be­liev­ingly. “But… I wasn’t… I mean…” he looked lost for a moment before vis­i­bly col­lect­ing him­self and slip­ping back into his usual, con­fi­dent demeanor.

    I arched an eye­brow and stared at him in dis­be­lief. “Well, I have a dif­fer­ent plan, Patch. Mainly revolv­ing around the fact that you pur­posely entered my life in order to stalk, harass and mur­der me for your nefar­i­ous schemes. So I think this would be a pretty good time for you to quit the mys­te­ri­ous bull­shit and be extremely trans­par­ent about every­thing I need to know. I mean, you haven’t even assured me, at this point, that you’re not actu­ally going to kill me. And I don’t mean to harp on this point – but that’s a pretty impor­tant facet of this dis­cus­sion for me.”

    He stalked close to me again, affect­ing a brood­ing, intense expres­sion and caus­ing my heart to thud painfully in my chest.

    I exerted con­sid­er­able effort to con­tain an eye­roll, but it slipped through at the last minute.

    in dis­taste.

    I pressed my finger-tips to his chest. He glanced at the spot where we touched and then back up to my eyes. “If my vocab­u­lary is caus­ing you dis­tress,” I whis­pered huskily, look­ing up to him with a wicked smile on my face, “then let me express my dis­plea­sure in the only way you seem to understand.”

    Patch’s brow creased in con­fu­sion a moment before my heel came down hard on his instep. He hopped back in pain, look­ing at me with both hurt and bewil­der­ment. “Per­sonal bound­aries, Patch. Respect them when I ask you to. See, I have this rule about let­ting would-be mur­der­ers within ten feet of my very stab-able body. Now, tell me. Is Dabria going to be com­ing after me.”

    Patch, mirac­u­lously less inter­ested in encroach­ing on my per­sonal space, shrugged from where he was.

    he looked down at his injured foot and winked,

    “I don’t think I need you for much of any­thing,” I sneered, turn­ing on him and head­ing to the door.

    from behind me.

    “Lis­ten, the only unfin­ished busi­ness we have is between my knee and your crotch if you come near me again.”

    “In fact,” I said as I pulled it out, “you’re going to go away and I don’t ever, EVER want to see your broody, mopey face again. You have for­ever cured me of bad­boys. When this is over, it’s strictly account­ing nerds and bank­ing types for me! This was absolutely the WORST way to pun­ish my mother for her absence, assert my inde­pen­dence and act out my grief from los­ing my father. I should have just stolen money from my mother’s purse and bought alco­hol like a NORMAL teenager!” I pressed the accept but­ton on my cell. “What?!”

    I groaned in dis­be­lief and promised myself that if I sur­vived this, I’d choose friends who weren’t com­plete and utter dumbasses.

    I sighed heav­ily. “That was my brain­less, drop­kick friend phon­ing me to pass along the mes­sage that Elliot and Jules are going to mur­der her vio­lently unless I go meet up with them.”

    “What was that you were say­ing about never again see­ing my broody, mop­ing face?” Patch asked, his con­fi­dence returned tri­fold and an enor­mous grin spread across his face.

    I resisted the urge to smash my face into the tiled wall repeat­edly. “Oh, shut up and come on. I’ll prob­a­bly end up nobly sac­ri­fic­ing myself and sav­ing your ass any­way, so cut the shit, Patch.”

    He unlocked and opened the door, let­ting me out ahead of him.

    “Still going to set­tle for an accoun­tant or banker?”

    “You had bet­ter be so damn awe­some in bed or I am going to stab you through the eye with your own lit­er­al­ized ego.”

    “I have ninety-nine prob­lems, Nora, but per­for­mance in the sack is NOT one of them.”

    The end.

  • Hannah
    Mar 04, 2010

    About three things I was absolutely positive:

    First, that

    was, without a doubt, one of the worst Twilight rip-offs I've ever had the misfortune to read.

    Second, there was a part of me -- and I didn't realize how dominant that part actually was -- that insisted on reading

    to the bitter end in the hope it would redeem itself.

    And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably wrong in that decision.

  • Kiki
    Jul 28, 2010

    So the other night I was trying to force myself to finish writing a chapter, but I was on the verge of headdesking at about 12:30, so I packed up then and went off to bed. I read some nice fluffy paranormal crap, sung myself into a subconscious lull, and then eventually fell into deep, drooling sleep.

    You guessed it. This is a dream story.

    Now, I rarely remember my dreams. But last night's was so freaking

    that I can reel it all off right now without missing any details. Also, bear in mind

    So the other night I was trying to force myself to finish writing a chapter, but I was on the verge of headdesking at about 12:30, so I packed up then and went off to bed. I read some nice fluffy paranormal crap, sung myself into a subconscious lull, and then eventually fell into deep, drooling sleep.

    You guessed it. This is a dream story.

    Now, I rarely remember my dreams. But last night's was so freaking

    that I can reel it all off right now without missing any details. Also, bear in mind that absolutely everything I'm about to tell you is one hundred per cent true. I never lie on Goodreads, because telling the truth is just so much more fun.

    So it starts off with me in some kind of medieval town. I'm blonde, which is a change. The "camera angle" is third person, but I know that's me in the blue dress. For some reason, it occurs to me that my name is Bess, and for some reason I'm carrying a weapon, like a knife. I don't actually see the knife; I'm just aware of it.

    So I step up in front of this shop, and suddenly the place looks more wild west. Some guy goes to attack me, but I totally ninja him and then leap down off the verandah, into a waiting crowd. They all part and then the guy I supposedly killed stands up again and yells, "You're a Pagan!"

    Then I yell, in my own voice (and accent), "Don't come after me! These children [points to a group of forlorn children in front of me, all wearing blue] will get you! There are more over there, in that crowd!"

    Then I run away, there's all this rushing, and then for some reason I'm suddenly running along this farm track, like a muddy road. The viewpoint's in full first person now. Think

    . The atmosphere is sort of chalky and dark, something like

    , and I'm running and running, but it's dream running, so I'm not really getting anywhere. You know dream running; you need to move, and there's something really fucking horrible chasing you, but for the life of you you can't make your legs move any faster than they would if they were coated in tar.

    So I'm dream running, and then suddenly the word, "Samhain*" pops into my head and then I think, "Wait a minute! My name is Samhain!"

    No, I don't even bother to question this. I keep trying to run, and when I look behind me, I see a fork in the road, and men in

    on horses, parting down the fork in the road. I keep trying to dream run, but it's pretty fucking useless, because one of the guys catches up. I dart off the road, into a fir tree, but I'm terrible at hiding and I get caught. The guy yells, "Samhain!" and then an old guy comes riding down the road on this tiny little horse and carriage, from the opposite direction, and starts shooting me with what I imagine was a BB gun. He has the creepiest expression on his face, I'm flinching, because I think I'm going to get hit, but somehow I don't.

    Yeah.

    A second later I'm back in some town square, and I'm wearing a bright orange bonnet that's too tight. It's made of thick, glossy paper, and it crosses my mind to be careful that the edge of it doesn't

    . Why am I so paranoid? I'm not restrained, but I don't make a run for it. Everyone's chanting "Samhain! Samhain!" and then I do the creepiest thing I have

    done in a dream, ever.

    I laugh. But it's this really loud Joker laugh, except ten times crazier, and my voice is all masculine. I'm cackling, basically, as they lead me to this huge sandstone building that looks like the Volturi clock tower from the

    movie (yeah, I saw it. Castrate me). I'm still screaming with manic laughter as they take me down all these torchlit flights of stairs and I start getting pretty fucking scared, because I see all these shadows flitting around and little wispy lights and shit, and then I get locked in this cell, and we're back to medieval times with this one. I bang on the door, yelling in a girly voice again, apparently trying to laugh it off as I say, "Come on, man! This is like false imprisonment!"

    So the door opens and the guy says something that I can't remember, then he randomly falls down the stairs. When he hits the bottom step, he's miraculously changed into a woman with long, braided hair, and this crazy look of astonishment. I'm apparently unfazed by watching someone die, and I step over him/her, and make my way back up all the winding twisty staircases. Yeah, the shadows and creepy things are back, and I'm pretty fucking freaked out by the time I reach this polished ballroom, that looks like it has laminate flooring, and big windows. I walk past it, up a flight of stairs that look like the moving staircases in the Harry Potter movies, and on to this loft area that has windows that look on to a huge abyss with

    hanging over it. The windows have blue velvet curtains, and no glass. They're sandstone. Ever been to the Wallace Monument? That's what the windows are like. Except at the Wallace Monument, they don't have curtains. Whatever.

    To my left are two people sitting on a bench. There's a smirking woman wearing modern clothes and a big leather handbag, and a man, but he's blurry. The woman stands up and stalks past me, and the man stays where he is. In front of the window nearest to me is a man in grey/brown clothes, reaching out to two women who sit on the nearest floating platform. One is this really, really pale little girl, with a chubby kind of face and scraped back white hair, and the other is an older woman who reminds me of Vittoria from

    . I walk up to them and suddenly the curtain starts moving by itself, and it gets pulled out into the abyss by what I can only imagine is some kind of ghost, and then pale girl starts shrieking and her fingers go like claws and she clamps her hand over Vittoria-look-a-like's face. Vittoria screams silently, and then I approach, and the man says something, and the girl slumps forward, pouting her lips and crying a little. Vittoria seems suddenly fine, and we all crouch over the pale girl, trying to make her feel better.

    Then I wake up. And when I do, "You Are My Sunshine" is playing on a loop in my head. I'm actually humming it.

    Look, you can't make that shit up. And that statement is why Becca Fitzpatrick fascinates me: because

    makes less sense than my dream, yet somehow, she managed to conjure it all up with her naked little mind.

    Well, not naked. It hardly takes a YA aficionado to notice the glaringly obvious

    catch-and-releases. But look at my dream, then look at

    . Okay, so my name was Samhain. Beck's hero's name is

    . So I got locked in a tower, presumably for being a Pagan. Nora goes all Cagney-and-Lacey, and goes

    to stalk her tormenter at his workplace. Her costume was in a 7-Eleven bag, for fuck's sake! This stuff is totally pumped up, man! How much weed did Becks smoke before she wrote this shit? Seriously!

    Look, pretty much everything that needs to be said about Nora already has been. My flash-in-the-pan Bess was more badass than her, and she had a bunch of children watching her back. Honestly? Nora is so fucking stupid, I'm surprised she's even been allowed to live. I'm amazed her mother hasn't already taken a chainsaw to her. She's that frakkin' dense. I've been hard-pressed to find a protagonist that's as completely insufferable as her, and I've read

    .

    Yes. What does that say? It says that I have a pretty high shit threshold, and yet

    managed to piss me off enough to warrant this review. Yuh-huh.

    Now, on to my next slab of beef:

    Patch.

    Not too long ago, my sister and I were exiting the supermarket, when some old dude reached out and slapped her ass. I screamed a bunch of swear words at him (I was about fourteen at the time) and hauled her away. She felt violated, and I was so angry I thought my jugular was going to pop.

    Now, Patch is exactly the kind of guy who would do that. He'd pinch your ass when you weren't looking. He'd rub himself up against you on the subway. He'd bang you up against your own kitchen cabinets and dry-hump you when you barely knew him, and had already said

    . He'd pin you down on a bed, tell you he wants nothing more than to kill you, then kiss you.

    In short: Patch is a chauvinistic prick.

    * He is a rapist. He has absolutely no loving feelings for the protagonist; he simply wants to bone her. Probably to death.

    *"in the making" was a stupid thing for me to say. Patch is not "in the making". He is made. He is a rapist, and though you've probably already read this post through a hundreds of links to it all over Goodreads, I'm going to relink it

    just to catch the stragglers who didn't give it a glance.

    Look, it's all been said. But this is YA rape culture at it's very worst. This is dressing up sexual harassment as love, then shoving it down the throats of young teens. A dangerous game, no?

    Is simply putting up with sexual harassment in the classroom

    something we want to teach today's teen population? Male or female? What begins in the classroom moves to the workplace, leisure time and eventually, more frighteningly, the home. Patch and Nora's relationship is built around her being terrifed of him, while he fantasizes about killing her. He outright TELLS her that he wants to kill her. On every level, this relationship is heinously unhealthy and extremely dangerous, and nothing anyone should ever aspire to. I see polls all over Goodreads where Patch is rated as the best hero, hottest love interest, best angel. Are you fucking serious? Really?

    .

    If a lover, partner or spouse threatens your life, terrorizes you, humiliates you, belittles you, touches you when you do not wish to be touched, makes lewd/unwanted comments about your body, chases you around your car when you

    , then that person is an immediate danger to you.

    Or--no. Forget all those things, because it's as simple as this:

    Please. Don't EVER put up with behaviour like this. And don't EVER praise Patch as a character for displaying blatant traits of a psychopathic serial rapist/killer. Don't come here and try to convince me that Patch is perfect, a sexy bad boy, because I don't want to fucking hear it. I'm not interested in whatever praise anyone has for this horrifying rape fantasy.

    Whenever I open this book and try desperately to see what everyone finds sexy, all I can think about is the man who grabbed at my sister, or the man who tried to dry-hump me at a concert while the people with him laughed, or the men who hang out of their car windows and honk at me when I'm walking down the street, panting about my body.

    Women, do you think this is the way you deserve to be treated? I sincerely hope not.

    Also, Fitzpatz, did you ever go to high school? Did you ever set foot in a classroom? How could you possibly, when you portray a biology class as discussing what they look for in a "mate". What the fuck? Biology class isn't for talking about makes us horny. And it sickens me that throughout this lesson, Nora is visibly uncomfortable as Patch talks about her body, humiliates her and puts her on the spot in front of everyone, and the surrounding class and teacher simply laugh at her. Nora then asks the teacher to relocate her because she is uncomfortable with Patch, but this has the opposite effect:

    . She gives in, because why wouldn't she? Women being persistent is practically synonymous in our society with "whiny". And what better way, Fitzpatz, to show us how to deal with feeling this way than waving a big loud banner that says, "SUCK IT UP".

    SUCK IT UP if you feel like you are being objectified. SUCK IT UP if a man humiliates you in public. SUCK IT UP if you're being harrassed, bullied, threatened. SUCK IT UP if someone terrifies you.

    I read this book three years ago, and I am still completely and utterly disgusted by it. It's a shambles. It's appalling in absolutely every way.

    I could go into Vee, but frankly I'd rather poke needles through my tongue than spend any time evaluating this piece of walking, agreeing cardboard being passed off as a character. Of course, being fat, Vee is the butt of all jokes, and Nora is constantly commenting on her weight as if that's the only thing worth knowing about this girl who is supposed to be Nora's best friend, but is in fact an enabler who enjoys watching Patch treat Nora like shit. She literally encourages Nora to go after Patch, even after Nora tells her that she's uncomfortable around him and she doesn't enjoy his company.

    What did I say before? SUCK IT UP. That's Vee's dialogue in a nutshell.

    "Feeling harrassed, Nora? Feeling stalked? Well, SUCK IT UP. You're a woman, only there for his entertainment. Stop pretending not to be."

    I'll round off my Vee tirade with this little heteronormative, transphobic tidbit:

    "Boys like girls who look like...girls."

    Oh, lovely. Just lovely.

    This book is also dreadfully written. I mean, really. Just because this is YA, doesn't mean it has to be stuffed full up purple prose, fucked-up metaphors, stupid dialogue, pointless descriptions and cheesy fight scenes. Honestly? A chimpanzee could have done a better job on this book's prose. An editor would have been a good help, too. It would have been nice to have avoided laundry-list character descriptions and "eyes that don't play by the rules".

    What the

    ?

    To conclude: I'll never Be Nice when it comes to your work, Becca. I just can't. A book that perpetuates rape culture and inflicts characters like

    on the world of literature does not deserve my compassion. This is a great big steaming turd, end of. I'd rather eat all of my shoes than put myself through this torture again.

    Basically? Fuck. You. Book.

    The silver lining? Mine's paperback. Got it at Tesco cheapitty-cheap.

    Hurrah!

    And now...

    Haw, yeah!

    Why?

    'Cause I can. That's why.

    *Samhain is a Pagan harvest celebration that takes place on October 31st. Animal sacrifices are offered to gods and evil spirits are warded off by participants wearing frightening costumes and making jack-o-lanterns. It draws some elements from the Festival of the Dead, similar to the Day of the Dead, which is celebrated in Mexico. Basically, it's old-time halloween.

  • Marie
    Apr 04, 2012

    *UHHUM* WHY IS IT THAT ALL I SEE ARE NEGATIVE REVIEWS OF THIS BOOK? REALLY? REALLY? ARE WE EVEN READING THE SAME HUSH HUSH?

    I fell in love with Patch INSTANTLY I mean what's not to love?

    I also love Nora- She is such a refreshing and intriguing heroine. Her and Patch suit each other perfectly. They bounce off each other and really made me laugh with their witty and sarcy sense of humour! They bicker like hell and it's so much fun to read.

    I loved the twist in the end, it turned everything I thoug

    *UHHUM* WHY IS IT THAT ALL I SEE ARE NEGATIVE REVIEWS OF THIS BOOK? REALLY? REALLY? ARE WE EVEN READING THE SAME HUSH HUSH?

    I fell in love with Patch INSTANTLY I mean what's not to love?

    I also love Nora- She is such a refreshing and intriguing heroine. Her and Patch suit each other perfectly. They bounce off each other and really made me laugh with their witty and sarcy sense of humour! They bicker like hell and it's so much fun to read.

    I loved the twist in the end, it turned everything I thought was going to happen into something entirely different. I never knew what was going to happen next.

    I thoroughly enjoyed and loved this book and I certainly cannot wait to read the next.! Well deserved 5 stars, well fricking deserved!

  • Nataliya
    Apr 22, 2012

    I read this

    (a double-dog one, if you must know). And now I want to look it in the eye and ask -

    Because it doesn't just cross the line into the

    - it takes a cosmic leap over it.

    may have the dubious distinction of being the worst book I've ever read.

    Yes, I know I'm not the intended

    I read this

    (a double-dog one, if you must know). And now I want to look it in the eye and ask -

    Because it doesn't just cross the line into the

    - it takes a cosmic leap over it.

    may have the dubious distinction of being the worst book I've ever read.

    Yes, I know I'm not the intended audience,

    Yes, I'm being harsh. But I'm also being honest. Let me give you a sample of my complaints (all of them would be longer than the allowed review space).

    Meet Nora Grey, an 'average' high-schooler who meets a mysterious boy Patch in biology.

    The boy acts like a total jerk to her, and his sleazy innuendos are alarming and appalling but not charming or witty or sexy. The natural things to do would be:

    tell him off,

    tell the school officials, and

    call the police if the d-bag does not stop harrassing you. Instead, Nora Grey decides to madly fall in love with the jerk. (*)

    Patch is a fallen angel (no spoilers, it was stated on page one or so) with a dark past. But basically he is an entitled arrogant jerk who appears to take immense pleasure in publicly humiliating Nora, physically forcing himself on her, physically intimidating her, ignoring her wishes, and gloating in his dripping douchebaggery approach while nearly sexually assaulting her in front of the class.

    **

    **

    But for some inexplicable reason Nora is in love with the creep. For some inexplicable reason, his appalling behavior is presented as alluring and seductive. For some inexplicable reason, he is presented as a "dark and dangerous" man of every girl's dream.

    This may explain why we get pages and pages of this incoherent lovestruck bumbling masquerading as a book! Mystery solved, my job here is done.

    **********************************

    While I'm on the soapbox, let me say this -

    You see, our wonderful Nora thinks it's perfectly okay to learn about the mysterious new boy by breaking into the students' records office to look at the confidential file (

    ), and spying at him at work, snooping for information from his coworkers. I hate the message this book is sending.

    ***********************************

    Please... leave... the... faux-dramatic-pause ... ellipses ... in ... your... fanfiction... please. Unless you're paid for each ellipsis used. End... the... ellipses... abuse...

    ... ... ... ...

    ... ... ... ...

    Nora, you know what you need instead of a creepy boyfriend?

    Your heart sounds unhealthy to me.

    -----------------------------------

    Terrible book with lackluster annoying characters, ridiculous plot, and bad writing, but with overabundance of creepiness.

    because that's the lowest rating I can give. Reading it was a miserable experience.

    -----------

    4.0 rating on Goodreads? Really? Sometimes I really wonder whether I'm reading the same book as everyone else.

  • Etnik
    Aug 31, 2014

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