hush, hush – Becca Fitzpatrick

I’m going to put a little warning here. A WHOLE LOT OF SPOILERS, for one thing.

I rant like crazy in this thing. I get so frustrated and annoyed and, basically, I’m horrible to this book. I really didn’t want to be this mean, but every time I tried to hold back, more ranting came out.

If you remotely like this book, please don’t read this review, you’ll hate it. I promise you, you will. I’m not nice to this book. So if you don’t want to hear it, go on a different review, or even click the little X button. You won’t want to hear me rant about how much I didn’t like it.

For the rest of you that’ve stayed, I apologise in advance for this. 

So you know it’s bad when you’re reading a book and you’re counting down the pages until it’s finished. You’re so relieved that the book has ended and you have survived it. It doesn’t tear your heart out (Like Kingdom of the Wicked) or leave you feeling so alone in the world now that it’s over (Monsters of Men). You feel like you’ve finally escaped it. And then you make a review and rant about it because that’s the only reason you got through it in the first place.

I’m going to put this plainly, it was like a very very horrible, very creepy (but in a bad way) version of Twilight + The Mortal Instruments. Twilight, for obvious reasons, boring girl, meet in high school, fall in love with supernatural creature thing, action only starts in the last few chapters, and so on. The Mortal Instruments because it talks about Angels and Nephilim and all that stuff. And Patch is a “bad boy” (Jace kinda was, until he got full of so much teen angst).

Summary

Patch is a fallen angel (SPOILER: Even though they tell you on the blurb). Nora and Patch fall in “love”. Oh, and there’s some random guy in a ski mask as well, who’s not very nice.

I literally can’t think of anything else that happened.

Pros

The cover is pretty. I mean, look at it! It’s all moody and cool and stuff. I do have a problem with my edition (I’ll get into that in the Cons), but this one is really nice!

And um, well done Becca Fitzpatrick for making a load of money? I had to put that in there to say that I’m not insulting her as a person, good for her being successful and living her dreams, but the book… That’s a whole other story.

Cons

A small thing before we start.

Why does everyone wear Levi’s in this book? There is so much product placement, I have a feeling that they were paying Becca Fitzpatrick to do it.

The Usual

Dialogue = UGH. No, not good. Sometimes I was like, yeah, this is ok. Other times, BLEH. IT WAS SO SO SO SO SO HORRIBLE. Everything sounded so set up and fake and just made me feel so BLEH.

Writing Style = NO. The description was so forced. At the beginning, I swear that was one of the most awkward descriptions of characters ever. No one describes themselves as a smoky eyed brunette. NO ONE. Or all legs like a barstool. Unless it was supposed to be like that so Nora could come off as a really arrogant girl. Speaking of which…

Characters = Ok, I’m going to be frank. If I don’t like characters, I will usually not like a book. There haven’t been any exceptions to that yet. (Maybe The Death Cure, but that still bothered me, and it honestly wasn’t to this scale. At all. It’s like comparing your phone vibrating to an earthquake.) I seriously hated every single character in this book. They were all so annoying and creepy and shallow and stupid. I dare you to find a single character in this book that didn’t annoy the heck out of me. More on that later.

Setting – Not very original at all, because we learn basically nothing. At least in the Mortal Instruments, Cassandra Clare takes the time to explain all this stuff about Nephilim and what happened and all this really really awesome background. This? Patch is a fallen angel because he fell in love with this random girl, so they got rid of his wings.

Plot – No. Predictable and annoying.

Ok. Let’s go.

Cover

I said I thought the cover was really good, right? But my problem is that with my cover, I hated the quotes and recommendations. Usually publishers will put the best recommendations they can find onto a cover. That usually tells me a lot. If you look inside the Book Thief, (one of the best books in existence), you will find a ton of quotes. From reliable and well known sources as well. Let me see…

There are two pages worth of praise for the Book Thief, in tiny print. They are completely glowing reviews as well, from The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal… and a heap more. And all these reviews are so good. Here’s one of many “Unsettling, thought-provoking, life-affirming, triumphant and tragic, this a novel of breathtaking scope, masterfully told” – Guardian.

Now let’s compare this to hush, hush. The publisher’s chosen quotes are from these three sources. Publisher’s Weekly (which I’m pretty sure is a good pick, but I don’t know much about them), Sugar Magazine (bad choice) and BellaandEdward.com. Seriously. While I’m not trying to insult any of these sources, I’m just saying that they’re not particularly well known to be reliable sources of book reviews.

So I was already slightly put off by that, but I ignored it. The Hunger Games had a quote from Stephenie Meyer, but she writes utterly different books.

Let’s break this next bit down.

CHARACTERS

Nora

I figured we’d need to get to one of the problems straight away. Nora. I don’t know if it’s the author acting like this or Nora acting like this since it’s first person, but holy hell Nora is dumb. And she wants to get into Harvard. I’m sorry, but I doubt she’d get into Harvard. They usually have common sense and logic and the ability to, you know, actually work out stuff.

Nora, not so much.

She’s seriously dumb. And annoying.

Good god, is she annoying. And we’re supposed to admire this character? Her relationship with Patch is the most dysfunctional thing I’ve ever read that someone’s tried to pass off as a good romance. More on that later.

And she jumps to conclusions so fast, which I’m sure is a product of bad writing, not her being that idiotic. Because no normal person acts like that.

All I wanted to happen was Valkyrie Cain to show up and roundhouse kick her in the face or something. Valkyrie, please go slap some sense into Nora, and stop her from lusting over a to-be-serial-rapist. Then go and kill Patch, because damn he’s creepier than Caelan.

There must be some fanfiction that does this, please, because I would totally read it just to show Nora how idiotic she is, even though I don’t read fanfiction. Or at least some fan art. Come on, tumblr, there must be something.

Patch

If there was any character I’d read about that I presumed was a serial rapist, it would be him. He’s creepier than actual rapists in books.  (Like that guy from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. He was creepy as hell.) He has the most cheesy pick up lines in the world. To ever exist, ever. And they’re supposed to be really hot? No.

  • “Say ‘provoking’ again. Your mouth looks provocative when you do.”
  • “Do you want to possess my body?”
    “I want to do a lot of things to your body, but that’s not one of them.”
  • “Soap. Shampoo. Hot water.”
    “Naked. I know the drill.”

Also, Patch tells Nora on their first meeting that he’s stalking her. He takes pictures of her and knows everything about her and he’s god, so annoying.

He says he likes girls if they’re intelligent, attractive and vulnerable.

WHAT.

VULNERABLE?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

If I didn’t think he was going to assault someone before, now I’m sure of it.

The “Love”

Notice the little “” around the word Love. That’s because what they have is not love. It’s LUST.

It’s a very obvious distinction, as well. Tell me one aspect of Patch that Nora actually admires, or loves. That’s pretty much impossible. And looks don’t count, looks are superficial.

One of the things I love about books is that it doesn’t usually matter what a character looks like, but it’s what they do and what they say that makes you love them. You can’t see the character, therefore you usually don’t fall in love with a character if they’re hot. For example, Todd Hewitt is one of my favourite YA Male characters in the universe and we’re never told once what he looks like. Seriously, nothing. No hair colour, eye colour, height, width, if he’s ugly or beautiful or childlike or anything. His actions are what makes him an amazing character. And him and Viola are the cutest and best couple that ever existed. Ever. Seriously, that’s love. Todd doesn’t love her because she’s beautiful or whatever. He loves her entire being and existence in general.

Take Percy Jackson. We’re never told if he’s good looking or not (at least, I don’t think we are until like the seventh book), but again, one of my favourite characters in the world. Percabeth is one of the best pairings as well, because Percy actually loves Annabeth. You can tell that he thinks she’s pretty, sure, but he admires her strength, determination, intelligence, wit and so on.

Then there’s Patch and Nora. Pora? Natch? (this is why no one should ever name their child Patch. I know it’s a nickname and he’s probably actually like the Angel Gabriel or Raphael or something, but still!) If you’ve read hush, hush, think about all the times Patch is mentioned and replace him with the creepiest misogynistic face that you can think of. Now the words sound creepy. Everything he says and does seems wrong, and you find yourself wondering why Nora is attracted to a guy like this. It’s only his good looks and rock solid abs that redeem him as a character in Nora’s eyes which is completely stupid and superficial and not love. LUST.

And it’s not a healthy relationship. Nora is terrified of this guy, with reason, too.

And seriously, what’s so special about this relationship that it’s love?

Patch threatens her, they make out once or twice, then suddenly they’re in love?

I get why it’s special for Nora. It’s her first ever terrorizing stalker who will kill her while she’s sleeping  “boyfriend”, but for Patch, there’s nothing special about Nora for him than any other girl he’s hit on. He treats her like he treats anyone else, and he probably gets into the pants of a ton of girls. But for some reason it’s said that he loves Nora.

The worst thing is, there was a competition about the best YA male, and one of the rounds was between Patch and Percy Jackson. Patch won, by a considerable amount.

The only question I was left with was, how?

How?

Vee

The worst friend in the history of friends ever.

EVER.

Nora gets assaulted by Elliot, and she calls Vee afterwards, being traumatised. Vee tells her it’s her fault for being paranoid and Elliot was drunk, and she has to go on this trip where Elliot will probably rape and murder her, because Vee thinks his best friend is hot.

I actually liked her to begin with, because I thought she was kinda funny. No. Not anymore. She turned into being obnoxious and annoying and I wanted to punch her whenever she appeared. She was the stereotypical ugly best friend who no one likes, who is there for the purpose of making our protagonist look even prettier.

She is the Jessica of this book. (No, even Jessica wasn’t this annoying in twilight, that’s too harsh.) She is the Leslie (Was her name Leslie? From Wicked Lovely. Eh, who cares.) of this book.

Elliot

He’s so weird. It’s again, probably the writing, but Nora asks him whether he does any sports, and he suddenly stops the conversation, pretends to box the air for a few seconds, then nearly hits her, and resumes the conversation.

What.

The.

Actual.

Heck.

And he suddenly goes from really nice and pleasant (which we’re told is the extent of his entire personality, even though he’s only said three sentences), to CREEPY AS HELL. And no one notices (apart from Nora, but that’s because he basically told her he was crazy)

Also, as soon as I read about him I knew he was going to be the Jacob of this book. So damn predictable.

AND, I don’t see why when Nora found out Elliot was interviewed about this girl getting murdered but wasn’t a suspect anymore, she got really suspicious and wary of him, but when PATCH THREATENS HER WITH A BLOODY KNIFE (it wasn’t actually bloody, I was just substituting that word for something a lot more crude) AND SAYS HE COULD RAPE HER AND ALMOST SEXUALLY ASSAULTS HER TWICE SHE STARTS  MAKING OUT WITH HIM.

I swear there is no sense in this relationship. And this is promoted as a healthy relationship, which is completely sickening. If I ever met a Patch, I would kick him where it hurts and run for my bloody life, while calling the police and MI5 and the FBI and Dr Who to sort this out.

Jules

Jules was my favourite character. He hated Nora and Vee as much as I did, and wasn’t there long enough to become obnoxious and annoying like every single character in this book. I’m not even kidding, find any random character (Minor or Major. Ha, that sounded like I was talking about Music Theory.) and tell me that they’re not annoying. Even the waitress is a… (can’t swear in this review, no matter how much I want to)… brat.

And then Jules had to turn into the stupid, stereotypical villain. He sounded like he was from a kids show, like Kim Possible (I had an awesome childhood)

OH GOD THERE’S A SPIDER IN HERE IN THE ROOM OH GOD OH GOD IT’S SO MASSIVE GO AWAY NO GO AWAY GET OFF ME

Goddamnit that was terrifying.

Sorry, back to the review.

Coach

What are you teaching kids? This is not how biology lessons work.

Marnie

Is that her name? I can’t even remember, that’s how forgettable she was. She was the usual stereotypical blonde, slutty, stupid cheerleading brat with too much make up and modelling jobs. Why are all the mean girls always cheerleaders? Why? Are cheerleaders that bad in america?

This seems cheerleaderist.

The Psychologist

Because I genuinely can’t remember her name. Was it Greene?

I saw that twist coming from a mile away. The author didn’t even make it subtle.

PLOT

Where was it? The Summary on my book was all about a massive, epic war between angels and choosing sides and so on. I saw none of that. I saw a girl getting terrorised and falling in lust with some hot guy, some hallucinations from ski mask dude, and… That’s about it.

There is a “fight” at the end. By fight I mean she stabs this guy with a knife in the leg, and runs off, then jumps off a ladder and it ends.

DIALOGUE

No. Not good.

When you read the flashbacks, they are the most stilted and awkward things you will ever read. People don’t talk like that. It was like a pantomime act, the way it was told. “Oh, because we’re FALLEN ANGELS, remember? *wink wink* And we have to do this stuff, and say it out loud even though that makes no sense *forced laughter*.”

The dialogue was passable between Patch and Nora at the beginning, but mostly because I was so creeped out by Patch, and it was so cliché. Cheesy is better than terrible.

WRITING

Good god, here we go.

First off, the writing is so cheesy and cliché, but even that’s not the worst of it’s problems.

Nora comes off as arrogant, assuming, paranoid, self-centred and downright stupid because of this writing.

She describes herself as beautiful, and her friend as fat. She skirts around the word, using voluptuous and curvy, but we know she means fat. It is so heavily implied.

She assumes that people must be jealous of her because Patch is “in love” with her, even though no signs suggest that.

The only reason she doesn’t want to go to a prestigious university is that she thinks they’re too snotty or something like that, it doesn’t even dawn on her that it might be because she’s so dumb.

She presumes that Patch must not exist because he doesn’t have a facebook account. Seriously. And because he hasn’t had a immunisation thingy.

AND THE BIT ABOUT THE SKI MASK.

No normal person, in Nora’s shoes, would presume that you’re annoying biology partner who hits on you is ski mask guy for two reasons.

1. You presumed you dreamed it
2. You barely know this guy
3. HE RIPPED THE DOORS OFF YOUR (replacing a very bad word with sandwich, because we have to try to be a little child-friendly. Hopefully if I’ve used too many bad words in this Yanni will edit them out)  SANDWICHING CAR. SANDWICHING BITS OF METAL OFF YOUR SANDWICHING VEHICLE. NO ONE DOES THAT. THE SANDWICH.
4. And since your biology partner is, you presume, just a sandwiching normal guy who doesn’t take mega steroids and isn’t Mr Incredible, there is no way you would jump to that conclusion. Unless you were Nora. Because Nora is an idiot.

Vee calls a bomb threat to the school, and the school does nothing but let the kids out to do whatever they want. That’s not how it works. All the description jumps to massive conclusions which I don’t know if they’re part of Nora’s character or just bad pacing.

Like how she presumes that it must be Patch talking into her head. And how Elliot must have killed that girl, even though the police said he didn’t. And how Patch must be an angel just because he has scars resembling some internet page. Small things like how she knows Patch has a deep and dark, mysterious past even though there’s barely any indication that he has one. Or that Elliot is so nice from nothing. It feels like cheating, because instead of showing us by development and scenarios, she just tells us straight up.

This would have worked in 3rd person, I guess, but in 1st it’s terrible.

But the main reason I despise this book with a passion…

Is that it basically promotes disgusting relationships like this. It tells girls to find guys that treat them like (trying to find another nice word substitute so I don’t get angry and swear) nothing, if they want the perfect romance. It tells girls to judge guys by how they look, and to be flattered by guys trying to rape them, because that’s just because they love them. It tells guys to treat girls like trash if they want to be liked, and to look like an Abercrombie and Fitch model, using terrible pick up lines, and be complete jerks because girls will find that attractive. The bestselling series promotes that.

It’s disgusting and ridiculous, but people fall for it. You don’t know how many reviews I’ve seen where people praise Nora for being smart and romantic and making perfect choices, where Patch is seen has sexy and admirable and sweet. They always seem to mention his good looks and “charm”.

This book does not only bore me, but it offends me. I feel like it’s directly insulting me. I feel like I’m reading a book promoting completely terrible relationships, bordering on abusive, and telling girls to find their own jerk because they won’t be whole without one. Just make sure he’s good looking and tries to get you in bed in every single chapter, but also tries to kill you.

In a society where we’re constantly trying to show people that it’s what’s on the inside that matters, this book is completely pushing back all these messages and showing us that only pretty people are let off the hook, then make fun of pretty people for being pretty at the same time. It’s offensive.

Quotes

I can’t think of any that I actually like, so here’s a random few thrown in that I found on goodreads.

  • “Keep in mind that people change, but the past doesn’t.”
  • “Guard your body.” His smile tipped higher. “I take my job seriously, which means I’m going to need to get acquainted with the subject matter on a personal level.”
  • “All this time I’ve hated myself for it. I thought I’d given it up for nothing. But if I hadn’t fallen, I wouldn’t have met you.”
  • “If you can’t feel, why did you kiss me?”
    Patch traced a finger along my collarbone, then headed south stopping at my heart. I felt it pounding through my skin. “Because I feel it here, in my heart,” he said quietly.”
  • “Call me Patch. I mean it. Call me.”
  • “He was the worst kind of wrong. He was so wrong it felt right, and that made me feel completely out of control.”

Overall

I can’t even give this 1 shuriken star. I don’t know if I can even give it half. I can’t think of a redeeming quality for this book, because I’m even starting to go off this cover.

1/4 of a shuriken star. I don’t even have a star category this low for it to go in. Sorry Becca Fitzpatrick, but your book just didn’t do it for me. Read this if you are a massive fan of Twilight, Wicked Lovely, Fifty Shades of Grey (No, I’m not talking from personal experience, before you ask. And no, I will not read it, I don’t want to get mentally scarred) or books are completely to do with how pretty the people are, not who the people are. You might like this.

For the rest of you, don’t even dare. You’ll probably scream in frustration at every other page like I did, and no one else will understand your pain. You’ll force yourself not to throw the book at the wall just because your library would kill you for getting it damaged.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. I haven’t read this book because I’ve been so skeptical … So I guess good thing I read this! I still may put this off quite a bit!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Jo on April 27, 2014 at 9:50 am

    That was the best review ever. Of all time. I was laughing aloud at places, and you are very accurate with your descriptions of the characters. I actually made it through this book, and half of the next, but I had an incredulous expression on my face the whole time. Congratulations to Becca Fitzpatrick for being published – and I do admit that this is not the worse book I have ever read – but it was not my cup of tea.

    Reply

    • yeah, i can see people enjoying it for a light entertainment factor or to pass the time, but the themes do worry me for people that take it seriously. YA isn’t doing a very good job at the moment of promoting healthy relationships in their mainstream paranormal romance. I just hope that people won’t read it so naively and try to emulate the really disturbing relationship these characters have.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Mya on August 28, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    im doing a summer reading on this book, and thank god there is someone who feels the same way about this book as i do. i wish i read this before i picked up the book.

    Reply

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