2010 YALRC, Book 3 – Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
For my third book of the 2010 YA Lit Reading Challenge, I chose Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. I was pretty excited about reading it, because a lot of my friends (whose taste in books is usually right in line with mine) really enjoyed it.
To sum up, this book is about 16 year old Nora Grey, who is unexpectedly seated next to the mysterious Patch Cipriano during Biology one day. The more Nora gets to know Patch, the less sure she is that she even wants to know him. He’s cocky, he’s got a dark side, and he’s got a very strange way of showing up everywhere Nora happens to be (including the ladies’ room). Nora soon deduces the true nature of who (and what) Patch is, and finds herself thrown in the middle of a battle between good and evil that she is not sure she is capable of handling.
This is a review that I’ve written and re-written over and over again in my head. It’s hard to write because I did not love this book. I am attempting to be diplomatic in my dislike of it because, again, several people whose opinion I trust, literary-wise, enjoyed it.
However, I had multiple issues with it. First and foremost, although I know a lot of people would find Patch to be mysterious and sexy, I found him to be creepy and stalkerish. Finding out the truth of what he was didn’t do much to help his case in my eyes, either (SPOILER: he’s a fallen angel – he fell to earth because of the lust he felt for a human girl). He comes across as very predatory towards Nora, and it generally did not make me comfortable with the relationship that developed between the two.
Secondly, Nora’s BFF, Vee, was infuriating to me. Sure, she’s a typical boy-crazy teenage girl. However, she’s also got an impulsive streak that seems to put boys and excitement far above her own (or Nora’s) safety. I spent a good portion of the book hoping Nora would sit her down and have a good heart-to-heart with her about some of her more self-destructive behaviors, but that never happened.
I also got an uncomfortable feeling that the book placed a higher priority on lust and sex over more important things. Fitzpatrick is never what I would call explicit in her discussion of sex, but it is a pervasive theme throughout the book. It’s the subject the Biology class is studying when Nora and Patch first encounter each other, Patch makes it a point to make sexual innuendoes whenever Nora is around, and there is even one (highly laughable, to me) scene towards the end of the book where Nora manages to get trapped in a seedy hotel room with Patch wearing nothing but her camisole and panties. I’m not what I would call a prude, but I just think that, for a YA book, there was a bit too much emphasis on the carnal aspects of life.
One thing I did enjoy about the book was that Nora seemed to have a real relationship with her mother. Her mom wasn’t really presented as being out-of-touch or “uncool,” as I’ve noticed seems to be a trend lately in YA lit. Her mom does leave Nora on her own quite a bit, but it’s presented as something that is a necessity (she works out of town so she can afford the payments on the house Nora grew up in after Nora’s father is mysteriously murdered), and they have very believable interactions when her mother *is* around.
In the end, I cannot say I would recommend this book. Again (yes, I am repeating myself, I know), I know a lot of my friends enjoyed it, but I personally did not find it enjoyable. I know there is a sequel in the works, but I do not plan on reading it.
Filed under: 2010 Young Adult Lit Reading Challenge