Thursday, April 08, 2010
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
I find fallen angel stories intriguing. There's so much that can be done with a premise like that, and I've read a few that I loved. Unfortunately, Hush, Hush wasn't one of them.
It's really a shame, too, because it started out so well. Nora has a strong voice, and seems like a strong character right off the bat. Her initial reaction to Patch is spot on, and I wanted to keep reading to see how the interaction between them would progress...but that progression was a huge disappointment.
Patch starts out as horribly rude and creepy, and Nora is afraid of him. As the story moves along, Patch's behavior doesn't change, but Nora's perception does - she finds herself attracted to him, even though she knows there's something off about him, that he's hiding things, and he still scares her. That irritated me to no end. It sends a subtle message to teen girls that even if a hot guy is rude or scary, it's okay to pursue him because things will work out fine. That's a recipe for disaster, and enables impressionable teens to get caught up in abusive, unhealthy relationships.
*deep breath* Moving on...
There were a few other aspects of the plot that confused me. The biggest one being the chain of events leading to Patch's goal. It was never explained exactly how Nora would help Patch attain his goal. It was only briefly mentioned, and, as far as I can remember, never fully explained to Nora (though she miraculously knew all the details at the end). It also brings up questions about her father's death, and I have a good guess as to who killed him (which, I believe, will come up in the next book). But to ignore such a big detail makes much of this story feel contrived. I honestly believe it would have been stronger if the reader had not been kept in the dark.
Finally, I was disappointed in the story's assumption that just because an angel has fallen, that means he must be wholly bad. The world isn't so black and white - people make mistakes, but that doesn't make them bad. It makes them flawed. Assuming that a fallen angel is evil is what made Patch so unlikeable and unredeemable. Merely making him flawed would have endeared him to us, made him understandable and relatable.
I honestly can’t tell if the unhealthy relationship aspect of the story colored my views of everything else. That’s a big issue for me, so it’s entirely possible. But this was not a book I enjoyed, nor is it one I’d want to give to my teenage girls (if I had any).
Labels: Books I've Learned From