Friday, 5 November 2010

Hush, Hush, Becca Fitzpatrick

It would be impossible for me to review Hush, Hush, without comparing it at all to the other big angel story, Fallen. Both books were published around the same time, as were their sequels. Since Twilight, the bookshops' teenage sections became overdosed with vampire romances, and as this has (she says, tentatively) started to slow down a little, Fallen Angel books seem to be taking their place. It's not a sub-sub-genre that I expect to get drawn into on the whole. I would have preferred to read just one, but Fallen and Hush, Hush appear to be so evenly matched in first place that I simply couldn't choose between them.

I read Fallen first, on the strength of the cover. My review was mixed: the good (setting and atmosphere) was very good indeed, while the bad (characterisation, romance and most of the plot) caused me to want to throw the book across the room on numerous occasions. Wanting to simultaneously award the book one star and four stars, I averaged on the generous side with a three.

In Hush, Hush, Nora Grey is paired up with a mysterious classmate in biology, who is handsome but obnoxious, a bit creepy and knows too much about her. She does not like him at all, and wants to find out something about him in return. He is not forthcoming, and any research comes up blank. Nora's dislike gradually turns to curiosity and attraction. Not long after meeting Patch, Nora finds herself caught up in a series of seemingly unrelated frightening encounters and lucky escapes, and Patch seems to be involved in some way too.

I enjoyed Hush, Hush, well enough, and liked Patch, although if you ask me, his name should belong to a puppy, not an angel or even a human! That aside, unlike many idealised romantic interests, he had a sense of humour, and like Nanny Ogg of Discworld, there is nothing he can't make sound grubby (or if there is something, he hasn't found it yet.) The romance, although fairly predictable, at least follows the Pride and Prejudice model (Girl Dislikes Jerk Guy But Also Fancies Him, Girl Gets To Know Jerk Guy And Fall In Love,) rather than the Twilight model (Girl Sees Jerk Guy And Falls Instantly In Love, Completely Ignoring Any Jerkish Qualities, As Does The Narrator.) They even get to speak to each other before Nora feels the inevitable "connection." Nora's best friend Vee, too, was a fresh and outrageous character, boy-mad, full of mad plans to bring the quieter Nora out of her shell. Despite her being the narrator, I was left only with a vague idea of Nora's character: she's a high-achieving schoolgirl, responsible enough for her mother to leave her home alone a lot and maybe a tiny bit of a snob. Other than that, she came across a bit generic, perhaps a deliberate ploy to get the empathy of teen readers. Although the plot shares some ideas with Fallen, the tone is very different: a fast-paced thriller with some fantastical and mythical elements, as compared to the brooding Southern Gothic of Fallen.

I found Hush, Hush to be an enjoyable, yet somewhat forgettable teen novel. Like Fallen, it scores three stars out of five, but without the wide gulf between good and bad. It was consistently okay.

There was, however, one thing that bothered me a little bit: Patch's goal of getting his wings [back] made me think of nothing so much as a funny little chap named Clarence.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting review. I have heard so many good things about this book and the craze for wanting Crescendo. I have added Hush Hush to my wishlist and expect to get it next month for my bday or xmas present so I will read it then.

    Have only read a small handful of angel novels so curious as to whether this one will keep me enthralled or rolling my eyes!

    Great review!

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