Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Format: Hardcover, Library Binding
Reviewed by: Judith
If you haven’t heard, I have a deep-seated aversion to ridiculous character names. I can’t help it! They drive me batty! AGH! Well, I am so late to the Hush, Hush game because of the fact that one of the main characters had such a wacky name. Patch. No joke, Patch. It was like a neon NO sign blinking through my mind whenever the book was recommended to me. As a fellow blogger said recently, “What?! Patch? That’s a dog’s name.” Exactly. And yesterday, I would have concurred but today, having just finished this book, all I gotta say is, “Yeah, but it’s also the name of an uber-sexy angelic hottie in high school who so needs to step off the page and come be my fictional boyfriend.”
Plot: Nora Grey has had a difficult past few years. Her dad was murdered under mysterious circumstances, her mom is now forced to work a travel intensive job, and she’s certain someone is stalking her. To top it off, she’s been forced to sit with the school weirdo, Patch, in Biology. As she gets to know Patch outside of school, she begins to experience a series of odd hallucinations involving a man in a ski mask trying to kill her and Patch himself possessing superhuman powers. Nora questions her sanity until a new student joins the school and his dubious past makes her wonder if he might actually be the masked man trying to harm her. She and Patch attempt to uncover the answers but Patch himself is an enigma that needs unraveling. He’s elusive and mysterious and as the book rushes to an action packed climax, he shows that there’s much more to him than meets the eye. Will Nora discover the answers in time to save herself and if she does, will it be the ones she wants?
Review: [warning: SPOILERS below] So glad I looked past my aversion to bad names and read this book because Hush, Hush hearkens back to the paranormal YA of 90s. It’s well written, big on action yet full of meaningful dialogue, and is just so deliciously good that you’ll be thrilled to learn that it’s the first in a series of 4 books. All in all, it’s everything you could want in a YA novel: there’s a strong female lead who is dealing with and working through some tough issues in her past. A mysterious and sexy male lead who may or may not be trying to kill her. And a supernatural puzzle that needs unraveling. It’s a tense and strange read that will have you biting your nails and sitting on the edge of your seat from start to finish. The book’s creepy, foggy Maine coast setting only adds to the drama and the fact that you can’t tell if Patch is the hero or the villain will have you reading some scenes with your fingers half covering your eyes in case he actually does turn into a psycho at the drop of a hat. Personally, the book’s brilliance stems from the fact that you can’t be certain if you should root for the love interest or not. It’s extremely difficult to write a character that is both sexy and scary in equal parts but Becca Fitzpatrick really excels at making you cheer and cringe whenever whenever Patch is on the page. And he is there a lot! Seriously, it wasn’t until the very end of the book that I understood how he really fit into Nora’s life and what his big secret was. When we learn why he’s so mysterious and elusive, it will shock you even though there were definite hints throughout.
My one caveat is that this book leaves a lot of loose ends. At the risk of giving anything away, I’ll just say that there are a lot of plot points that don’t feel adequately explained and you may find yourself scratching your head at certain parts. For me, the relationship that grows out of Patch and Nora’s time together felt strangely abrupt and I wondered if maybe I just read so quickly that I missed something. But honestly, I don’t think so. It seems like she had to get Patch and Nora together for the story to work but didn’t spend enough time developing the romantic side of their relationship.
Regardless, no book is perfect but this is close! You’ll love the fact that there is so much action plus a dash of romance and a supernatural back story wholly unique from anything else out there at the moment. Definitely pick this one up! It deserves all the praise it’s received since its release.
In the end I’m giving this: 9/10.
Based on the following criteria:
How much did I like the heroine: 9. Nora is a lot of fun. She’s spunky and inquisitive and doesn’t immediately fall in love with the sexy new guy paired up with her in Biology. She’s not girly and she doesn’t make an effort to reel in Patch even though he seems to find her fascinating. She also doesn’t want to burden her mother or best friend with all of the crazy supernatural things infiltrating her life so deals with the crazy stuff alone. I found her to be exceptionally strong and a heroine I could really get behind.
How much did I like the hero: 10. Bad name notwithstanding, Patch is a phenomenal character. Should you hate him? Should you love him? Is he bad? Is he good? AGH! You don’t know and that makes his presence in the book so delicious. At times I disliked him intensely and others I loved him intensely. Which was right? He was an enigma and when we discover his true colors, it is so worth it.
How believable is the plot: 10. Okay, it’s a paranormal read, yes, which means that you have to put aside a lot of what you think is real to read it but the plot reads as if it could happen to anyone and that’s what makes it wholly believable. Becca Fitzpatrick creates this magical and defined world that blends seamlessly with our own.
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 9. Becca Fitzpatrick writes extremely well. She knows when to lay on the action and when to hold back. The dialogue is vague enough to make Patch and his motives extremely mysterious and the intense situations she puts Nora in are downright creepy thanks to the sparse language. Fitzpatrick is on her way to being a master storyteller.
How much did I want to keep reading: 9. As I mentioned, there are a ton of loose ends so you’ll find yourself hitting the end and scratching your head while muttering, “What? What the what just happened?! I just HAVE to read more.” It’s a good feeling since there are three more books to dive into but felt a little gimmicky in that they weren’t explained merely so we’d have to read the next books. Gimmick or not, doesn’t matter cause we all know books 2-4 are already on my kindle.
Final Score: 9/10. Patch doesn’t stop being a dumb name after reading this book but his character is infinitely more sexy and interesting than his name lets on.