Becca Fitzpatrick is an American author who writes young adult fiction. She is best known for writing the Hush, Hush saga, of which the first book (Hush, Hush) debuted as a New York Times bestseller. She states on her webpage that her husband enrolled her in a writing class on her 24th birthday, and it was in this class that she started working on Hush, Hush. The saga consists of three published books to date: Hush, Hush, Crescendo and Silence. A fourth book is due to be published in 2012.
For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.
My pet peeve in YA fiction is stupid female leads. Hush, Hush has a Too Stupid To Live female lead in Nora; a bookish girl who is dealing with the death of her father, a mother who works all the time, and has only one friend. She is wary of Patch from their very first encounter, and believes he is a threat to her life. This is true: he is trying to get close enough to kill her. Yet Nora seeks Patch out and justifies his behaviour at every turn. To exemplify her utter lack of reason: after her best friend is attacked by a person in a black hoodie, Nora goes to the eatery where Patch works, changes into a blonde wig and heels, and asks the bartender questions from a list:
Do you know if Patch has ever had any restraining orders?
Does he have a history of stalking?
Does he have a girlfriend?
How could she think this is a good idea?
When we meet her, Nora’s best friend Vee is funny and quirky, and great to read. She quickly becomes annoyong as it becomes clear there is no depth to her character at all – she is a device the author uses to bounce off ideas and act as a faithful sidekick in Nora’s hair-brained escapades. Rightly convinced that Patch is dangerous, Vee attempts to force Nora to befriend another, equally dangerous stranger. Even after Nora makes it clear she is not interested and that he makes her uncomfortable, Vee continues to create situations where Nora is alone with him. This change in nature was incomprehensible to me and I don’t see it as acceptable best-friend behaviour.
Nora’s attraction to Patch is very understandable. He is characterised very well – trademark black clothes and snarky attitude. His interest in Nora is evident from the first chapter, and their relationship is marked by hilarious one line quips thrown out by Patch, which leave Nora embarrassed or confused. He is easily my favourite character, despite his tendency to be a jerk. He is funny, smoulders, tortured in love, and very dangerous. What more does a hero need?
Becca Fitzpatrick has a lot of potential and writes confrontation scenes and sexual tension very well. This book was fun, and the characters made it interesting (even Nora). I have read the sequels and will be reviewing them, and will read the fourth and concluding book when it is published next year. I recognise that YA fiction does not always have to be deep and meaningful, and as a relaxing, fun read, Hush, Hush is very successful.
About the book:
- Pub. Date: 13 October 2009
- Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing
- Format: Hardback, 391 pages
- ISBN 13 9781416989417 ISBN 10: 1416989412
- Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy
- My review of Crescendo (#2 of the Hush, Hush series)
- My review of Silence (#3 of the Hush, Hush series )