By Becca Fitzpatrick
Available October 13 from Simon & Schuster
ARC received from publisher
First, this is technically an incomplete review. I've only read the ARC; the hardcover features a different ending. I'll try to update the blog with my thoughts on the real ending, as soon as I read it.
Clearly I enjoyed HUSH, HUSH enough to want to read the real ending. Nora is a fairly average teenager. Okay, she's a little neurotic and too buttoned down, but everyone's got issues at that age. Her life begins to change when Patch becomes her lab partner in Biology. Nora can't pin it down, but she's got a bad feeling about him. And she does the right thing, by going to Coach and asking to be assigned a different partner. Unfortunately, she screws it up by telling him she doesn't feel threatened by Patch. (Girls? That feeling you get that says a guy is a creeper? That's feeling threatened. Please don't ignore it. It may be irrational, but it might not. There's your PSA for the day. Guys, ya'll shouldn't ignore this instinct either. Girls are just taught to hone it more.)
As Patch continues to be a presence in Nora's life, odd things start happening. She still finds herself blaming Patch for the oddities less and less (even as those around her, like her friend Vee blame him more and more) as she falls in love with him. (Okay, here's your second PSA of the day: when your friend tells you he or she feels something off about the guy pursuing them, don't tell them to ignore it because the pursuer is hot. Looks are not a personality.)
I loved the atmosphere of HUSH, HUSH. Nora's life is somewhat dreary and Patch gives it edges. It was perfect for reading in my apartment before I had any furniture in my room or lights in the living room. (Short, but mostly uninteresting and irrelevant story.) Like Nora, the most the reader can really tell about Patch and what's happening is that there's something wrong. I kind of hate the cover, pretty as it is, because it gives up quite a bit of the story. No, we don't know Patch's agenda or anything, but it's a huge hint about what he is.
HUSH, HUSH does share some of TWILIGHT'S underlying psychological problems. The problem with any story about a girl loving a dangerous guy she shouldn't is that it's a girl loving a dangerous guy she shouldn't. Not that dangerous guys don't need love, but you shouldn't. Luckily, most readers know reality from fiction and can go along for the ride. And it is a fun one. HUSH, HUSH moves along as Nora unfolds the mystery of Patch and what he wants one piece and a time. It doesn't help her that there are other agenda's conflicting with Patch's, but it definitely makes the story even more exciting.
Becca Fitzpatrick doesn't break the teen paranormal romance mold. But she works very well within it, crafting a sympathetic heroine and an ever-irresistible bad boy. Creepy moments and sexy moments abound, in a nice balance. Plus, several of Nora and Patch's conversations are snarky fun.