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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2011
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.

Wow, I'm still speechless to how terrific this book was. One of the best I've ever read? YES.

This novel is filled to the brim with creativity, and a summary that will hold your attention even past the last page. I was really absorbed in Nora's story and her character felt so alive and real to me. Even by the first few sentences in the book, I was already hooked. And unlike some books that start out great, and eventually lose my interest, this one did the opposite. I was craving more of the story the closer I got to the end. And I actually read the last chapter extremely slow, just so I could savor it that much more.

The twist at the end was GREAT. I was definitely not expecting it. Throughout the book I kept making mental predictions of who could be the "bad guy" or villain, and I was way off the whole time, ha! But oh man, the suspense in this book was killer. With Nora being stalked by a stranger in a ski mask, out to deliberately murder her? Creepy! But addicting to know what would happen next.

Patch. The mysterious, sexy, bad-boy. He was one of the best male fictional characters - and I'd choose him over Edward any day! I loved how the author portrayed him, and kept him secretive. It made me long to know about his past, which he purposely tried to avoid talking about with Nora. Which brings me to my next point - their relationship. Wow the chemistry between them was so believable! Nora's a very smart girl with self-control, which I liked. She didn't throw herself at Patch, even though she wanted to, and tried logical thinking to stay away from him.
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69 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2010
I ordered this book after hearing a fellow book club member raving about it, but I have to admit I was hesitant at first because of the reviews here on Amazon. The first few pages of reviews here made the book sound horribly mundane. I am sooo glad that I decided to by pass the criticism and give it a try.

I'm a 28 year old, who was just so entirely wrapped up in this fictional realm that I couldn't put it down and half way through the book I already had Crescendo, the sequel, being shipped to my house. I simply couldn't get enough of Patch, Nora and Vee. I have read and adored the Twilight series as well, but saw no resemblances between the two series and frankly am tired of those who constantly think Twilight is being ripped off by other authors (Twilight, although loved by many, including myself, is a HUGE rip off of many many authors). It's the business of literature. Besides... Patch is much much more sexier than ECullen.. by far!!

So pick the book up, I'm sure you won't be disappointed, and the second book is even better...!! I already have em both completed and am soo sad I'll be waiting months to read the 3rd and 4th book of the series, but I know Becca will deliver another fantastic sequel. Happy reading :)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 14, 2010
Hush Hush is the story of a teenage girl and the dark and mysterious high school boy she begins to fall for. When she finally gets to the bottom of those secrets, she may be getting more than she bargained for.

This book has given me considerable cognitive dissonance. I enjoyed it, but for reasons I shall explain, the very act of liking it is giving me mental upset. (If you haven't read the book yet, you might want to avoid reading this review further, as there are a couple of spoilers below.)

First, the good: Nora is a quiet, reserved, cautious, and very intelligent girl. She has a quick wit, subtle beauty, and an impressive vocabulary. She doesn't automatically throw herself into danger, she loves her mother, and she tries to be a polite and respectful daughter. Nora is the voice of reason when her flighty best friend Vee conceives of doing something stupid. And most of the time, she tries to comport herself as a adult. I admired these things about her character.

Nora lives in a sleepy town in Maine, covered in perpetual fog and subject to frequent rains - this gothic atmosphere provides a stark, stripped down backdrop to the increasingly frightening events in Nora's life. Soon after being paired up in her bio class with Patch, an unabashedly sexy roguish character, Nora begins seeing things. She imagines being attacked by a dark figure in a ski mask, being followed through the streets at night, even her own death. While these strange events are unfolding, she is being semi-stalked by Patch, who seems to always be around with some quippy sexual innuendo. Despite my initial disdain for the character, eventually Patch's perseverance and charisma won me over.

This is what gives me cognitive dissonance.

At some point in the novel, characterization and plotting veer into old-school romance territory, complete with the dangerous, threatening, alpha male "hero." Nora remarks repeatedly that she thinks Patch is stalking her, she more than once wonders if he's going to rape her, and (SPOILER ALERT) HE ADMITS THAT HE CAME TO TOWN TO KILL HER. And all the while, Nora is still thinking, 'gee whiz, I'm still pretty attracted to this guy. I know I shouldn't trust him, but he's seducing me with his sexy charm.' This isn't so much sexy as abusive and HORRIBLE, but the way the author has written it, the narrative still manages to come across as thrilling and seductive - you want to be turned on by the vicarious thrill of the danger. As a reader who enjoys being entertained, I admit, I edged around the borders of titillation. As a feminist and a student of gender studies, I was considerably affronted. Even now, I'm having difficulty reconciling the pleasure in reading with the offensive subtext. In addition to this, strong, intelligent Nora is frequently reduced to quivering, cringing, vulnerable female status when Patch is around. Was I reading a Harlequin romance from the '70s?

The sexism & outmoded gender roles parade invites some comparison with Twilight, another series in which a female protagonist is excited and seduced by an emotionally manipulative but beautiful boy who deals with competing desires of lust and murder while dating the heroine. Both novels are set in sleepy, rain-and-fog drenched towns, both novels feature frequently absent parents, and both novels have their heroines making irrational decisions that perpetually put them in danger.

All things considered, I think this series shows potential, at least in premise. Crescendo, book 2 in the Hush Hush series, comes out next week, and I'm looking forward to seeing if the author has matured in her characterization in the interim. I would like to think we can have an entertaining, sexy, and adventurous YA romance series without resorting to sexist voyeurism and damaging gendered stereotyping, but I may find myself disappointed here. I guess we'll just have to see.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2010
Seriously, what's with all the YA stalker fic lately? This Patch guy is the creepiest one yet--blech! I had a lot of problems with this one, besides the totally creepy love interest. Nora is one of the STUPIDEST characters I've run across in quite awhile. Really, REALLY stupid. At a couple of points Patch describes her as intelligent, but Fitzpatrick certainly hasn't written her to exhibit any semblance of intelligence. At all. Her best friend Vee is awfully dumb as well, but at least she's kind of likable (for the first half of the book, anyway). Nora just did absolutely nothing for me, and I couldn't figure out how on earth Patch came to fall in "love" with her, especially with his circumstances being what they were. It didn't make sense. And now that I mention things not making sense, let's just count the plot in that category as well. It seemed like such a MESS. I see there's going to be a sequel (I am assuming this is yet ANOTHER trilogy), so maybe some of the holes will be cleared up later, but after this one I seriously doubt I'll bother with the second book, let alone a third. That said, this was a pretty fast read. I'm giving it that second star simply because it didn't completely bore the pants off me.

Honestly, I think Ms. Fitzgerald got on my bad side nearly right off the bat by using the word "orbs" instead of eyes--inducing some serious orb rolling on my part. And also, I hate, hate, HATE the cover. So I might have gone into this one a teeny bit prejudiced. Just so you know.
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117 of 158 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2009
This was a case of a bad book ruining a fantastic front-cover. I was lured into buying Becca Fitzpatrick's debut YA novel, `Hush Hush', because of the wonderful cover art by photographer James Porto. I was also persuaded to purchase by Borders clever marketing that stacked the book beside Stephenie Meyer's `Twilight' and a sign that read; "if you liked Twilight, you'll love `Hush Hush'".

The books prologue has a noblemen being confronted by an angel who mysteriously insists on meeting with the man every Cheshvan (the start of the Hebrew month). The Angel's parting message to the nobleman is the information that he is a Nephilim, the product of a human/fallen Angel coupling. Intriguing, true - but after that tempting prologue there is no mention made of the Nephilim until more than halfway through the book. The biggest problem with `Hush Hush' is the lack of supernatural storyline. It's false advertising - the beautiful front cover has an image of an angel and the tag line `A fallen Angel... A forbidden love'.

It puts the reader in an odd position - the cover and tagline lets us know what supernatural characters are to appear, but we are forced to read Nora's none-the-wiser POV. There's no suspense for the reader, we know what to expect - angels - but we have to sit through Nora's confusion and her amateur sleuthing into Patch's past. And it is amateur - Nora's big break in the mystery comes in the form of a Google search; she literally types `angel wing scars' into the search engine. And what prompted her search into fallen angels? - a carnival ride called the `Archangel'. If that's not a sledgehammer to reader's intelligence, I don't know what is.

One of the reasons `Twilight' worked so well was because, in conjunction with the Edward/Bella romance, there was the added mystery of animal attacks in Forks. The mystery angle upped the stakes for Edward and Bella and offered a respite from the romance, which would have come across sweet and cloying if not for the respite in storyline. In `Hush Hush, the added mystery is clearly an after-thought compared to the Nora/Patch romance. The storyline of a mysterious ski-masked man following Nora is occasionally thrown in for good measure, but other characters reactions to Nora's tales of a spooky stalker are utterly contrived and unbelievable. And then the story behind the masked stalker is hastily wrapped up - there's not even a scene drawing that storyline to a close, rather it's explained through another character's summary. Sloppy. The mystery storyline is further battered by the fact that Fitzpatrick has her bad-guys breaking the number one rule in the villain handbook. Never, under any circumstances (and no matter how large your ego), give away your evil intentions and motivations while you are in the process of carrying them out. Fitzpatrick literally has her cardboard-cut-out bad guys giving away all their evil intentions while holding Nora hostage.

The connection to `Twilight' is dubious - one of the reasons for comparison is the fact that Nora and Patch are thrown together by a random biology seat-swap that turns them into lab partners. I wonder if Biology attendance has doubled in High Schools, since YA fiction would have us believe this is the perfect setting for budding teen romance. Ah, the sound of beakers clinking - like wedding bells. The smell of dissected frogs - a sweet and heady bouquet. And who can resist a man in a white lab coat and protective goggles?

The biggest 'Twilight' connection is that of a mortal human girl falling for a supernatural (replace `vampire' with `fallen angel') but whereas `Twilight' made this big reveal quite early on in the book, it's not until page 294 (of 391 pages) of `Hush Hush' that this plot twist (but not really because there's an angel on the book cover and the words `fallen angel') comes to the fore. The fact that readers have known from the get-go that Patch is a fallen angel makes his big exposure pretty uneventful. It's not until page 294 that Fitzpatrick delves into the Nephilim myth, which is actually pretty interesting. But when you read all the interesting myth and lore regarding fallen angels, it makes you wonder why Fitzpatrick didn't just start her book at this point - why have 294 pages of Nora wondering about Patch's mysterious past when as readers we've known all along that he's a fallen angel.

I wish `Hush Hush's' ending had been the books starting point - because Fitzpatrick does come up with an interesting conclusion for Nora and Patch... and the possibilities of that storyline intrigue me far more than the entirety of `Hush Hush'. If there is a sequel I would be interested in reading it.

You really can't judge `Hush Hush' by its cover (though it is very, very pretty). Though readers know the supernatural outcome from the get-go it's beyond frustrating to read the female protagonist plod along unawares. And don't be fooled by the marketing hype proclaiming `Hush Hush' to be the new `Twilight' - fallen angels are not the new vampires and `Patch' isn't nearly as dignified a leading man name as `Edward Cullen'.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 6, 2009
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
...but on second thought I may have wanted to like it because I dug the cover art. And once I started reading I gained an appreciation for Becca Fitzpatrick's snappy prose and dialogue. But this book went off the rails so handily I couldn't quite believe an editor had anything to do with it, pre-press! Other reviewers have outlined the problems I also discovered - bizarre plot elements, nonsensical narrative and problematic characters - but my main cavil is with the cavalier attitude the author has with how boys treat girls. In my world - which is the real world, incidentally - boys who shove girls against the wall, verbally snipe at them or repeatedly put them in harm's way are not cool and compelling. They are abusive. Maybe if the author had made her world pure fantasy - rather like the worlds of Holly Black or Cassandra Clare - then we, the readers, might understand or accept the violence, because violence is traditionally an inherent part of even teen SF and fantasy; imagine warriors doing battle, that sort of thing. I realize this could seem like hypocrisy, but even a classic like 'A Wrinkle in Time' has violent elements. But by aping 'Twilight' - YET AGAIN - and having her characters live in a literal world that teen readers are meant to identify with and feel part of, I feel this author is far too casually embracing attitudes which are not healthy for young women to believe. I guess I'm just tired of girls being placed in the position of thinking that a controlling guy who pushes you around - for whatever reason - is an attractive guy. Apologies for the soapbox, but when are YA authors going to start taking some responsibilities in this regard?
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31 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2009
This was a wonderful first novel from Becca Fitzpatrick. I really loved Patch and Nora, and thought the various secondary characters were well-written. I do agree with others who have read this book that Nora's best friend, Vee, is a little too annoying. However, she's well-written. I've seen female friends do the same thing Vee does, putting the current boy she is seeing before her BFF, and have never been happy with it so I'd say this character is all too realistic in some respects. She is also a bit over-the-top and hopefully toned down in future books.

Inevitably this book will be compared to Twilight (since EVERYTHING these days is), but as a Twilight fan myself I can safely say this is not a copycat. While Patch and Nora do meet in biology, Nora is anything but intrigued by Patch at that point. The only other similarities I noticed were some characteristics of Nora that reminded me of Bella; she describes herself as "soft," Patch mentions she is a terrible liar - "the worst he has ever seen" - and Nora is smart and a bit awkward. And Patch is definitely not Edward. He is an overconfident bad-boy with a plan that ends up being derailed by meeting Nora. There are good twists and turns throughout the book and I didn't know right off the bat who was out to get Nora, which was refreshing. The last couple of chapters have a lot going on, but really picked up the pace and left me wanting to learn more in the next book.

While the book is a very quick read, I don't think it flows quite as smoothly as Twilight and there is more mystery than romance. However, I think the romance will pick up in the next book as it was building at the end of this one. Fitzpatrick spends a lot of time setting up these characters and yet manages not to reveal too much about Patch, so there is quite a lot to learn in future books. There is one really bad edit on page 320 that threw me. In the conversation between Nora and her mother there is no clear definition where one speaker leaves off and the other starts, so it took me most of the page to figure out who was where (you'll recognize it when you get to it). It kind of jerked me from the story for a few minutes while I tried to figure out what was going on, but things moved swiftly from there.

All in all, this is a very good read from a promising new talent. I'm anxiously awaiting her sequel, Crescendo.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2010
When I heard about this book, it sounded great. Forbidden romance with fallen angels, I'm totally there.

But now that I'm reading it, it feels like a hack job.

I'm sorry, who am I to judge, I'm not published, I know. But this writing is seriously bugging the heck out of me.

Nora is driving an automatic car, until she gets attacked. Then it stalls. Then she needs to push the clutch to start it up again. Huh?

She takes a sip of water and swallows an ice cube. She continues her conversation, then picks up the water and drinks from the straw.

She slides headfirst into a base playing softball, and tears up her "thighs". She pulls her sweats up to survey the damage (!!! That's pretty high!), then limps back to the dugout, saying she "tore up her leg" (singular?). She then pulls her knee to her chest (with torn up thighs?) and gingerly brushes the dirt off her injured knee. (Wait, wasn't it both thighs, and HUH?)

Inconsistencies like this abound, and they're seriously bugging the heck out of me. I'm 150 pages in and I'm not sure how much more of this I can take.

I want to like this book, I really do. The cover is beautiful, the premise is interesting, but the writing is seriously falling short.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2009
The cover promised so much. The story gave so little. It hinted at transcendence and mystery but, nah. Such an evocative image proved the old adage true: Never judge a book by its cover (or the blurb inside the cover). I thought I would find out what happened after I beheld that angel fall from heaven as lightning. What could provoke such a thing to happen again? I'm familiar with why it allegedly happened the first time... Instead, there were tepid references to black orbs, hawk noses, gnarly scars, ice-cold chills and Enoch. Mixed with unexplained happenings that remained too long (annoyingly, uninterestingly) unexplained. And confusing. And such frumpy names: Patch, Chauncey, Nora. These are supposed to be other-worldly/spawn of other-worldly creatures. They could not have been more earthbound! And rain doesn't always equal mood. Sometimes it's just all wet. The story lacked atmosphere, foreboding. Depth. Not at all compelling. And where was the romance? It must have gotten lost in all that fog! The author could have done better. Poor dull characters. If Patch could forsake divinity for a drab, simp like Nora, he deserves to be kicked out! And Vee needs to visit the wizard and demand a refund for what was supposed to be a brain! Elliot's certainly no prize. And Nora's mom has no more substance than one of the Peanut's mom. I mean, what was the point? Maybe Nora should have been an orphan like Pipi Longstocking and it would have been more interesting and quirky. Come on! The ending was so contrived. Throughout the story Patch could bend reality to his will and pop up wherever he chose except at the should-have-been exciting conclusion (oh, how convenient for a selfless act to take place) and wrap it all up. Please!

This author's first time was obviously not the charm.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2009
"God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment....2" -- Peter 2:4.

Nora Grey is a smart girl. She would never do anything over-the-top irresponsible, unlike her best friend, Vee. She is a good girl who has no need for boys in her life. She is more worried about college than the prom. Then, a seating change in Biology causes her to be paired up with the new student, loner Patch. And he is anything but responsible. He is tall, dark and gorgeous. And completely uncooperative as a biology partner. At once flirty, yet condescending, he has no desire to complete the interview the teacher assigned as an "investigation". But all the while Nora is maddened by his actions, she is also finding herself wildly attracted to him.

Then weird things start happening to Nora. She doesn't feel safe, and is convinced someone is watching her. Is Patch stalking her? She has this certain feeling that he is somehow involved in the incidents that are plaguing her. And yet, try as she might to keep her distance from him, she just can't. She even tries to investigate his past by looking at school records and finds them completely blank. When push comes to shove, can Nora trust Patch to save her? Or is he the person she needs saving from?

I have waited a ridiculous amount of time to review this book. I kept putting it off and putting it off. I find reviews where I can gush endlessly about a book just write themselves. Anything else is a lot more work. I wanted to love this book. I really did. I had extremely high hopes for it. And unfortunately, they feel short. I try to go into books knowing very little about them, so I don't have such high expectations. But early word about this book has traveled fast, and it's popping up all over the net. From what I've read, I'm probably in the minority on this one. But it just didn't do it for me. And for a number of reasons.

When Harry Potter became so wildly popular, it spawned lots of similar books that dealt with kids and magic. That's just the way the world works. Now we are seeing the same thing with the Twilight books. And unfortunately, I just can't help but see too many similarities with Hush, Hush. From the high school to the bad boy "watching" the reeks of the same outline.

Although the basic premise is the same, the storyline does go in a different direction. Patch is the "bad" boy, and honestly, it's hard to tell where his allegiance actually lies. I will give Fitzgerald lots of kudos for the fallen angel/nephilim mythology. It was seriously my favorite part of the book.

I did like Patch. Of course, I have always had a thing for the bad boy. I'm the one that was attracted to Kiefer Sutherland's bad vampire, David, instead of the good guy in Lost Boys. And that's just one of MANY examples I can give. Hell, I even married the bad boy. But as for the rest of the characters....nothing. I didn't really like Nora, and I should have. I always like the "smart" girl that doesn't realize how beautiful she really is. But not so with Nora. She was just so flat to me. And as completely ambivalent as I am about Nora, I downright hated Vee. She was rude, brazen, and just plain dumb. I think she was written as comic relief, but to me, it fell short. And if you don't care about the main characters, it's hard to really like the book.

The story had a lot of potential, and some of that actually shows through. Given time, I think Becca Fitzgerald will turn out some good books. And I have a feeling that those young girls who are missing Edward Cullen will fall hard for Patch. Unfortunately, it just didn't do it for me. But feel free to disagree. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this book. It's bound to be pretty popular with the YA's
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