Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

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Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: With fallen angels instead of vampires this is riding the Twilight saga wave, but it's still a pacey, captivating read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: October 2009
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Books
ISBN: 978-1847386946

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There's something rather lovely about the title of this novel. Hush, hush. Just saying it over to yourself it sounds mysterious...intriguing...When I received my copy I had mixed feelings, loving the title and I think the cover art is very arresting, but the whole black/white/red theme was too similar to Twilight for my liking. But I was intigued...

So, Nora Grey is a high school student. She's bright, independent and capable, living alone a lot of the time whilst her mother travels for work as her father died a year earlier. She's a model student really, not very interested in boys, unlike her best friend Vee, and looks set to succeed in school on her way to a top university. However, one day during biology class the teacher changes the seating arrangements, moving Vee from Nora's desk and putting a reclusive, dangerous-looking bad boy called Patch next to her instead. Therein follows a series of terrifying and mysterious events, and Nora finds herself on alert at all times, sensing that someone is stalking her, perhaps even trying to kill her. She doesn't know who she can trust anymore, and no-one is quite who they seem to be as she finds herself in the middle of a battle involving angels, fallen angels and nephilim.

There are similarities with Twilight, obviously, and the publishers are probably hoping that Hush, Hush will be as successful. We have another strong female heroine who gets caught up in a very heated, very dangerous relationship with the ultimate bad boy. There are the supernatural elements, the high school setting, questions of immortality, good and evil. However I think teen girls will enjoy reading the story in its own right. It's definitely one for those who like the whole bad boy persona. Patch is arrogant and dangerous, manipulative and controlling as well as, obviously, tremendously good looking and charming! I actually found him a little bit too disturbing to be attractive. There are some stalker-ish elements that made my skin crawl, and Nora's unrelenting fascination with him is worrying. She is, however, quite strong-willed herself and does manage to partly maintain her distance, even if she's melting with lust for him on the inside. I think this is one for slightly older teen girls as it can be scary in moments and obviously passions are running high.

I wasn't entirely convinced about how Nora gets left alone in the house so much. I appreciate it's a useful author device to get the mother out of the way and leave Nora alone and vulnerable, yet it seemed unlikely that she would leave her young teenage daughter alone in an old farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere quite so much. Still, Nora's secrecy and lies about her whereabouts and what she was getting up to, and who she was with, were realistic. I also liked the friendship between Nora and Vee, as that rang true. There's an odd extra character, Marcie the mean cheerleader, who crops up here and there in seemingly important ways but, for me, didn't quite feel properly developed or explained. Still, the story is well-paced and I didn't guess what was going on so found myself hooked to discover the truth. I found the most exciting part was the last third of the book and I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish it! I'm about twenty years too old to rave over this book, but I can definitely see its appeal for teen readers and, honestly, I'd like to read the sequel.

Thanks go to the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Further reading suggestion: If you like a good teen fantasy/supernatural/romance and haven't already then you should probably try reading Twilight or The Fury by L J Smith.

Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush Saga in chronological order

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