Friday, June 26, 2009

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

I got a copy of this at BEA (it was a very advanced galley), and it was a lucky find. I was walking through Simon & Schuster’s area with an agent who’s a friend of mine and we each snagged a copy and there were only four left. The woman who handed them to us said, no lie: “You can have one, but you can’t keep it hush, hush.”

So here it is:

A Review for Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.
And may I add, that I absolutely love this cover!

This book has been getting a lot of hype, and I don’t want to give anything away so instead of risking it with my own synopsis, here’s the product review from Amazon:

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.

First, the good things. This book isn’t lacking in action. It’s easy to get sucked in almost from page one and read straight through the end feeling like you haven’t had a chance to take a breath. There’s a sense of urgency and danger during almost the entire book that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and despite some of the obvious similarities to Twilight (plain jane heroine finds herself caught up in a forbidden love with a gorgeous but dangerous guy who could easily killer), the aspects of the backstory pertaining to the angels is really interesting and unique. I found myself wanting to know more about the Book of Enoch and the Biblical mythology aspect of the story. (Side note: Erin McCarthy actually has a really interesting paranormal romance - not YA at all, though - with a cool take on fallen angels.)

The characters are also, for the most part well-done, too. Patch, our sexy anti-hero, is intriguing and definitely appeals those of us with a soft side for the bad boy. And aren’t fallen angels the original bad boys? And my favorite character is Vee, the sarcastic, witty best friend. From her first line of dialogue, I liked her, and just about everything that came out of her mouth made me smirk. Of all the characters in the story, Vee is the one who feels the most alive to me, the character who seems to come off the page. I wanted to see more of her - Hell, I wanted to be her friend, rather than Nora.

One major thing that bothered me. The minor characters were so interesting and so alive, I actually realized after I was half way through that I still didn’t feel like I really knew Nora. Even though she's the narrator and I'm hearing the story from her perspective, whenever Vee or Patch or even Elliot is around (almost the whole time), they upstage Nora and take my attention away from her. Later as the story progresses, I found myself thinking "why is someone as cool as Vee even friends with Nora?" She is kind of a drag - kind of boring. Which begs the question what does Patch see in Nora? I can’t pinpoint, well, anything that makes me think Nora stands out, nothing that convinces me it's realistic for him to fall for her. (Without giving anything away - I understood perfectly what made him notice her, but not why he would fall in love with her over some other girl). She seems nice, but she just sort of mediocre for me.

And despite Patch’s sexy bad boy image, I have a hard time really imagining Nora falling for him, either. Because there’s a fine line between having a bad boy image that’s edged with danger and really being a bad boy that’s dangerous, and until he comes clean with her (the last quarter of the book) he’s definitely the latter. And on top of that, there’s the fact that he lies to her (a lot) and even messes with her mind (unforgiveable in my opinion, no matter how hot he is).

I was also disappointed in the predictability factor. And I’m determined not to give anything away so this will probably sound vague. But I knew about halfway through who the real villain was (or at least I had a really good guess which turned out to be right), and two thirds of the way through I was able to guess the ending and what it meant for Patch and Nora. As a result, the two climactic scenes near the end when the Big Villian is revealed and Nora does something that's supposed to make you gasp, were really pretty anti-climactic. And don’t even get me started on the pseudo diabolical monologue near the very end. Most of the villain’s reasons for what he was doing were implied – they didn’t really need to be stated and come on, a guy who’s lived that long has to know you can’t tell your victim everything before you go to kill them. It just never works: Horror Movie 101.

All that said, I enjoyed the book. I was sucked in, I cracked it open and read nonstop, and at certain parts, I was seriously scared and creeped out for Nora. I had high expectations, and it fell short and left me a little disappointed. But I'm still glad that I read it and I heard on the author's site that the hardcover has a different ending than the advanced copy so maybe some of the predictability and diabolical monologue is cut out...I might have to check the hardcover out of the library to see.

To check out Becca Fitzpatrick’s site, click here.
And stay tuned because if you want to score an advanced copy yourself, I'm going to give mine away in a contest next week :)

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Five Random Things About Suzie

1. I drink so much orange soda, it's probably running through my veins. I've been known to go through a twelve pack of diet sunkist in a day.

2. I'm legitimately nocturnal (or a vampire). I will be so exhausted at two pm that I'm falling asleep standing up - it has happened before, at Six Flags no less - but as soon as the sun goes down I'm wide awake.

3. I have a gorgeous unused $6000 Reem Acra wedding dress hanging in my closet, and it showed up on my doorstep the same day my (now ex) fiance broke up with me. And thank God for that. I wouldn't have wanted to waste that dress on him.

4. Social anxiety plagues me daily. I write a script and practice in front of the mirror when I have to make a phone call, but most people who interact with me have no idea how nervous I am (or perhaps they lie) because I've worked so hard to try to overcome it.

5. I'm actually worried that I will never love my children (when I do have them in the far off future) as much as I love my dogs. I just like animals better than people - they're sweet and innocent and soft and furry - is that so wrong?