First, I want to say that I really enjoyed this book, on the surface. A quick read (finished it in one sitting throughout the course of a rainy, lazy Sunday), I was hesitant to read another angel/nephilim themed book, as they all seem to follow the same premise; I loved Hush, Hush for not being your typical angel story about destiny or ever-lasting, eternal love.
Having said that, being the nit-pick for details that I am, there were a few (or a lot) of things that I either didn't like, didn't find plausible, or just didn't understand. First, how is it that a sixteen-year old is allowed to live without parental supervision for weeks (even months!) at a time? I understand that there is a housekeeper, but she leaves by 9 most nights. There's also the fact that the house she is living in is completely isolated - the nearest neighbour is a mile away. I just couldn't believe that a parent would choose to burden their teenager with that much responsibility at that young of an age. I don't understand why Fitzpatrick wouldn't have just chosen to make Nora slightly older, a university freshman for example, and remove that complication. She was almost written as being slightly older (shopping at Victoria's Secret for lingerie; choosing to investigate a murder in a near-by town) so I don't understand why she was written as a sixteen-year-old.
Something else I didn't understand was Nora's complete lack of reaction to her best friend being attacked and robbed at gun point. Having just lost her father a year a go, through a random act of violence involving a shooting, I would have expected a much bigger reaction when something similar happened to her best friend (especially when Nora knew that she was the intended target). Instead, the almost-shooting is brushed to the side and not really mentioned again. For that matter, Nora never really had your typical reaction. Having just learned a frightening secret about Patch's original intentions (no spoilers here!), instead of reacting with fear (or even anger) she meekly accepts it as the truth and allows Patch to calm her down without much resistance. Maybe it had something to do with her underlying attraction for Patch (or that she was mostly spineless), but I found a lot of her reactions to situations (especially ones that involved him) were just strange.
I also didn't understand why Fitzpatrick kept referring to what was obviously a sexual health class as a biology class. The first day we are introduced to the class, they're talking about sexual reproduction...but to learn about this, the class is asked to discover as much about their partner as possible. How the two go hand-in-hand is beyond me. The next class is all about what traits you find attractive in a potential mate and the type of body language or social cues used to discover if they find your advances attractive - if an actual biology point was made, I missed it.
As for what I didn't like? Nora was too quick to jump to insane conclusions, based on flimsy to non-existent "evidence" which leaves her thoughts a jumbled mess as she moves from one conclusion to the next. It was almost like Fitzpatrick wanted to make sure we were thrown off of the correct trail by providing lots of other ones to distract our minds with (unfortunately, I had a sneaking suspicion about a surprise "twist" ending, and for me, it wasn't much of a surprise). It left us with a completely confused heroine, who consistently entered into these dangerous situations, even though her instincts were screaming at her not to. She never had backup (Vee was always off doing her own thing) and she didn't trust Patch enough to ask for his help (as half the time the dangerous situation involved him). I really disliked the repetitive thought process we saw Nora go through as well - she would suspect Patch of something (like stalking her, for example) and then think something along the lines of "but he would never hurt me". I didn't understand why she felt like he wouldn't hurt her and I got really annoyed with the constant reminder that yes, Patch was dangerous, but no, Nora didn't really think he meant her harm; the lack of consistency in Nora's thinking is something that is present throughout the entire book, and after a while, it really started to tire my patience.
And what happened to Vee? In the beginning of the book, she was somewhat witty - see her bantering with the cheerleader - and had a charming personality; I understood why Nora valued their friendship. By the end, she seemed to have left any semblance of intelligence behind - "he said we had to put chains on all of the doors because the outside was off limits for hide-n-go-seek". Would a rational person, hanging out with someone suspected of murder, who your best friend repeatedly warned you against after he physically threatened her, go willingly into a building knowing that she cannot leave without someone else unlocking the chains? Ugh. Anything I found endearing about Vee when I started Hush, Hush was lost by the time I finished it. Not to mention, she became a terrible friend! Any conversation she had with Nora was one where she tried to convince Nora to give Edward another chance, when Nora has expressed how uncomfortable he made her and that she suspected him of breaking into her house.
Then there's the complete lack of development for the romance between Nora and Patch. I understand Nora's physical attraction to Patch, he's mysterious and trouble and he's obviously gorgeous. But Patch's attraction to Nora was never explained or extrapolated on. We hear him tell her that he cares for her, and that he means her no harm, but his feelings for her (or how he came to develop those feelings) is never really explained. It just didn't make sense how he went from his original plan (again, no spoilers) to loving her.
Having said all that, I did enjoy Hush, Hush, but mostly for the guilty pleasure which was the steamy moments between Patch and Nora.
After the endless hype, I expected Hush, Hush to be phenomenal. Lured by the beautiful, haunting cover art, I snagged this book with promise in my heart. Unfortunately, this paranormal romance only wasted my time, and left me feeling disappointed and annoyed. Throughout the novel, I noticed strong similarities to Twilight: the two main characters meet in biology (what's so romantic about biology, anyway? The bonding activity of dissecting an onion?), the klutzy girl falls in love with a dangerous angel/vampire, and paranormal forces won't let them be together. However, Hush, Hush is nothing more than a watered down, annoying version of Twilight, and I'm not even a fan of Twilight in the first place.
The romance between Patch and Nora is flat and unconvincing. Though Patch claims to be in love with Nora, it's hard to believe it when he sexually harasses her, frequently makes her feel uncomfortable, and even downright asks if she sleeps naked. His behavior displays lust, not love. Nora makes their relationship even more unbelievable by foolishly running into Patch's arms; she doesn't trust him, knows he's dangerous, and is very suspicious of him, yet she continues to love him. It is impossible to follow and root for their relationship when it's based off lust instead of love. The author tries to portray Patch as a bad boy, though I only see him as annoying and arrogant. Under different circumstances, Patch could be a strong, excellently sly character, but the author proudly brandishes him using the wrong plot.
The storyline centers around Patch and Nora's flimsy romance, with a few lazy side plots thrown in at seemingly last minute. Instead of building suspense and mystery, the obscure bandit plot line is weak and concluded poorly, featuring a handful of the least menacing villains I have ever read about. Also, what worsens the plot even further is that two-thirds of the book feature Nora pondering over Patch, musing her suspicions that something about him is awry, and leading investigations, while readers know all along that he is an angel. This slows down the book considerably. Saturated with unfulfilled potential, this book wastes too much time showing Nora brooding over Patch, while it could have featured more paranormal elements the whole fallen angel concept is fascinating. When the author finally chooses to reveal Patch's true identity, she does so brashly and does not bother to explain the heaps of angel lore she includes, leaving me confused and unsuccessfully attempting to puzzle the pieces together myself.
Though I really wanted to like this book, it was very hard for me to, and in the end, I was nothing more than mildly entertained. I'll probably read Crescendo when it releases, only because Hush, Hush contains unused potential that could possibly be fulfilled in its sequel. Though many people will adore this book, it left a bad impression upon me.
Cover: 4.5/5 This cover is haunting, eye catching, and (falsely) promises a mysterious paranormal romance.
This review is reprinted here with permission from reviewer.