Reading Diary: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
In my mind I switched back and forth between the painting of the angel's scars and Patch's scars. Both scars had healed to the colour of black licorice, both ran from the shoulder blades to the kidneys, and both curved out as they traveled the length of the back. I told myself there was a good chance it was merely a very creepy coincidence that the paintings on the Archangel [roller coaster] depicted Patch's scars perfectly. I told myself a lot of things could cause scars like Patch's. Gang fight, prison scars, skid marks--just like Vee said. Unfortunately, all the excuses felt like lies. Like the truth was staring me in the face but I wasn't brave enough to look back.
What I love most about my latest writing assignment on "dark angels" is that it is bringing me up to date with some of the hottest books in YA today. Angels might be "the new vampires," but left to my own devices, I'd never really know it until the next big publishing trend gives us "the new angels." So now I can consider myself reasonably informed.
And really, that's all I can consider myself, since the books haven't really been very impressive . . . I mean, reading Hush, Hush was like reliving Stephenie Meyer's Twilight--and that is never good. In fact, the similarities are so close that this novel often felt like a Twilight homage.
***In both Twilight and Hush, Hush, our leads meet in Biology class, where they are forced to speak to each other for the sake of an assignment.
***In both Twilight and Hush, Hush, the hero is completely mysterious to the heroine, as well as amazingly handsome.
***In both Twilight and Hush, Hush, the heroine is incredibly easy to push around. (You have no idea!)
***In both Twilight and Hush, Hush, the hero follows the heroine when she's out with her friends . . . and then she dumps her friends to be with him.
***In both Twilight and Hush, Hush, the heroines are unusually pale. Heck, Nora is anemic. (I would have found this a complete coincidence, but I'm in the middle of my third pale-girl-meets-mysterious-boy YA Paranormal Romance, and now I think it's a serious convention.)
***In both Twilight and Hush, Hush, there is a weak attempt at a love triangle when we all know there's no contest.
***In both Twilight and Hush, Hush, the part where they fall in love makes absolutely no sense--not because they're weirdos, but because the author seems to think that the reader takes it all for granted, anyway.
***In both Twilight and Hush, Hush, the authors play around with mythical/legendary beings to the point of insult.
There are also some points at which these two novels differ . . . but these don't really seem to matter, as you will note:
***In Twilight, the heroine is the new girl in town; in Hush, Hush, the hero is the new boy in town.
***In Twilight, the hero can hear everyone's thoughts but the heroine's; in Hush, Hush, the heroine can hear only the hero's voice in her mind.
***In Twilight, we live out most of the (melo)drama in Washington State; in Hush, Hush, the story unfolds in Maine. (I wonder what J.R.R. Tolkien would have to say to this appeal to "northerness.")
***In Twilight, both parents are kind of neglectful, but the father is the more embarrassing one; in Hush, Hush, the widowed mother kind of has an excuse, as her job takes her out of town a lot.
The good news (!!!) is that they're not complete clones of each other. (I'll bet that relieves you, Ninjapeps? Bwahahahahahaha!) For one thing, Hush, Hush is definitely better plotted. (Remember how the three new vampires come out of nowhere in the middle of Twilight? At least they fixed that in the movie.) At least the "Action-Adventure" part is. The Romance, on the other hand . . .
I'm still miffed at the way Nora and Patch jump from animosity and cockiness to incredible emo tenderness. Even if they are totally in love from the beginning, that's not enough to explain Patch's sudden change of behaviour. Why does he think it's okay to be jerky at the beginning and then kind at the end? Your guess is as good as mine. He just switches.
If I could make one suggestion to the authors of neo-Gothic YA--or at least the American ones--it would be:
The RWA won't be able to keep you from making every mistake in the book,
but they'll show you what's wrong with that plotting problem.
If you really want to write Romance, you can't keep pulling that crap!
Image Source: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick