19 September 2010

+JMJ+

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:


Join the Romance Writers of America!

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

14 comments:

Jillian said...

Oh hey look I read this and didn't like it either.. hmm surprise? Haha :) To be fair, I like the female protagonist better than I (did not) like Bella.. and I really don't like Patch!!!

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Hey, Jillian! =D

Nora certainly has more personality than Bella. Patch is a real jerk at the beginning, though--and so the fact that Fitzpatrick doesn't explain his behaviour makes it seem totally unwarranted. Romances are supposed to redeem their characters, but Hush, Hush doesn't. =(

On the other hand, I think I'd prefer Patch to Edward. Patch might have an awful personality, but at least he has one! ;-)

Sullivan McPig said...

I already had a feeling I should stay away from this book and your post just confirmed all my suspicions.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I am always happy to be of service in that way, Sully! ;-) Now your time is free for books better worth it . . .

Lu said...

Very interesting points you listed there! Now I don't know if I should be rushing out to buy it any more.

What would you give it out of 10?

Jillian said...

Good point about him having personality.. but I don't know. I really did not like Hush, Hush because Patch's character almost made it seem as if it was okay for a bad boy aka a jerk to treat a girl like that and get her still in the end. One of my biggest complains about is that and the fact that there's not much character development there. I just didn't get how all of a sudden, they were in love.

Jenny N. said...

There's all this love for Patch as the bad boy and people saying how great he is. So when I read Hush Hush and saw what a jerk Patch was to Nora I was thinking WTH! why are people so in love with him.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Lu: Hmmmmm. Maybe a 5.5/10? I mean, it's not that bad.

Jillian: Exactly! Hardly any development or explanation for his really bad behaviour. That he gets the girl is bad enough, but that the girl is completely in love with him from beginning to end just boggles the mind!!!

Jenny: And now there are three of us who wonder what all that hype about Patch is about! He really is awful to Nora, isn't he? WTH is right! I'm going to have to hunt down some positive reviews to see the other side of the story.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

PS: To Lu . ..

I forgot to say that the copy of Hush, Hush that I got to read was loaned to me. If I had spent my own money on it, my rating would definitely be different.

But I don't know whether I'd rate it lower because it turned out to be a bad buy or higher because I tend to love the books I take home. =P So maybe this is the most objective rating I can come up with, after all. LOL!

I hope this helps you make your decision. =)

Lu said...

Thanks for the rating and feedback :) Maybe I'll get it at the library :)

Kinsey said...

Dang. I loved the cover when I saw it at B&N, but I think I'll pass on reading it now. Too bad, it looked like it had potential.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

@Lu: That's probably the safest bet. =) If you turn out to really love it, you can always get your own copy later to reread.

@Kinsey: "Potential" is definitely the word! =( It's really too bad . . .

IntrovertedJen said...

Oh, I was expecting this to be a much harsher review. It has a special place all by itself on my list of reviews by rating--down at the bottom as the only book I've rated one star on the blog. I admit I read through it quickly, but I thought Nora was stupid, her friend was dangerously crazy, and Patch was abusive.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Hi, Jen! =)

I think the reason this wasn't so harsh was that I'm not really a writer of reviews. I'm more interested in conversation with fellow readers, so I try to make the post more open-ended than a review would be.

But I've pretty much trashed this on the phone with friends. I think that if everyone in this combox--myself included--were in the same room together, Hush, Hush would get the worst beating of its life!

And I agree with you about all the characters--especially Nora's best friend Vee. I might do a Character Connection on her, just to vent my ire! ;-)

(I'm kidding!)