Genre: Young-Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal romance
Series: Hush Hush #1 (4 book series)
Release Date: October 19, 2009
Publisher: Simon and Schuster BFYR
This doesn’t feel like a review to me. Maybe it’s because I only read 115 pages (give or take) or maybe it’s because I knew before I even finished the first chapter that I wouldn’t like it. But mainly it’s because the format I’ve chosen for this non-review is quite different from my usual.
Synopsis first, though. And I’ve chosen the one from GR, which I will later dissect.
Romance was not part of Nora Grey’s plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems 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 she 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 Nora her life.
For now, I’m just gonna leave the synopsis right there, and move to the first chapter.
It’s the month of April and Nora goes to school. In her biology class, her eccentric teacher decides to change the seating arrangement and Nora ends up with Patch next to her. It’s cliché but not worth more than an eye-roll.
The biology teacher starts the class off by asking then what science is. And I’ll admit that it’s been a few years since I’ve been to school, but in what universe does a junior biology class, in April, start with that question? Then we find out that it’s because science is about investigation and that means both students on each table must learn about each other, providing the perfect excuse for MC interaction. Cut to me questioning my life choices, because seriously? It’s biology! Biology don’t give a fuck about your hobbies!
But you know, this non-review is going to get very long so I won’t waste time. Next, Nora and Patch have a conversations. And it’s one of the most fucked up conversations I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading. For instance, this is the first thing Patch says to Nora:
“Call me Patch. I mean it. Call me.“
Now, even if we ignore the creep-factor, this makes no fucking sense. Why would he say that? She just learnt his name, they’re in class, she doesn’t even have his phone number! This doesn’t even mean anything! And that’s just the beginning of the conversation. He then proceeds to tell her that he has a collection of her pictures. He also knows stuff about her that he shouldn’t. Like the fact that she writes poetry in secret and which colleges she’s considering. He also asks her if she sleeps naked. Then there’s this:
He hooked his fingers under the seat of my chair, dragging me closer to him. Not sure if I should scoot away and show fear, or do nothing and feign boredom, I choose the latter.
I-I can’t even find words other than, what the fuck is wrong with you, Nora?
Because throughout this whole thing, it never once occurs to her that he’s a creepy stalker and that maybe she should inform someone. It’s like she has no survival instinct. Or brain cells. And this was just the first meeting. Can you imagine how much worse things could get? I’ll try to give you some idea, but one more excerpt from the “meet-cute” before I do that.
“Are you suicidal, Nora?” His eyes connected with mine, and I could feel him laughing.
I don’t think words are necessary to elaborate what’s wrong with that. The next meeting is in a club or something. Similarly fucked up. No biggie. No, it’s when they met in class again that’s of note. Their teacher asks them to elaborate on the things they look for in a potential mate. Because see, they were studying reproduction. And reproduction isn’t any different from matchmaking class, right?
I swear to fucking God, shit like this made me wonder if the author’s ever been to school. It’s probably been a long time, though the maturity of her content does give me some doubts, but you can’t forget that much. You must still remember what kind of stuff you studied. Because you missed biology big time!
The “complexity of human attraction”? It’s like she’s just making shit up! I get that school isn’t usually given much importance beyond being a place the two protagonists meet, but can you at least try to not turn it into a complete joke?
Anyway… going forward from the topic of how much this book sucks, let’s talk about how much it sucks. Nora is a terrible protagonist. She has basically no spine, no brain and even though she thinks Patch is shady, she can’t help but be pulled toward him because of how good-looking he is. And I know not all books have a life lesson, but the least you could do is not tell people it’s okay if a guy is a potential psychopath as long as he’s also very hot.
Plus, the whole “pulled toward him” thing. Nora feels that he’s dangerous. She’s wary of him and might even be a little afraid. But the author shows all these things to be appealing. Just… NO! If you think a guy might really be dangerous and might actually harm you or someone else, that’s not exciting! Fear and danger are not good things! And they don’t mean that you like the guy! Jesus Christ, no wonder teenagers are fucked up, if this is what passes for romance!
Now that we’ve establishes that both Nora and Patch have issues and their dynamic is the farthest thing from healthy, let’s talk about Nora’s friend, Vee.
To put it simply, she’s a terrible fucking friend. For one, she doesn’t care about anything other than sex. And even in Nora’s rare moments of sanity, in which she acknowledges that Patch may not be a stellar guy, Vee encourages her to ignore her instinct because the guy is so hot, she just has to have sex with him. She even jokes about Patch stalking Nora because you know, a guy following you around all the time without your knowledge is absolutely fucking hilarious. Later on, Vee suggests that they break into the office that keeps records about students to find out more about Patch, and this happens:
“I called in a bomb threat from the pay phone outside,”
She called in a bomb threat to create a distraction! I could literally stab this girl to death and not feel an ounce of guilt, that how much I hate her.
And finally, to wrap things up, how about we go back to the synopsis? Nora’s never really been interested in guys at her school (it’s not as big a deal as the book wants us to believe) but her friend, Vee, still pushes them at her. Clear evidence of a sucky friend. Then Patch comes along (what kind of name is that, anyway?) and she’s pulled to him “against her better judgement”. Red alert!
But then some scary shit happens and Patch seems to always be around, knowing more about her “than her closest friends” (because he’s a fucking stalker). She’s not sure if she should, and I’m once again quoting here, “fall into his arms or run and hide”. Now sweetheart, if some part of you wants to run and hide, that probably means he’s not the kind of guy whose arms you want to fall in to! Not to mention, the whole ‘falling into a guy’s arms because you’re scared’ thing just set gender equality back about 50 years.
What I’m trying to say is, even the synopsis has red flags. And you can take that any way you want. Maybe it’s honesty, or maybe the crap is being hidden in plain site. I just felt like I needed to mention it even though it doesn’t change the fact that I fucking loathed this book — the parts I read, at least — and I highly suggest that you steer clear.