Hush, Hush, Becca Fitzpatrick, Simon and Schuster
I can’t believe how fast the last few weeks have gone by – I’m only days away from spending six weeks in NYC! This program is supposed to be pretty intense, so I don’t know how much reading, reviewing, and posting I’ll be able to do, but I’m gonna try! Now, on to today’s review!
I talked about this a couple of weeks ago with The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, and I’m going to say it again today – I think a lot of how we (or at least I) feel about a book after I’m done reading it has something to do with what my expectations were going in. A little bit about me – a lot of the time, I don’t really read reviews of books before I read the book myself. I don’t want to risk any spoilers, and I don’t want someone else to influence my perception of it. Odd for someone who writes book reviews herself, I know. But often I’ll just skip to the bottom of a review to look at the overall recommendation or lack thereof (if they have one) and make my decision from there. If I see ten other bloggers or reviewers have absolutely loved a book and recommended it to a lot of people (either by giving it a lot of stars or posting about it a lot), those positive reviews might sway me if I already thought it looked interesting. Usually, I go back to read the reviews in-depth after I’ve finished a book to see what other people thought about it and if they liked the same parts I did. Especially if I really loved a book, I want to re-live it for a little bit longer through talking about it with other people who liked it as much as I did.
All that to say that I read Hush, Hush because Rachel mailed it to me to read as part of our exchange, and liked it. I’d never heard about it, so I didn’t have any true expectations, other than that Rachel had liked it and she’s never steered me wrong before. But man, we seem to be in the minority about this. It’s got an average four-star review on Goodreads, but somehow the first two pages of reviews are solid one-star rants of hatred. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve given a one-star review before, retroactively (I’m looking at you Ivan Denisovitch), but never have I felt the same intense negative feelings as those reviewers felt about Hush, Hush. Sure, it can be a little unrealistic (pretty much everything that happens in the biology classroom) and reminiscent of Twilight (again, oddly enough, the biology classroom, among other things), but the positive outweighs the negative for me. Maybe I’m just easily pleased or gullible, but I though Fitzpatrick did a nice job in terms of pacing and creating and sustaining suspense. I read Hush, Hush in three big chunks over the weekend that probably would have been one or two big chunks if I didn’t have other things to do that interrupted my reading. If the pacing sucks or I’m not intrigued by what I’m reading, especially lately, I don’t do that. So for me, that speaks to my own positive feelings about the plot and characters. Some of the villains I saw as villains a mile away, but their actual crimes and motivations were legitimately a surprise to me. I thought Nora was a lot more likable than Twlilight‘s Bella, and a lot more interesting. As far as Patch is concerned, I couldn’t quite decide if he was a hero or a villain until the very end – something I’ve seen with side characters in other novels, but can’t recall reading a book where it happened with the leading man – in my opinion, at least, that creates interest, and again, suspense. Also, in a world where fantasy, paranormal, and dystopian fiction creates a lot of characters with weird names that I often like in spite of their names, the character names in Hush, Hush were pretty fitting. Nora Grey is just a cool name, and Vee’s name really fits her somewhat flighty personality. I wasn’t a huge fan of the name Patch at first, but it grew on me, especially when we got his last name. Then I might have swooned a little.
Now I feel like I’ve spent this whole review “in defense of” in opposition to the negative reviewers instead of just saying this: I went in to Hush, Hush feeling pretty confident I’d like it, but without any major expectations for it to be “the next big thing,” and really enjoyed it. But who’s to say that if I went in with even higher expectations, I wouldn’t still have liked it a lot. It’s not a particularly difficult read, so if you’re on the fence, I’d say give it a try. It might not drastically change your outlook on life, but it’s an entertaining way to spend a couple of hours, and sometimes, that’s all we really need out of a book.