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Nessa's Thoughts

Just a British girl who reads a bit too much.

Currently reading

The Dead Zone
Stephen King
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
Jean-Dominique Bauby
Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady
Samuel Richardson, Angus Ross
Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
Piper Kerman
The Cuckoo's Calling
Robert Galbraith
Hush, Hush  - Becca Fitzpatrick Let it be said that I, Vanessa Hendersen, am a huge glutton for punishment. Why else would I put myself through so many terrible books? This year alone I've read Evermore, Halo and Hades, even Marked.So why do I keep coming back? I don't know. I suppose there's some entertainment to be had, and if you want to write a book of your own some day, it shows you all the hallmarks of bad writing and clichés to avoid. This is going to be the last book I read this year that has a bad reputation, because I don't know if I can take anymore, having just read Hush, Hush.The novel begins with some graveyard confrontation between some pretty boys in France. It's pretty anti-climactic and boring. In fact, all I remember is one being accused of being a bastard son of a duke, and... meh. Well, to be honest, I didn't give much of a shit about the prologue in Fallen either.We then start off in a biology class. Oh god. I'm sorry, but ever since Twilight, I've been very wary of biology classes. It seems they're full of creepy guys who want you to fall irrevocably in love with them. Our main character is called Nora, and her teacher makes her move seats to be with a tall, dark, and handsome stranger.Said tall, dark and handsome stranger is called Patch.I have a question for you all. What would you do if a complete stranger leaned over, dragged your chair closer to him (page 13), and told you that he's been keeping photographs of you, and he knows quite a lot about you, even though you've never met him before in your life? I suppose it's one way to make an impression, but goddamn. Even Edward Cullen at least tried to get to know Bella before getting straight to the point.(Also, I really don't think the author has ever actually been in a biology class. I think the teacher would be swiftly fired if he called on one of the boys to tell him what they would do to seduce a girl and the boy then used this poor girl who clearly doesn't want to be used as an example of one of his 'conquests'.)Patch is without a doubt, one of the creepiest YA guys I have ever come across. Having read through the whole book, I suppose he's sitting a notch below Edward Cullen on the wall of shame, since some of those aforementioned creepy acts turned out not to be his doing at all, but still. Patch is a good old man of mystery. So much so that when Nora's friend Vee makes up a story that there's a bomb in the school grounds, she finds nothing in his student folder. You'd hope Nora and Vee would be expelled for this (as kids were at my high school if they pulled on the fire alarm for no reason) after the teachers noticed their absence, but nope. La la la, off we go to a restaurant where Patch waits tables, so we can get to know more about him.The only problem is, I don't want to know about Patch. What I want to know is why Nora is so attracted to him. Well, it's explained roughly part of the way into the book:When I was little, Lionel shattered one of the kitchen glasses. He swept up all the shards of glass except for one, and dared me to lick it. I imagined falling for Patch was a little like that. I knew it was stupid. I knew I'd get hurt. After all these years, one thing hadn't changed: I was still lured by danger.Yes, you see? Our poor, silly heroine is just attracted to danger, and thus, bad boys like Patch. She can't help it, it's just one of these feminine wiles that causes her to gravitate towards a bevy of bad decisions.In fact, if I had been in Nora's position, you know what I would have done? Just not try to investigate Patch at all. Don't use his phone number, don't look in his student files, just sit it out until the end of the term, and make sure to show your disinterest.Note to Nora: Feigning disinterest (as she does sometimes do in the story, to her credit) whilst stalking and investigating everything about your lab partner's life does not work. To Bella Swan's credit, all she did was type 'vampire' into Google and buy a few books on the subject.I think we can all agree that Nora could have just ignored Patch, but eh, I suppose we've got to get the story moving along somehow. Two characters smouldering against each other in their biology class wouldn't create quite as much romantic tension. (Oh, hello again, Twilight.)Okay, okay. Enough with the Twilight comparison. It's one of the YA novels with a Supernatural Boyfriend and a Boring Girl Who Constantly Does Stupid Things But Is Shown To Be Able To Get Into High-Ranking Universities Without Much Effort On Her Part.The side-characters are awful too. Nora's best friend is a tall, chubby girl called Vee, who is not only stupid, but constantly hungry. Oh yay. Just wonderful.There's also this blonde cheerleader girl called Marcie who comes in every once in a while. Now, Marcie is supposed to play a bigger part in the sequels, but she's just awfully written here. She really is just the catty cheerleader who rivals puddles for shallowness, and bullies Vee because 'hur hur, she's fat'. She's also supposed to have slept with basically everyone at school, and is so stick-thin Nora gets to call her an 'anorexic pig' while defending Vee one time. Ugh.I'd also like to add that the reveal of the villain (who is one of the side-characters) was awful. For most of the novel, we're strung along thing it's this other guy, then all of a sudden, it's this guy who's only had about four lines of dialogue and no character development whatsoever. Because that's a sign of great writing!Now, let's go back to our mains.So, you ask: what's so supernatural about Patch? Well, he's a fallen angel. He came down to earth, fell in love with a woman who grew old and died, then some other angels found him, ripped off his wings, and left him completely hollow, cursed with a need to possess human bodies. Aww, he's like a woobie Pazuzu!However, Patch also has a vengeful angel girlfriend on the loose called Dabria. Even though there's no mention of her at all until the end of the second act, we're suddenly supposed to view her as a legitimate threat, this scorned, petty woman who tries to set fire to Nora's house because Patch has now fallen in love with her.Dabria is eventually taken out, then Nora dashes off to a club, then her school, and the final confrontation basically works out like this.Nora: [pants in exhaustion as she finally gets up onto the rafters of the school gym] I sure hope escaping from this bad guy by climbing up high enough to splatter my brains across the basketball court works in my favour!Evil dude: Boo.Nora: Eek!Evil dude: Blah blah blah fallen angels. Blah blah blah Nephilim. Blah blah blah you're a descendant of a Nephilim. Blah blah blah Book of Enoch. Blah blah blah Patch wants you dead. Blah blah blah I'm a lazily-developed, last-minute villain. Blah blah blah Patch can become a guardian angel if you shed blood and he saves you.Nora: If I shed blood? LOL OKAY! [she throws herself off the rafters]Patch: NOOOO! [the power of love turns him into Nora's guardian angel and he saves Nora, much to the groaning of girls like Vanessa here]The ending act of the novel is also incredibly overstuffed with villains. Patch pins Nora down to a bed and threatens her life (isn't that sexy?), hell hath no fury like a Dabria scorned, as well as Jules, Elliot, Barnabas/Chauncey... The list goes on and on.Now we know the ending, here's something incredibly weird and stupid: in the same chapter where Patch pins Nora down to the bed (in a crappy motel room, no less), he tells her nobody will be able to hear her if she screams. Charming. Then we have one of the bona-fide, weirdest scenes I have ever come across in a modern YA novel.Nora touches the scars where Patch's wings used to be... and immediately gets to see his memories, sort of like an astral projection. Wow. Does that also work if you pat him on the back, like if you're saying: “Good job?” Answers on a postcard, please.So yes, Patch's memories basically involve him and this other guy (who sounds more like a clucking mother from Yorkshire than an Irishman) sitting around a cemetery like the demons at the beginning of Good Omens.They exposit information that we should have been privy to ages ago (seriously, this is dragged out beyond belief), then Nora gasps, Patch gets angry, and then the ending fully kicks off.Wow. What the hell. No seriously, what the hell was that all about? Why did Patch need to be so angry in that chapter? Rather than touching his wing scars (which she recognised by typing 'wing scars' into Google, I kid you not), Nora could have just sat down with him and asked for the truth. Maybe Patch could have let his guard down a little after he got hurt or concerned for Nora's safety. Either way, it's much better than: “Oh no, how will I get Nora to see into Patch's tragic past? I know! She touches his scars and sees that he's such a poor, tortured soul!”This novel was completely awful. Maybe not as terrible as Halo or Hades or Marked, or even Fallen, but the characters are completely unlikable, the writing and dialogue is dreadful, and the decisions the characters make are completely ridiculous. 1/5.(This review is also available on my blog: http://book-wyrm.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/hush-hush-by-becca-fitzpatrick.html)