Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush Saga)

Hush, Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick "I shut my eyes and envisioned banging my head against the wall (Hush, Hush, p. 99)."Funny thing: I want to do the same thing every time I think about this book.It's 6 PM on a Friday night, I'm not in a reading mood and don't want to write my FSU application essay, and I think it's high time I rewrite this review. The old version/H.Y.P.E. review can be found here.This only good Hush is this Hush Hush. And perhaps this Hush Hush, though this comes with two extra Hushes. It depends on your musical tastes.The first page of this abominable novel starts off with a bang and I don't mean the good kind; I mean the bang of me slamming my head into something. This sentence:"Chauncey was with a farmer's daughter on the grassy banks of the Loire River when the storm rolled in, and having let his gelding wander in the meadow, was left to his own two feet to carry him back to the chateau." (p. 1)is terrible, an overwritten and cumbersome mess to even move the eyes across. All that is lost by rewriting it to read "Chauncey was on the grassy banks of the Loire River when the storm rolled in. Having let his gelding wander in the meadow, he was forced to walk back to the chateau" are useless words. I should have taken such a terribly written sentence as a sign that this book was goiing to be hell on me, but I paid it little mind. Oh, fifteen-year-old me. You were so naive then, unable to properly harness your perceptive abilities with novels. Then again, seventeen-year-old me isn't much better for getting another copy, reading it again, and marking it up in red all to hell.The characters alone could give me an essay of material to criticize. Let's start with Nora Grey, our beloved heroine. Honestly, I believe she is fucknuts insane and carries an extra bucket of crazy on her at all times in case of emergency. I mean, who else would think faking a bomb threat to get Patch's file is okay because she's his biology partner?But Patch and Vee still beat out Nora in the Outlandish Character category. Vee is the (it's not even a competition because she beats any opponents in a landslide) worst best friend in the history of fiction and real life, and I've had a terrible best friend of my own (but that's another story). She makes excuses for a guy who threatened her "best friend" Nora, abandons Nora, and pressures Nora to be with a guy she does not like, among other things.Then we have Patch. Oh, Patch. I would like to take a little dagger and cut out his organs one by one. First come the eyes, beady and dark; next comes his larynx, to stop him from making come-ons while I remove the other organs because he probably gets off on that; then his penis because he obvious loves his little man; then various other organs depending on my mood.I sounds psychotic, no? That's what this book does to me. It makes me want to kill things.Really, I can respect a bad boy/anti-hero. Patch is not one because bad boys have redeeming traits. Meanwhile, Patch is just a disrespectful, borderline abusive douchebag who should be locked up and tortured as listed above. This is the kind of man parents tell their children to watch out for because a relationship with him will go nowhere fast. A heroine should not be genuinely afraid that her love interest is going to rape her!The behavior of Nora, other characters, and the mechanics of the novel as a whole led me to fully support this theory about the series: it's all in Nora's head. A young woman named Nora Grey is incarcerated in an insane asylum and the world of Hush, Hush and its sequels are the daydreams of a sociopathic young woman in a straitjacket who does not know how people work and what healthy is. The one-dimensional and unbelievable characters, why a character would think biology would be axed over sex ed, the way a teacher allowed Patch to humiliate Nora, Patch's and Nora's behavior--it explains everything.The only person I can stand is Marcie Millar, the classic mean girl, but she is busy being slut-shamed and made the butt of a thousand jokes. Being mean makes her a bad person, not being flirtatious or sexual. Got that, book? No? Well, I'll just have to make you see things my way. Is there a lighter around here I can use?Long stretches of nothing happen in the novel, and then there's ooh, something! No wait, false alarm, more long stretches of nothing, and OMFG, there's really something this time! No wait, there is goes again. More nothing until the end of the book, where there is some somethings going on, but we give so few shits by this point that it means nothing.I think the only book in competition with Hush, Hush for horrible themes is Halo. According to this book, it is okay for a boy to humiliate, threaten, dismiss, and treat a girl badly because that just makes him a sexy bad boy. This is probably only okay when the guy is as insanely hot as Patch is supposed to be (I don't find him hot; I find that when a guy has a personality as pleasant as the smell of dog crap, it becomes impossible to appreciate how hot they are) because if it were a plain or ugly guy doing it, it would be Not Okay.What I hate most about this book is how it glorifies creepy, pseudo-rapist behavior through Nora's initial weak rejection and ultimate unconditional acceptance of the way Patch treats her. His behavior is horrifying and the people who instead call it flattering are often the people who say I should be flattered that someone molested me in my sleep, someone else grabbed my butt, and three guys spent part of seventh grade shvoing their phones at my breasts so they could get close-up photos.Oh yes, this book reminds me of those people all the time. All the more reason this book should suffer: because I can't make those people suffer. One of them is in a submarine right now and the other three are long gone.There are simply so many offensive ideas and phrases within the book, such as the heavy reinforcing of rape culture, but I don't have the space or time to cover them all.I thought I knew painful writing. I really, really did. Nope! Not even! It's repetitive, outlandish ("his smile spelled trouble--with a promise"), and subtlety is a foreign art because all hints are like bags of bricks to the head. The book expecially loves to creepy around wht it really thinks of Vee. When you read "twenty pounds too voluptuous," what do you really read? Twenty pounds too overweight. Or as Nora would probably say, twenty pounds too fat.You heard me clearly, right? No? Again, then! FAT! FAT! FAT! Honestly, the way the author and Nora creep around saying it is more offensive than actually coming out and saying it.Then the book gets lazy for plot convenience by ignoring the side effects of concussions and surgeries so Vee can talk about stuff and get out of the hospital in time to continue being a plot device. I don't need to be a three-year journalism student to know no news service would identify a minor if they had only been questioned. Charged or convicted? Often, yes. Questioned? No. Someone should suffer for this too. Don't get me started on Nora's mom, just don't. What kind of mother would, just a year after her husband's murder, take a job that takes her far away from her daughter for long periods of time and keep in so little contact? Shouldn't she be getting closer, not farther away? I speak from personal experience on that. I just don't have the energy for more. I don't, man. Thinking about it angers me and exhausts me and... -sigh- Pretty much, I can't come up with the proper snark because I have a short circuit concerning Hush, Hush. If you haven't read it yet, save yourselves! Don't make the same mistakes I did and trap yourself into reading the rest of the series! These books are so disgusting that I have to read the others and raise my voice to say, "This is not okay!" It's my obligation as a fan of healthy YA.And so we finally approach what the average young woman should take away from this book: Because if you think with your brain instead of your vagina, women will know they need to stay away from guys like Patch. No wait, this applies to everyone because ignoring many groups of people by saying "people attract mates with the goal of reproduction" the way the book does is wrong: think with your brains, not your libidos. It can save you a lot of grief.--Quotes--"Chauncey commanded his throat to laugh harshly [...]" (p. 3)What the--? No! Just say "He tried to laugh harshly [...]" and you're good. The mental image is idiotic and as far as I know, that's not what you're going for at this particular moment. In other scenes, maybe you intend for the mental image to make one say "WTF?" based on what I remember. I don't think this is one of them.--"Call me Patch. I mean it. Call me." (p. 13)My response: "Not if all your pick-up lines are that terrible." Nora has no wit. How boring!--"And those black eyes were getting to me. They were like magnets clinging to my every move. I swallowed discreetly and tried to ignore the queasy tap dance in my stomach. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but something about Patch wasn't right. Something about him wasn't normal. Something wasn't... safe." (p. 25)Lovely imagery there, what with the queasy tap dances in stomachs. Just say she feels queasy. Less is more, m'kay? (Great, now I sound like that horrible girl I used to know. Look what you're doing to me, DJ Becky Fitz!) Maybe what's wrong with him is that he's among this sort of crowd playing pool on a school night.Also, if a guy is making you feel very uncomfortable or unsafe? That's when you run, girl, run!--"As it turns out, I'm in need of a healthy female sacrifice. I'd planned on luring her into trusting me, but if you're ready now..." (p. 27)...How does she fall in love with this guy? How is he charming? All I see is a creepy douchebag.--"So what if there was private information inside? As Patch's biology partner, I had a right to know these things." (p.72)Evidence of Nora's own mental instablility is everywhere. I stand by my theory that everything is in Nora's head and she is locked up in an insane asylum. It's the only way to excuse these characters being so one-dimensional and Patch's horrid behavior. He could never get away with acting like that in real life. This being a YA paranormal and him being a fallen angel changes nothing. No one, human or not, should be able to get away with acting like this.--"Vee is voluptuous, Scandinavian fair, and in an unorthodox way, incredibly sexy." (p. 74)We know. You already told us that. And quit creeping around the word "fat." We know exactly what you mean and the manner in which you creep around the forbidden word tells us both what you mean and your true opinion of Vee. With the way she treats you and the way you talk about her, I have no clue why you two are best friends.--"Up until this moment, I'd been telling myself I didn't care what Patch thought of me. But right now, I knew it was a lie. Even though it would probably come back to haunt me, I was curious enough about Patch to go anywhere with him." (p. 77)Why do you care what he thinks about you? Why is your curiosity enough to risk your life for? Think about it. Find the answers. If you can't find any, maybe it's because there is something very wrong here and you should do whatever you can not to be involved with Patch. Think about the kind of person you know Patch as and ask yourself if this is the person you want to approve of you and that you want to be alone with.You know that saying "curiosity killed the cat"? I wish curiosity would kill the Nora.--"[Elliot] finished with an uppercut that stopped just short of my chin." (p. 82)Charming, Elliot. Really charming. (I hate this guy's character a little bit extra because he ruined the name "Elliot" for me. I liked that name, damn it!)--"She said she did it for herself, but what woman gets boobs for herself? They are a burden. She got the boobs for a man." (p. 92)Surprise hateable character: Dorothea.--"When I was a little girl in Germany, I had to choose between two boys. One was a very wicked boy. The other was my Henry. We are happily married for forty-one years." (p. 92)Hm, think there's something you should be learning here, Nora?--Before my rereadThis book is definitely in the top five of the worst books I've ever read and probably takes second or third in the contest of books that made me the angriest. On the bright side, I always tell myself when I run across an asshole male lead, "At least he's not like Patch--an ass AND someone who doen't know what 'no' means when he's sexually harrassing a girl." It pisses me off that such a beautiful cover got stuck on such a horrible book.I gave this away to a used bookstore and I feel bad for whoever may have bought it. I would have buried it in the front yard to save others from the torture, but having such a poisonous book in my yard would kill all the grass.