First in young adult saga not as original as it appears
It seems… unusual what the younger generations look for in the stories they read. Apocalyptic stories with teenage uprisings and paranormal romances with attractive monsters are two of the main categories young adult readers are drawn to. Each to their own, of course, for there are so many different stories out there for every kind of person and it is wonderful to see younger generations actually reading rather than spending all of their time on electronic devices. However, even though society changes, some of the material in these stories can be questionable. One such example is Hush, Hush: the first book in Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush saga.
Nora is a normal teenager trying to make it through school just like everyone else her age. When she is forced to be lab partners with Patch, a student whose past does not seem to exist and who seems to do everything within his power to drive her crazy, her life veers down a path that leads far from normal. Suddenly, a hooded figure begins to stalk Nora, Patch appears no matter where she goes, and she begins seeing things that are, supposedly, not there. Is she going crazy? When she discovers who Patch really is, she is unsure whether he was sent to be her guardian angel or her angel of death.
Basically, the main premise is exactly like Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, except fallen angels replace vampires. Everyday teenage girl who does not have a boyfriend and views herself as awkward is forced to work with the mysterious hot guy who doesn’t say much in the class. The guy suddenly begins talking to her because she’s different and he is intrigued by her uniqueness. He begins following her and, ever since meeting him, her life is now in danger. But luckily, hot stalker guy who will, by the end of the book, become her boyfriend is always there to rescue her. Why? Because she is a naïve teenager who puts herself into harmful situations that she could easily avoid. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Of course teenagers, especially teenage girls, love these sorts of stories because it is a romance with a gorgeous man who, basically, has superpowers and will protect the main girl no matter what. What woman wouldn’t want that in a man? However, how these writers execute the relationship between the paranormal boy and human girl can be just plain creepy to an adult. What is so romantic about a man following a young girl no matter where she goes? What is smart about a teenage girl sneaking out in the middle of the night to a shady part of town just to finish a homework assignment with a guy she doesn’t even like? Why must there always be a second love interest who is also, more than likely, paranormal too?
In all fairness, the story itself is written well. Fitzpatrick has a nice writing style and she tells her story in a way that makes the reader want to keep reading. However, the world of literature would benefit more from it if she wrote love stories without the teenage angst and creepy male love interests. Regardless of the teenage angst, the characters are actually rather likeable. Nora is a strong lead woman and could even be somewhat of a role model, if not for her many stupid decisions that nearly get her hurt or raped or killed. Nora’s best friend Vee is a girl every other girl wishes she had as a best friend with her quirky attitude and her sisterly love for Nora. And Patch’s portrayal of the protective man is written well, though his creeper attitude and his seductive dialog make it seem like he is constantly trying to get into Nora’s pants which becomes a bit dull to read as the story progresses.
Hush, Hush is most certainly a book for a teenage audience. While teenage girls will be rooting for Nora and falling for Patch, adults will be yelling at Nora for making such terrible decisions and yelling at Patch to stay away from the sweet, innocent virgin. There is no surprise as to what Patch really is (if anything, the cover of the book gives that away) and the whole fallen angel premise is interesting, to say the least. And the title of the book really doesn’t make much sense. However, if one is looking for a quick, mildly entertaining read with some witty dialog, then one might enjoy the first in Fitzpatrick’s saga. And, despite the Twilight-like plot, the ending does have a twist that is kind of difficult to see coming. The other books in the Hush, Hush saga are Crescendo, Silence, and Finale.
Originally published at www.examiner.com on June 24, 2015.