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Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush Saga)

Hush, Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick I am convinced this book had potential. I think it had the right characters, their appointed roles were just all wrong. Imagine what this book could have been if Jules/Chauncey had been the anti-hero protagonist, determined to get revenge on the fallen angel who had coerced him into giving up his body for two weeks every year. Patch, Jules/Chauncey’s enemy, placed in the role of the creepy villain. And Nora, being. . . just Nora, a pawn in their games. OK, the last line’s a little cheesy, but I stand by the sentiment. Alas, it was not to be. Instead, we get 400 pages of predatory stalking that apparently equals romance. Basically, the plot is such: girl falls in love with her stalkerwould-be-murderer, to the point where she’s willing to sacrifice herself for him so he can become a human instead of a fallen angel. Nora Grey, the main character, however, shows nothing leading up to this point to make the reader think this is at all realistic. Not that she should have attempted to sacrifice herself for him, but if she’s going to do so, it should at least be believable. That’s just the beginning of my grumbles with this book. I have a theory that good writing is like good acting. I don’t know if this is just me, but I’m much better at spotting really bad actors than I am at spotting really good actors. That’s because a good actor draws you into the story and the character, and the actor just completely vanishes. I mean, the hallmark of good acting is kind of that you forget someone’s acting. Bad acting, on the other hand, puts a barrier between you and the story, because you’re constantly reminding that someone is trying, and failing, to act. I think writing is the same way. This book felt like writing. I could see the author trying to plot out each course of action, which normally was, “What is the dumbest thing Nora could do, even though I’ve told readers she’s a smart character?” Then there are also the lines like “his eyes looked like they didn’t play by the rules”. You kind of get what she’s getting at there, but it still feels clearly like writing. I think the worst example of this is the fact that there’s a rollercoaster ride named “The Archangel”. It’s not exactly symbolism if it hits you over the head, and I don’t know why an amusement park would call a ride something like that in the first place.There are too many problems to list within the actual plot of the book, so I’ll give a quick rundown of some of the biggest issues without details: Nora and Vee call in a bomb threat and there’s not a huge search for the caller/we never hear about it again? Biology does not equal sex education, you’re thinking of health. Predatory stalking and what almost plays out as attempted rape does not equal romance. Police are not going to question a minor without a guardian present unless absolutely necessary, and if they do, said guardians will be informed immediately. The thing that really gets me about this book is it really did have potential. Currently, it reads like a bad, but not unworkable, first draft. I wish someone had read this in the early stages of the manuscript and really talked through it with Fitzpatrick, because there are good chunks of this book that are salvageable. Entertaining, even. As it is, it’s just a major disappointment that perpetuates all the wrong stereotypes.