Wanted to like but couldn't
HUSH, HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick is a novel I wanted to like but couldn't. The cover is beautiful, the concept intriguing, and the writing good enough to potentially make for a strong debut novel. However, the good writing (diction, syntax, etc.) couldn't make up for the poor character and plot development.
The novel's set-up is predictable and cliché; things start when a dark and dangerous guy, Patch, takes an interest in smart "everygirl" Nora. Nora becomes attracted to him, even though she knows she shouldn't. She then decides she MUST know what he's about and puts herself in danger again and again to find out. When she finds out the disturbing truth about his past and his current intentions, she stays around, knowing somehow that he really does care for her.
Patch, as a leading bad boy, should have some redeeming qualities, but he doesn't. He spends most of the book sexually harassing, intimidating, stalking, and physically pushing Nora around. Somehow, this translates into Nora wanting him more. Admittedly, there is some steamy chemistry between the two, but it's always sandwiched between him acting horribly toward her. For being the intelligent, plucky girl we've been told (not shown) she is, Nora doesn't act like one. Secondary characters come across as flat and undeveloped. There are three villains, possibly four if you count an unexplained secondary character. These villains are even inept at times. The climactic final scenes are squished into the final 20 pages and are rushed and implausible. Based on the mythology that's alluded to in the book, the story should be a good one. However, the fallen angel and Nephilim mythology is left untouched for the first 300 pages outside of the prologue. When it is addressed later, the rules for angels (e.g., who can walk the earth, who can be redeemed and who can't) remain unclear. Many other things could have been explored more deeply too, like why Patch fell from heaven and the impact of Nora's father's murder on her.
Some things may be better explained in the sequel, CRESCENDO, but all of the above made HUSH, HUSH an unsatisfying read. Also, I just can't get over the romanticized way that Patch's abusive behavior toward Nora was handled. Due to the book's very readable style, though, I have to give it two stars instead of one.