I don’t remember reading all that many young adult specific books in high school, so there were many years between my young adult reading experiences. In fact, it was not until last summer that I reconnected with my inner high school angst and started reading a young adult book (then books). Of course that was the Twilight series.
So, this brings me to Becca Fitzpatrick’s debut novel Hush, Hush. I first saw this book in an ad on Shelf Awareness and it just caught me (the image of an angel falling, the dark feathers everywhere), so I signed up to try and receive a galley copy. I was new to book blogging and didn’t think much more about it, until the day a copy arrived in my mailbox.
I just finished up this book Monday morning, and I have to say it was a page turner. Overall, before I get in to more specifics, I really enjoyed this book and am eagerly awaiting the next one.
Sure there are parts that beyond suspending my disbelief for (which I rarely have a problem with when reading fiction) seem a little shoe-horned in, or not resolved in what I think might be a believable way. But that didn’t take away from my reading experience.
Some of my first thoughts were that I felt the characters were real teenagers. No preaching, no long soliloquies, nothing that struck me as overly fake.
The heroine is Nora Grey, a high school sophomore whose father was recently murdered and who rarely sees her overworked mother (I did have a little problem with Nora basically living alone at night quite often while her mom was out of town – a housekeeper is there but doesn’t stay overnight). She is immediately likable because she is nicely ordinary, but not in the nerdy she wears glasses and has no real friends until she takes off the glasses and everyone realizes that she is beautiful and make her the prom queen sort of way. She’s smart, slightly neurotic and logical. I mean, in many regards she thinks about actions and consequences – she doesn’t just jump into the next crazy thing, but also doesn’t shy away from danger either.
Nora’s world is shaken when she gets a new biology partner, Patch. Talk, dark, mysterious – all the makings of that high school bad boy the good girl can’t help but be drawn to.
Soon after Patch enters Nora’s life, other things around her start happening – she gets in a mysterious accident that leaves no trace, she and Patch have a run in at the local amusement park, Nora’s best friend Vee gets attacked while wearing Nora’s jacket. The obvious pattern is that someone is out to get Nora (or she is going crazy and imaging all these things). But if she isn’t imaging it, could it Patch? Of course Patch isn’t the only new man in her life, there is her new classmate Elliot who transferred to the school following the mysterious “suicide” of his girlfriend, and Elliot’s equally mysterious, and rich, friend Jules.
I found Nora and Patch to be such a great pairing because as their relationship develops it wasn’t overly romantic to make you swoon (or gag) or overly steamy in a way that you know could never be sustained. It was in fits-and-starts and built on anticipation.
As the story progresses, while I thought I knew exactly how it would all end up, there were times I questioned if I had all the answers. That being said, apparently the hardcover doesn’t have the ending that the ARCs did, so I will be anxiously checking that out soon. But regardless, it left me wanting to know where the story was going next.
The book is available in the U.S. starting today, October 13. For more information on Becca Fitzpatrick and Hush, Hush be sure to check out her Web site BeccaFitzpatrick.com.
Thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC to read and review.
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Published: October 13, 2009 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing