HUSH, HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick
Published October 13th, 2009 by Simon & Schuster
For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.
Though I actually read HUSH, HUSH back in November of 2009, I thought now might be a good time to post a proper review since the sequel, CRESCENDO, is coming out October 19th. And I definitely plan to pick up a copy as soon as I can. From what I've heard, the series is supposed to be a trilogy, so at least I'll get the satisfaction of two more books before I have to find something to fill the void.
I have to be honest, the thing that drew me to this book was the cover. It's absolutely gorgeous, and every time I passed it in Barnes & Noble, I kept thinking how pretty it would look on my book shelf. I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but I do anyway (I used to be an art history major; it's in my nature to judge covers). I won't lie when I say I was wary of picking up this book, because the summary on the jacket made it sound like a TWILIGHT rip-off, and I really wasn't in the mood for a cliche YA romance about something supernatural. But the first few pages seemed all right, so I could only hope that Becca Fitzpatrick knew what she was talking about.
Luckily, she did, and I wasn't disappointed. Truthfully, I enjoyed the book a lot. This is evidenced by the fact that I stayed up until 5am to finish it, since I was utterly unable to put it down. The book is fast-paced, interesting, and while not entirely new in terms of ideas (angels and demons are on the rise in YA, and I've seen a lot come through the slush pile), was different enough to keep me reading. The characters were likable, whether they were bad guys or good, and I really enjoyed the converging storylines at the end. There was mystery, which was a pleasant and unexpected surprise. Usually the mystery element in a YA novel is pretty easy to guess, but I was left completely clueless until the true antagonist was revealed at the end of the novel (and when the answer was given away, I did a major *facepalm*). It's a rare thing to be surprised by a book anymore, and maybe I was rendered slightly stupid by the fact it was so late when I got to the end, but it was a nice change to think that an author had done something not entirely predictable. I really appreciated the originality in that.
The writing, too, was solid. Sure, there were a few cheese-tastic lines, but I found myself laughing along with the characters at times, and certainly smiled at others. The characterization was spot-on, and while some of the things were rather cliche (location of the final show-down, anyone?), I didn't have any trouble believing their motivations.
Like I said, overall, I really enjoyed the book. Definitely recommended, and definitely (much) better than TWILIGHT. If you liked TWILIGHT, I'd say give this a shot, and if you've been enjoying the whole upsurge of vampire/werewolf/supernatural stuff, you'll be happy you bought this. Despite any qualms I may have had, I'm proud to have HUSH, HUSH on my bookshelf.