Hush, Hush

Hush, Hush  - Becca Fitzpatrick I finally broke down and read "Hush Hush." Well, technically, I listened to the story as a whole. I think the two stars are chiefly from the quality of the audiobook - the reader was very good, and the ease of the writing style kept me reading all the way to the end, but the story and characters? Ohh boy. *facepalms*I didn't hate it, but I'm definitely not riding the love train. It left the stop before I arrived. I wasn't even running after it when I saw it leave - and I'm content enough to say that I know there are people that love this book and are willing to have a party on the aforementioned train - that's fine, I respect differences in opinion and will leave it at that. But unfortunately, there won't be any happy dancing on my part or smiles when I consider the experience of reading this book (unless you count Patch, who oddly smiles a lot in the running course of the book. If anyone has a running count on how many times Patch smiles, I'd actually be impressed and interested in knowing, because it did seem like a lot. However, when I think of Patch smiling, I think of Peter's character from Brom's "The Child Thief" and that scares the heck out of me - but I digress.) Cover art's lovely. I think the image of an angel falling out of the sky had my brain teasing all kinds of possibilities as to what this story might be about, but I never really got "creepy stalker fallen angel who wants to kill the main female character" out of the mix. *winces* Perhaps it might be better if I explain the story for those who haven't read it, though I'll try not to do it with major spoilers.Story's written from the perspective of 16-year-old Nora Grey, who isn't entirely happy with having her assigned seating next to the new transfer student in her Biology class, particularly since they're doing a unit on sexual reproduction. Patch is a bit of a bad boy whom Nora has an odd attraction and repulsion to in the course of the story. To be frank - it's not that Patch simply ruffles her nerves or there's distinct sexual tension that the author plays with to up the attraction to the character - he's just downright hateful to her. Whether it's in class with the Coach talking about what qualities he likes in a "mate" or outright stalking her in public places and then trying to play it off like he's not doing anything wrong. And we're told twenty gazillion times over that Patch is supposedly "bad news" by everyone in Nora's immediate circles. I think one of the things that put me off was that I felt this was mentioned so many times it grated on my nerves.Might as well get this off my chest before we go any further in this review: I didn't like Patch. I couldn't really see any redeeming qualities in him as a character for a good measure of the story, if much at all. Not even in the sense that he could be a funny bad boy. There wasn't anything funny or even snarky in an amusing way about him at all - and if I had a day to do it - I could make a list of some good snarky characters that do bad things that are way, way better than Patch as a character, but that's another digression I'll save for another discussion.Then again, I suppose it's fair to say that I found almost every male character in this book insufferable (one exception was the Irish guy who revealed the origin of Patch's name, but he wasn't in the book for very long.) And I found Nora and Vee equally insufferable for some of the stilted conversations and decisions they make in the course of the book. I guess it's fair to say that my level of investment in the characters was low going through the book, and for me - that's a big red flag. But I think what carried me was just a curiosity of seeing what happens and how Fitzpatrick would play upon the conflicts.As one could surmise, once Nora starts interacting with Patch - weird stuff starts going down and she's caught in the middle of it, from a car accident where a figure punches through the windshield, to someone following and supposedly attacking people that supposedly resemble her in some situations. At least she's not Bella from Twilight, I thought at one point, but in a way, I was wrong. While on one hand, I think Nora being proactive with the events around her wasn't such a bad idea, the conclusions she draws kind of come out of thin air and she takes off running right towards the spot of trouble with the obvious result in things turning out to be bad. And while Nora figures out rather quickly (after some events) that Patch is an angel, there were places I had to suspend disbelief at the trek used to get there. Not to mention the whole motel scene read more awkward than menacing or tense to me.The path the story takes from there does seem like supernatural love story gone awry with the mortal (Nora) being the wedge. And when I say love story, I'm not talking about Nora and Patch, but rather the rationale for the main villain. Once I understood where the story was going, I knew what it would turn out to be and just rode the rest of the ride to the end.Looking back on the book, I think there are sparks in Fitzpatrick's writing that actually did strike me well and could've been improved upon with better structuring, but at the same time, there were many glaring errors and inconsistencies that made me want to bang my head against the wall. The upside down V on Patch's back is the one I remember most prominently, because technically the wide spot is situated on his kidneys and if it's upside down, it's supposed to narrow as it goes up. I'm surprised not a lot of people caught that, among other things, but it did bother me enough to take notice.When all's said and done, I considered "Hush Hush" a read that I read once, but will likely never read again. I think the audiobook was performed well by Caitlin Greer, who seemed spot on for Nora's voice, but if I'm recommending on the strength of the characters/story alone, it wasn't really for me, and not a story I could recommend to others because I saw so many glaring faults. Although, I didn't dislike it entirely - it kept me reading to the end. So I will be reading Crescendo. Not sure where that might lead, but I usually give series until book two to change my mind. We'll see.Overall score: 1.5/5