Sunday, July 6, 2014

Book Review: hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Book Description:
Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora 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 seems 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 way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she 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 Nora her life.

My Thoughts:
It's stories like these that perpetuate date-rape culture. What do I mean by that? Let me rant about it!

For about 9/10ths of this book the protagonist, Nora, is afraid of Patch. I mean, terrified. At one point Patch chases her around a parking lot (in a super creepy scene) while she genuinely tries to get away from him. In another she tries to pull a fire alarm so that he'll leave her alone. In every scene that they're together she does something that says to the reader, "He's incredibly scary and I fear for my life and don't want anything to with him but he's also really sexy and attractive and I can't help myself making out with him." She says no dozens of times. And he never stops. She literally runs away from him. And he literally chases her down and traps her. She even pushes him away, physically assaults him and verbally uses many different tactics to let Patch know that she does not want a romantic relationship with him. But he keeps coming back. He literally stalks her.

So while Nora is giving Patch negative responses, she then allows him to kiss her or gets butterflies when she sees any part of his anatomy or swoons when he forcefully throws his arms around her. What?!? What are we teaching teenagers about relationships? If I had read this before I knew anything about romance and dating I may have thought, "So when someone says 'no', what they really mean is 'yes, please'. And if I'm persistent enough (i.e. a stalker), eventually that someone will want to make out with me and it will be electric and they'll fall in love with me."

Um, no. On all counts. When a person says 'no' it means 'I don't want you to do that. Stop it!' If someone stalks me I'm going to change my phone numbers, email addresses, call the cops, get a restraining order, possibly change jobs and move to a new house. I'm definitely not going to sigh and be like, "Yeah, you have been really persistent. Maybe we should hook up and fall desperately in love. That sounds healthy." So stories like this--the ones that portray a girl saying 'no' and being ignored--help to reinforce the idea that guys should just do whatever they want because, of course, the girl wants it, too. She's just being shy or modest or maybe she doesn't really know what she wants but none of that matters. Because the boy wants the girl and he will have her. Blurred Lines. "I know you want it." What I want to say to guys who think like that is, "The hell you do know what I want! I will tell you what I want and you will accept when I say 'no'. And respect it. If my feelings ever do change toward you (which is unlikely if you've been stalking me) I will let you know."

That could probably be the end of the review but I have a lot more to rant about.

What was with the biology class? Has anyone ever had a biology or life science or sex-ed teacher say they were going to learn about sex by "sleuthing"? He may as well have said, "The best way to learn is by doing. Here are some condoms and a new lab partner; Please make plans to rendezvous later."

And Nora's "sleuthing", by the way, was so idiotic. Not for the biology class, but for finding out about Patch and Elliot. What did she possibly think she could accomplish by acting in such a stupid manner? And how did she possibly gain as much information as she did? Overall I thought both Nora and her best friend, Vee, were dumb. Just really, extremely unintelligent. And really bad at reading people. Which seemed weird since Nora was always complaining about feeling someone watching her and having bad feelings about someone. That she never followed up on. So bizarre. And her biggest concern when "sleuthing" about Patch was whether or not he had a girlfriend. After all her refusals and negative responses and concerns and problems and questions, THAT was her most important question. Really. REALLY?!?

And Patch. Why did he even want to get close to Nora? (If you'd like to read my ranting spoiler, feel free to go here. And if you'd like to read a review that says everything else I want to have said, go here.) And why did his angel friend have an Irish accent? How could an angel who does not live on the Earthly plane have a different accent that his fellow angel buddy? I'm betting they probably wouldn't have even spoken English as a first language. Or any Earthly language, for that matter.

And then the end was just confusingly annoying.

I feel like I could say more. But I should stop ranting. Becca Fitzpatrick, you have caused me to lose a little faith in the female gender. To perpetuate the idea that when girls say 'no' it means nothing is one of the greatest disservices you can do for the rising generation. Boys and girls alike. I am almost ashamed to have read the entirety of your book.

Sexual Content: Moderate
Language: Mild
Violence: Moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: Mild

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