I spent my childhood with R.L. Stine. I read Stephen King in high school. I read Twilight last summer. All of these experiences have molded me into a paranormal-loving, itching-for-a-creep-out sort of gal. They’ve also made me…a romantic. The literary variety, at least. So when I saw the chance to snag a review copy of Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush (Simon and Shuster, October 2009), I couldn’t pass it up.
(See the full H and Five Ws with Becca HERE: https://saradobie.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/an-h-and-five-ws-with-ya-debut-author-becca-fitzpatrick/.)
I left the book sitting on my living room table. My roommate snagged it and read it in two days. She gave it back to me; I left it on my desk. My other roommate snagged it and read it in three days. She gave it back to me, and I locked myself in my room and spent a Sunday afternoon with Hush, Hush. I read every word, and I finished it the same day. So I’d say that’s a harbinger of good tidings for this debut author.Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush is the story of Nora Grey. She’s your basic high school chick—suspicious, sarcastic, and bored by the system. On top of that, though, she’s funny. Fitzpatrick has given her female protagonist a wonderful voice, and I enjoyed the interior dialogue because it felt familiar—it felt like the same inner monologue I’d been running for the duration of my own high school career. The writing is relaxed and comforting. It makes you feel like you’re just another one of the crowd, eighteen again and hanging out in the high school hallways.
Anyway, Nora meets Patch. (The girl always meets a guy in these scenarios, right?) Patch is the bad boy. Of course. He’s mysterious. He has no history. He’s TROUBLE. And we all do love a little trouble, don’t we? But something is wrong with Patch. Something…other worldly. That’s where we touch upon the fallen angels. You can see where this is going. Nora can’t stay away from Patch; Patch can’t stay away from Nora. But trouble is brewing in paradise. That’s what happens when high school girls try to control bad boys…especially when said bad boy is of divine origin.
My favorite character is Nora’s sidekick, Vee Sky. Vee is the over-confident, over-the-top character. She’s the Kramer to Jerry Seinfeld. She makes inappropriate jokes. She talks about boys and shoes. She’s FUNNY, and well, okay, she reminds me of ME. Anyway, I like her. She gives me giggles. Case in point: “Vee is closing in on six feet tall, but she has a thing for heels. High heels. She also has as thing about not dating shorter guys.” Ask any one of my friends; they’ll say this sounds strangely familiar.
A word of warning: Hush, Hush is YA. However, there are times with Patch’s dialogue is a little racy. As a 27-year-old picturing the tall, dark Patch in my head, I like the racy dialogue. It’s smart, funny, and sexy. Some parents may shy from it, though, so I say, approach with caution.
All in all, Becca Fitzpatrick is a genius with dialogue. She weaves comedy into serious sections, keeping things light in the face of betrayal and distrust. She develops her characters, and by the end, there’s barely a gray area between narrator Nora Grey and Reader. There are twists and turns in Hush, Hush that will shock you. You will second guess yourself until you go damn near cross-eyed. I won’t discuss the twists and turns here, but when you read it, you’ll know it. You’ll read and then, you’ll smack yourself in the forehead, knowing Fitzpatrick duped you. That’s suspense. That’s mystery. That is good writing.
Does she set herself up for a sequel? Mm…you better go get your own copy of Hush, Hush. It hits American bookshelves October 13. For more about Becca Fitzpatrick and Hush, Hush, visit the website: http://beccafitzpatrick.com/index.html.