Simon Pulse, £6.99, ISBN 978-1-84738-696-0
Hush, Hush is a triumph of marketing and packaging over actual substance. Clichéd, formulaic, and vapid, this book is another one of those bizarre young adult sparkly paranormal romances that promote asshole behavior of young men toward young women as gestures of true love.
Nora Grey is a stereotype. She is written as an average Jane with brain, although the author makes sure that I get the various hints dropped about how pretty Nora is. Nora has an outgoing friend who is more obsessed with sex and is said to be more beautiful. In school, they are both looked down upon by skinny cheerleading twigs, because those twigs are the whores of the young adult paranormal romance genre. We have also a new exchange student, a creepy guy who stalks after and stares at the heroine. Because he’s gorgeous, the heroine lets herself be bullied into dates and be mocked non-stop by this fellow because deep inside she knows that all that constant belittling of her is a sign that he really, really, really loves her. Even if Patch turns out to be a fallen angel who wants to kill her in order to become a sparkling winged pansy again, and tries to do so in this story, she knows he really, really, really likes her. When the bad guys try to kill her – they are different from the hero because they don’t really, really, really like her – she decides that she will sacrifice for the hero in order to show him how much she loves him.
Why? Why would Nora even care for some guy who spends the whole book mocking, belittling, and forcing her into situations that she is not comfortable with? Patch has zero hero material because not only is he an asshole to Nora, he actually wants to kill her. If Patch is an angel, atheism becomes the way to go. Poor Nora, she’s going to grow up to become a woman who writes love letters to serial killers on death row.
Books like this one make me appreciate Edward Cullen so much more, I tell you, because while Edward is a creepy stalker and control freak with a passive-aggressive streak a mile wide, he will never lay a finger on Bella. Both he and Jacob Black will die for Bella. Here, Nora is the one doing all the sacrificing and compromising while Patch does all the taking. The only reason this romance is considered “taboo” is because, were I Nora’s mother, I’d forbid her to even mention his name, much less swap body fluids with him.
This romance would be creepy were it marketed to adults, but the fact that it was targeted at teenage girls makes it even more disturbing to read. Hush, Hush convinces me that this series is one that I will not be following further, so if there is anything good to come out of this overhyped turd, it’s the fact that I’m not going to waste my money on future books in this series.