Lissa's Reviews > Hush, Hush

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
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Jul 01, 12

bookshelves: 2011
Read from December 02 to 07, 2011

Read this. Don't argue: just do it:
"If you don’t like me, I’ll force myself on you until you do. We see this all the time and it’s even romanticized. Everything from romance novels to sitcoms we see women who aren’t interested in a man and we see those men determined to catch her. To pursue her, to convince her that she’ll like me eventually. If I try hard enough, if I harass her long enough... she’s sure to cave in eventually. She can’t say no. And if she does I’ll just assume it’s code for “try harder."

Before you read the rest of this review you should really go and read this post and this post on rape culture. Please read them, especially if you don’t like the word feminist, especially if you think Patch is ‘hot’ or ‘romantic’, and especially if you’re thinking about trolling this review. Learn what’s really acceptable before you bash someone for saying Patch isn’t. It seemed so often that the only reason Nora was saying no to Patch was so that she could later relent, thereby confirming the fact that when women say no they really mean yes, especially to hot guys they’re attracted to and frightened of at the same time.

description

Oh, Ms Fitzpatrick, you’re a crafty one. But 30 pages of non-shittiness at the end of a 400 page book can’t redeem all the shittiness from the earlier pages.

So, here’s what happens in this book.
Nora: Some creepy transfer student is sexually harassing me.
Patch: LOL, you know you want me.
Nora: Fuck off, creep.
Elliot: Hi Nora, I’m the complete opposite of Patch, and I’m your only alternative.
Nora: I better go out with you so I don’t think about Patch.
Patch: Come leave your perfectly normal date and ride on a rollercoaster with me even though you hate me.
Nora: Okay.
New school counsellor: Stay away from Patch
Nora: Okay. But he’s following me anyway so I better confront him.
Patch: You’re so sexy I want to bone you. /threatens rape/
Nora: Even though you just threatened to rape me, I’m going to accept a ride home with you because I’m pathetic and I can’t call my mum or a cab or catch a bus.
Patch: Wielding a knife makes me sexy and I’m going to almost kiss you.
Nora: Fuck off. You terrify me.
Patch: Loosen up, babe. You love it. By the way, I was planning on killing you. /sexual assault/
Nora: You’re right, I do love it /facenoms/

I have to credit Fitzpatrick for her red herrings. I wasn’t sure who to trust or who the antagonist really was until it was revealed. So kudos to her for that. And the other thing I have to say is that Fitzpatrick actually seems to have a grasp of the English language. It’s not her writing technique that I hate, it’s the characters and their attitudes and the messages hidden in this book that disgust me. Fitzpatrick’s clearly written her own teenage fantasy here: to be sexually assaulted by a hot guy who’s so hot the sexual assault is forgiven because the girl really wants it but just pretends she doesn’t to preserve her feminine modesty. Although – I must remind everyone – this book would have had at least five different editors to help her get the basics of grammar and punctuation correct. Also – she’s not afraid of writing fight scenes, unlike several other YA PNR authors who build up and build up and threaten with a war and then fizzle out with nothing.

I was beyond prepared for this book. I still believe that it should not have been published because it glorifies rape culture, the women are complete bitches and the blokes are complete twats. I read this book with my trusty Post It notes beside me and marked the page every time I found something, offensive, stupid, or downright shitty:

description
Um… if I write something about all of these tags, this review will probably take forever… SIGH. Okay, I’ll do it.
(view spoiler)
I don’t really want to try Crescendo but I’m going to… the only problem I have before reading is that the books go from Hush, Hush to Crescendo to Silence. Now, first of all I have no idea why this book is called Hush, Hush. Unless it’s telling women who complain about unwanted sexual attention to shut up. But to get from hushing to silence you need a diminuendo, not a crescendo. I suppose once I read it I’ll be able to comment on how appropriate the title is.

You know what’s kept 'hush hush'? Sexual assault.

I just had an epiphany. Maybe Ms Fitzpatrick is really trolling us all because she knows she’s written a book about sexual harassment and ironically named it Hush, Hush.

No, wait. That would be giving her more credit than she deserves.
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Reading Progress

12/02/2011 page 35
9.0% "I'm actually doing it. And already I want to throw the book against the wall. What a bunch of misogynistic woman-hating rape fantasy bullshit." 7 comments
12/04/2011 page 166
42.0% "Nora's mum is a bitch. Thank god she's absent most of the time."
12/05/2011 page 226
58.0% "It's disgusting how all the adults in this are really interested in Nora's romantic/sex life. They're all obsessed with finding out if she's in a relationship and it makes me want to vomit!" 4 comments
12/05/2011 page 230
59.0% "I watched Twilight this afternoon. I like Edward a whole lot more since I started reading Hush, Hush. In comparison to Patch, Edward is a perfect gentleman with slight boundary issues." 3 comments

Comments (showing 1-43 of 43) (43 new)

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Katie(babs) And yet this got published and tens of thousands have read it and love it. O.o


message 3: by Kaia (new) - added it

Kaia I just had an epiphany. Maybe Ms Fitzpatrick is really trolling us all because she knows she’s written a book about sexual harassment and ironically named it Hush, Hush.

The scary part is, given a few of her red herrings, I could almost believe it. Almost.


message 4: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa I like people who like this review. It took me several days to write it and it's the longest review I've ever written.


message 5: by Kaia (new) - added it

Kaia Lissa wrote: "I like people who like this review. It took me several days to write it and it's the longest review I've ever written."

It's still not as long as my Deadline review. D:


message 6: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa It was originally longer but I had to cut it down for the word limit, which I've never had to contend with before >.<


message 7: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa I would add more gifs but I don't have the room!


Steph Sinclair This is a bomb-ass review!

What the fuck? Just what the actual fuck? You can’t feel the iron working its way into your blood. Just NO. That’s NOT how it works. You don’t feel any different at all. This is complete bullshit.

I had severe anemia when I was pregnant and was put on prescription iron pills. I never felt like I was going to faint, just that I was EXTREMELY tired. And some days I forgot and magically never passed out. Her 'illness' was BS.


message 9: by Kaia (new) - added it

Kaia Stephanie wrote: "This is a bomb-ass review!

What the fuck? Just what the actual fuck? You can’t feel the iron working its way into your blood. Just NO. That’s NOT how it works. You don’t feel any different at all..."


I think it depends on the person. When I was younger, I (view spoiler). I came dangerously close to passing out more than once, and probably would have if I hadn't been sent home from school. It improved a lot once we learned to get some iron back into my system.

What I don't get is why Nora has the problem at all. It doesn't seem to serve any person, except to make her more of a shrinking violet than she already is.


message 10: by Lissa (last edited Dec 10, 2011 03:11AM) (new) - added it

Lissa Beth wrote: "What I don't get is why Nora has the problem at all. It doesn't seem to serve any person, except to make her more of a shrinking violet than she already is. "

When she's facing off with Elliot she nearly faints, but then she's magically okay when she climbs the ladder in the gym and it's never mentioned again. I'm waiting to see the 'illness' pop up in Crescendo.

Also Beth, you were actually bleeding, as in loss of blood. Nora doesn't lose blood, she's just low in iron.

Steph, I didn't know you could actually get prescription tablets. Were they unavailable over the counter or were they only prescribed because a doctor gave orders?


message 11: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa Um... thanks for that info... *ahem*


message 12: by Steph (new) - rated it 1 star

Steph Sinclair Lissa, they were avaiable over the counter. I don't know what the difference was between the the two. Maybe the prescription was stronger? I just remember having to get it filled every month. They were these fat red pills that I took everyday and on the 7th day I took a different pill that was purple. I can't remember what the purple pill was for. What I do remember is I felt the difference with the iron pills the next day not as soon as I swallowed the pill, which by the way had to be taken with food.

Beth, I think it's a little different because you actually lost blood. I once broke my nose when I was a teen and I did pass out from blood loss.


message 13: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa I've been told to take my iron tablets with food, and I've been told to take them with orange juice because vitamin c helps absorb them and if you take them with food it gets absorbed by the food...? or something. But seeing as how I'm going to digest my breakfast anyway I don't see how it will lessen the impact the iron has on me.
I normally feel it the next day as well. Or I remember to take them on a day I feel crappy and I wake up feeling normal. Whatever.


message 14: by Kaia (new) - added it

Kaia Also Beth, you were actually bleeding, as in loss of blood. Nora doesn't lose blood, she's just low in iron.

True enough.

I just wish the problem meant something. I could deal with it if it felt like a true challenge for Nora to overcome, but it seems to appear and disappear as needed.


message 15: by Gina (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gina Denny Lissa wrote: "I'm waiting to see the 'illness' pop up in Crescendo."

Funny enough... It gets forgotten by the second book. At least, I had forgotten all about it, and I just barely read book two a couple weeks ago.


Melissa Your review perfectly summarized all that I found irritating about this book, yet somehow I can't decide if I want to read book 2.


message 17: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa Thanks, Melissa! I'm giving Crescendo a go, but I'm only on page 67 and I've used half the Post It notes I used in Hush, Hush already (I'm recycling my notes).


message 18: by Kira (new) - rated it 1 star

Kira This review is absolutely fabulous. Lissa, you make me so happy. Gah! <3

Beauty.


message 19: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa Thank you, darling!


message 20: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa Will do.


message 21: by Charlotte (Buried in Books) (last edited Dec 22, 2011 03:56PM) (new) - added it

Charlotte (Buried in Books) Suz wrote: "HAHAHAHAHA! OMG this review is epic. I'm only laughing at the anaemia thing. Pretty much every woman is partly anaemic, I am.

However, the rape theme is not funny. I won't be reading this book for..."


Breaking Dawn has a rape theme??? I must have read a completely different book then, because the sex there was completely consentual - are we talking Twilight or another book with the same name?


message 22: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa No, Breaking Dawn doesn't have rape in it. I think what Suz might be getting at is the whole 'grooming Bella for an abusive relationship' angle. Not quite sure though, to be honest.


message 23: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa And certainly not rough on purpose.

Jeez, I sound like I'm defending Pedward. That's what you get when I compare him to Patch.


Sophia. Hahaha, flawless and fucking awesome. Way to go, you rock!


message 25: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa Thanks, Sophia! I love the shelves you tagged this book in as well.


Aleeeeeza LOVE. THIS. REVIEW.

that is all.


message 27: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa And I love you, Aleeza.


Aleeeeeza Lissa wrote: "And I love you, Aleeza."

*reciprocates le cuddles*


message 29: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa YAY!


message 30: by Betsy (new) - added it

Betsy Curlin Thank you Lissa for a wonderful and insightful review. I just started Hush,Hush after recently finishing book 2 of the Fallen series. The first thing that struck me was how bad the writing is in this book. But after your review, I've decided not to finish it. This will come as a surprise to my friends who read this, but I was date raped on two separate occasions by different men, and nearly so by others at other times. Maybe it had something to do with my Southern upbringing, or maybe I was just too naive. Believe me, their is nothing pleasurable about rape. Instead, it elicits self-loathing and shame, even when you know deep inside that you did not do anything to cause this. After years of therapy, I now truly know that it wasn't my fault and that I'm not alone, but the experiences have permanently marred my ability to be intimate with other men. Not surprisingly, one of my favorite TV shows is Law & Order, Special Victims Unit. I guess I get some satisfaction out of seeing fictional rapists prosecuted, when I was too ashamed/embarrassed to report my own incidences of sexual assault.


Mel (who is deeply in love with herself) Betsy wrote: "Thank you Lissa for a wonderful and insightful review. I just started Hush,Hush after recently finishing book 2 of the Fallen series. The first thing that struck me was how bad the writing is in th..."

Aw. Betsy, I'm so sorry you had to suffer through such a brutal experience. Nobody should have to.
I hope you're okay now, and that you can see the bright side in humanity again.
:)


message 32: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa Betsy wrote: "Thank you Lissa for a wonderful and insightful review. I just started Hush,Hush after recently finishing book 2 of the Fallen series. The first thing that struck me was how bad the writing is in th..."

Thank you for such a lovely message. Sexual assault is a very difficult subject and experience to deal with and in my opinion should not be made light of or dismissed in books such as this and their fantatical fans.

I, too, had a traumatic experience when I was but a child, and this book only makes me angry when it leads to such ideas that I wanted it or deserved it.

Thank you again and I am pleased to hear that you have healed as much as you have. These scars aren't easy to overcome and if Nora was anything like a real victim she'd be scarred, too.


Skyla Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books @ Betsy. I just want to give you a hug *hug*


message 34: by Trisha (new)

Trisha The Reader Thanks- I was curious about this book cause I saw it was on sale at Ollies. NOT planning on reading it now! Thanks- this sounds like the worst book EVER!


message 35: by Markella (new) - added it

Markella Just read it and I agree with most of it. Only hot guys are allowed to be stalkers because somehow women feel privileged that a hottie is taking an interest in them. Had Patch been ugly or even average, Nora would have called the cops.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

This review. This whole thing. Just... this.


Daphne I have to say I agree with this post a lot, and the last comment about the title was definitely a good point.


Hannah Okay first of all, the titles make absolute sense. "Hush, Hush", in the music world, can translate into the dynamic marking "piano". You have your CRESCENDO up and up to, as it is in this particular novel, about a forte (however I would call it fortissimo by the middle of "Silence". Now after you have your crescendo in your masterpiece, you write in a rest. Silence. How long it is, quarter, half, whole, or several measures, depends on how suspenseful you wish it to be. You have to think of it like music.
Second, there is no rape or sexual harassment. These books do not promote it. Of they seem to do as much in your eyes then that's just dandy.
Lastly, I feel the book and its plot are very unique, and the flow of the story is quite alluring.
Oh, by the way, Patch is freaking awesome!


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Hannah wrote: "Okay first of all, the titles make absolute sense. "Hush, Hush", in the music world, can translate into the dynamic marking "piano". You have your CRESCENDO up and up to, as it is in this particula..."

Okay first of all, why can't people understand the concept of go write your own review? Seriously, you love Patch. Whatever. Good for you. But don't come on to this review and tell the reviewer she is wrong just because you disagree.


message 40: by Kira (new) - rated it 1 star

Kira Hannah wrote: "Okay first of all, the titles make absolute sense. "Hush, Hush", in the music world, can translate into the dynamic marking "piano". You have your CRESCENDO up and up to, as it is in this particula..."

I'm really happy for you, Hannah. Really, I am. I'm so happy that you clearly have no experience of what it's like to be sexually harrassed, coerced and humiliated in real life, thus are still able to enjoy it in a novel, on some ignorant and fetishistic level. I do, however, urge you to look a little more closely, consider what the reviewer is saying and perhaps try to see it from her point of view. Her concerns are not based on nothing. If they were, there wouldn't be hundreds of other reviewers expressing the same sentiments: that the relationship between Patch and Nora is not anything to realistically aspire to.

That it's fucking creepy.

Also, you've basically reviewed the book yourself in the comments. Kelly-Jane said it best. Go to your space and write your own review because clearly you have some things to say about this book.


message 41: by Mad (new) - rated it 1 star

Mad Wow, as a man, I am amused of the picture. Are we really that bad?


Stephanie Defining rape culture is certainly divisive; I understand why people say connecting rape culture to a YA book is overthinking it, except it's not. It's so steeped in our culture it's really hard to realize how much it's affected us. Although the stalking was called out in the book among the characters, my disappointment is that Nora did not act according to her thoughts, and Patch was still the love interest/hero at the end. If the issues were dealt with, and it was explicity clear that intimidating young women with unwanted advances is NOT OK--even if he's hot--I would be OK with it. Reading this made me uncomfortable. Thanks for a great post with excellent links.


Chandni Thank you for drawing attention to the fact that Patch is not a drool-worthy hero, but a stalker who intimidates, threatens and sexually harasses Nora. I wish more people could see it. I hate how characters are forgiven for behaviour like this just because they're "hot". Intimidation of any kind is not okay.


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