And I’m back.
Wow. What a long wait you guys had.
Okay, give me a second to gather my thoughts.
I loved Hush, Hush.
As in, I loved, loved Hush, Hush.
So, I first stumbled upon Becca Fitzpatrick’s novel a few years back and was instantly intrigued by the cover. Dark covers don’t normally draw me in but this one did for some reason. So I picked it up, opened it up, and never read it. Literally, I think I stopped at the first or second page. I’m not sure why I stopped, I just had other books to read, other things to do. So I set Hush, Hush aside, thinking, “Well, it’s just going to be like every other angel book I’ve ever read. If you’ve read one, you’ve pretty much read them all. PLUS this is a book about a fallen angel, clearly, and, um … do I have to remind you that you don’t like fallen angels?”
The day I posted my review about Saving London, a Goodreads friend named Jasmine messaged me and asked if I’d read the Hush, Hush Saga by Becca Fitzpatrick. I’d told her that I hadn’t and she immediately suggested that I open it up, claiming that she loved it! At first I didn’t remember that I had indeed planned to read it a few years ago but once I went through my Kindle books and found that it was still sitting there, waiting to be reopened, it came back to me in a flash!
Why hadn’t I read this before?!
The prologue did an excellent job of plunging me headfirst into the world of angels, Nephilim, (evil creatures, no matter what Becca Fitzpatrick’s book claims! Don’t be fooled!) archangels, Cheshvan, vassals, and oaths of fealty! So you’re saying, “Okay, I got the first three words of that … but what’s Cheshvan, what’s a vassal, and what the heck is a fealty?!”
I know it all sounds weird, but listen up guys! Becca Fitzpatrick did a stellar job researching for this book. Cheshvan is a real month in the Hebraic calendar. It’s the only Hebrew month of the year that has no feasts and no holidays. In Hush, Hush, Patch, our awesome hero, explains that Cheshavn is seen as an unholy month because it holds no feast days.
“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.”
And there’s the synopsis! Boom! Just like that.
Nora just wants a normal life. She wants to go to college, get married (eventually) and maybe have kids someday. She expects a normal life. But then Patch comes knocking on her door. Not literally. Actually, they meet in school, when Nora’s horrendous Biology teacher/coach assigns a new seating chart to the room, sticking the new transfer, Patch, in her best friend’s seat. Nora is annoyed but tries to be cordial, which all goes downhill when all Patch wants to do is flirt with her. He makes her feel self conscious, annoyed, and uncomfortable all while making her head spin.
Nora decides that she’s going to get through this year of Biology, with or without Patch’s help. Unfortunately, her teacher makes that impossible. Patch and Nora are forced to work in close quarters, which makes Nora uncomfortable, but not just because she doesn’t trust him, but also because there’s a dark attraction pulling her towards Patch. Nora’s smart enough to resist this temptation but how long can she hold out?
A series of tragedies begin to wreck Nora’s sweet little world and Patch Cipriano becomes the least of her worries. Nora soon learns that a murderer has taken up educational classes at Nora’s school, and she’s certain he’ll come for her next. Nora begins to fear for the worst when catastrophe strikes again and again, and Nora’s conviction is only strengthened when she notices that everybody that looks like her (such as her best friend wearing her jacket and using her umbrella, and an old woman that stole Nora’s hat and coat) is being targeted, some even being gunned down in the streets.
While Vee, Nora’s best friend, suspects the culprit to be Patch Cipriano, the boy Nora claims she doesn’t have any interest in, Nora knows it’s someone else, and she’s sure she knows exactly who it is. But is her trust in Patch well-founded? She hardly knows him, after all! And then when another “unfortunate, coincidental” event takes place, leaving Patch and Nora stranded on the side of the road in the middle of a sleet storm, forced to hole up in a crappy motel room, Nora learns something about Patch that she’ll never be able to forget. And in the same hour, she figures out who is really trying to kill her. But is the person that’s trying to kill her the same person that is roughing up everybody that looks like her?
Wow, I’m sure you’re all thinking, That was the most confusing four paragraphs Rose has ever written. And you’d be right! Sorry, I’m having a difficult time explaining the story line without giving away too much about the book and Patch and Nora! Obviously you can figure out from the cover of the book and the synopsis that Patch is an angel ― a fallen angel ― but there is so much you can’t tell from the cover and synopsis and I’m not going to be the one to share! Nope, not this time! No spoilers here! It’s too good to spoil!
Well, as you know, this is my most favorite part of reviewing a book. This is where I get to talk about all the beautiful characters that were created and get to pound the characters I hate into submission. I think you’ll see a little bit of both in the following character synopses. Hey, don’t blame me if I get a little passionate about a character I strongly like/dislike. A girl’s gotta have her opinions, you know.
Patch Cipriano: You’re probably wondering, “Why start with Patch? Isn’t he the other lead character, second to Nora, who happens to be the narrator of the story?”
Because Patch is gorgeous. Shut up and listen.
Patch is described to have black hair and black eyes. He’s Italian, I think we learn, and Nora says he’s so handsome he’s not even beautiful. I’d have to disagree. From what I’ve read of Patch, I’d say he most definitely qualifies as a beautiful human being. Minus the human part.
Patch has a total bad boy thing going on and normally I’m normally not into the bad boy type (I hate the boy-next-door type, though, too, so I’m not really sure I even have a type anymore!) but Patch rocks it. He has a dark mystery that hangs over his head like a cloud or a shadow and you can’t help but be curious about him. Some of the things he says are genius, others grate on your nerves like sandpaper. Patch has this uncanny ability to get under Nora’s skin and, as you’ve already read, knows more about her than Nora would like for him to know. But that’s because Patch has a secret. A dark little secret. And I’m not talking about him being a fallen angel. That’s no secret to us. I’m talking about the secret of Patch’s Nephilim vassal ….
(A vassal, by the way, is a Nephilim that a fallen angel has forced to swear an oath of fealty, meaning that for two weeks every Cheshvan month, the fallen angel can possess that Nephilim’s body and do whatever he/she wants. The reason for this? Patch and the other fallen angels have lost the ability to feel anything, so they have to go through their vassals to feel at all.)
Patch never intended for Nora to find out what she does when they’re locked up in that motel room together. The things Nora sees and learns aren’t things Patch would have ever been upfront about. How could he be? Trust me, when you read the book you’ll figure out really quick why Patch couldn’t say anything to Nora.
Despite all you learn in the motel room, Patch does have feelings for Nora, though whether he’ll push his feelings aside to complete the mission he set out on, you’ll have to find out for yourself.
Nora Grey: Nora is the story’s beautiful heroine and narrator. She’s your average girl with good grades and an awesome best friend. Her life is pretty good. Save for one thing. Her dad is dead. Murdered. Murdered, and no one knows who the culprit is. The local law enforcement officers have promised they’ll find the killer and bring him or her to justice but Nora is beginning to doubt their intentions.
Nora has no idea about Nephilim. She doesn’t know what a fallen angel is, and she has no freaking clue that the boy sitting next to her in Bio class was once an archangel and was stripped of his wings, cast down onto the Earth. Unlike in Saving London, the book I reviewed last, Nora’s response to learning about Patch’s past is very realistic. And what she does is very realistic. The entire scene was well written, but then I guess you could argue that the entire book was well written.
Nora fights the truth about Patch for all of three seconds. She doesn’t want to accept it, but seeing as though she’s trapped in a hotel room with a vicious fallen angel, whose past she’s just glimpsed into, she quickly gets over the bewilderment and leaps into survival mode. Her reaction is like that of a girl who realizes they’ve walked into their own house holding a serial killer’s hand the whole way in. Nora tries to run, tries to escape, and when that doesn’t work, she demands answers, hoping to distract the fallen angel ― and he gives answers she doesn’t exactly like.
Nora realizes that her life will never be the same. But the killer is still out there, and she doesn’t exactly have time to sit around and chat with Patch, questioning him on his past life as an archangel and all that good stuff. Instead she has to find out who offed the old lady in the street ― the old lady that had stolen Nora’s clothes. She needs to figure out who is behind the attack on her best friend, and it would seem that the former-archangel Patch is the only one she can turn to for help. Vee doesn’t understand why Nora trusts Patch, and neither does Nora’s hard-working mother, but Nora didn’t ask for their approval. How could she?
Vee Sky: Meet Nora’s crazy, flirty, “big-boned” best friend. Vee Sky and Nora Grey have been friends since they were children, and now that they’re Sophomores in high school, they’ve been pulled even closer. They’re best friends that no one can separate. Vee is an extremely tall girl with ash blond hair and a curvy, plump body. Vee is constantly complaining about her weight, but also claims that people’s comments about her don’t bother her at all. Even though they’re probably not supposed to be anything alike, I immediately thought of Fat Amy from Pitch Perfect when I read about Vee! Even though Vee is said to be “big-boned” and not exactly fat, their personalities are still similar!
Vee is very protective of her skinny, scrawny best friend and will do pretty much anything for Nora, including covering for her when Nora’s out chasing down Patch or trying to catch a killer. Vee is a huge character in the first book, but sadly she makes fewer and fewer appearances as the books progress. Vee is quick to forgive Nora and is easily convinced to do something illegal. Vee doesn’t require answers and when Nora claims that she just can’t tell Vee some things, Vee just shrugs and says, “Cool! Let’s do it!”
Marcie Millar: Ugh! This character. This character. When you read the book, you’ll come back to my blog and be like, “….. Okayyyy… she’s no worse than any of the other characters we’ve read about before, Rose …. what’s the big deal?”
I loathe Marcie Millar. In the first book, she was just like any other high school girl that held a grudge. She didn’t like Nora and wanted to get back at her. You figure out why in Book Two, I think it is, but before all that, it just seems like a petty grudge Marcie holds against Nora, and there’s this whole girl rivalry going on. Nora tries to be above it, but Marcie drives her insane. Marcie is a goody-two-shoes girl with a rich dad that gets whatever she wants. She’s a total brat but she’s stunningly gorgeous so everybody in Marcie’s high school is infatuated with her. Every boy wants to date her, every girl wants to be her friend, and nobody wants to get on Marcie’s bad side.
Too bad for Nora she’d started out there.
When Marcie showed up in Book Two, Crescendo, doing the things that she was doing! Saying the things she was saying! Oh, I was about to strangle her. But I held my hand back from her scrawny little neck. I just took in a deep breath every time she showed up on a page and thought:
So because I can’t think rationally when my mind is on Marcie Millar, I’m going to save Marcie’s real character synopsis for my review of Book Two. I think I’ll be able to clearly get my thoughts on the matter out there, since I don’t feel like revealing what happens in Crescendo while I’m still on Hush, Hush.
In Hush, Hush, there are so many new terms you’ll have to get used to, so many rules of the Nephilim and of the fallen and archangels that you’ll have to figure out, but I think Becca Fitzpatrick does a good job of explaining everything without it feeling like she’s feeding the reader. But before I let you go diving headfirst into the world of Hush, Hush, let me give you a key to decipher the book!
- Fallen Angel: A fallen angel is an angel that was previously deemed holy and dwelled in heaven, carrying out the archangels’ and God’s commands, but has fallen from grace. The fallen angels roam the Earth without their wings, which have been torn from their backs. They have no physical sensation, but they can feel emotion. They have the ability to speak into your mind, they can manipulate the thoughts of others, and they’re obviously super strong and everything. They can freely possess someone during the two weeks of Cheshvan but outside of that “unholy” month, possessing someone is very very difficult.
- Nephilim: The Nephilim are a race of angel/human hybrids. They have half the powers of a fallen angel, making them much weaker. Like the fallen angels, they’re immortal. They age to a point, then stop aging forever, I suppose.
- Cheshvan: While I already explained this above, I figured it’d be good to recap. Cheshvan is the “unholy” month of the Hebraic calendar. This is the month that every fallen angel with a vassal is allowed to possess their Nephilim vassal and do whatever they want. Maybe try new foods, new clothes, new women. Whatever they want.
- Vassal: A vassal is a Nephilim who has sworn the oath of fealty, meaning that every Cheshan, the fallen angel that made them swear fealty to them, will come find and possess the vassal. The vassal, unfortunately, doesn’t get to just clock out and go somewhere else while the fallen angel is inside their body ― they feel, hear, see, smell everything. They’re a prisoner inside their own body. As you can imagine, the vassals hate this. In order to become a vassal, you must be Nephilim, be sixteen years old, and swear the oath of fealty. To get you to swear the oath, the angels will torture you. Fun, right?
I think that’s about all the key you’ll need! Sorry for ranting about Marcie, and I promise I’ll get to the other books soon, but I am hosting a horse camp at my house all week so I will be preoccupied with my happy campers! I’ll be posting a Mailbox Monday tomorrow morning but other than that, I will probably be off the radar over the next week! Until next time, fair readers!
What’s on your bookshelf?