Sunday, August 8, 2010
I read this book about 2-3 weeks ago and have been debating about writing a review. Not because this book is hugely popular or anything like that but because I don't like to be so negative about a writer's work as I know myself how hard it is to write, edit and get published. And then get a bad review (not that I think Becca Fitzpatrick will be reading this or anything lol) But this is a book review site. I read this book so I should review it. Here goes. . .
There will be spoilers.
I was looking forward to reading this book, especially after reading the blurb on the back cover. But I was very disappointed.
The writing was good, effortless to read and enjoyable. And I really have to praise Becca Fitzpatrick because she can write so well, that even though other aspects of the book weren't great and made me want to put this book down, she still kept me reading till the end.
I think Becca Fitzpatrick had the elements of a good plot but I just don't think it quite came together the way it was supposed to? It seemed quite thrown together, especially near the end. It felt like certain parts were focused on too much, and other sections were neglected and there was a lot of deus ex machina in between like e.g. touching the wing scars. I thought the plot involving Elliot was just. . . unnecessary? I think it could have been done differently, or in a more effective way. I can see what the author was trying to do, a sort of red herring but she just didn't make the characters likable or believable, or made me care. . . (harsh, i know)
It just didn't connect with me at all. None of the plot did to be honest. The horror mask, the rollar coaster. Events would happen, then it would turn out to be a hallucination, I'm a psychologist, I love hallucinations but it felt so passive - I got no sense that Nora felt she was losing her mind. The story didn't evoke a reaction in me. I just read on at the same pace. . . I'm the type of person who reads the end of the book before I read the start and I still get frightened for the characters (even though i know they are still alive at the end of the book!?!?!) but this didn't happen here (and I didn't read the end of this book first either so I should have been on the edge).
But the thing that really rubbed me the wrong with this book, which kind of made me shake my head was the relationship between Nora and Patch. Nora didn't exactly impress me much but I didn't mind her as a character and I got Patch as a character too.
Their relationship though was just. . . mental. He stalks her for a year. He inserts himself into her life. He wants to kill her. He tries to kill her. Then manipulates her mind so she thinks she's imagining things when he doesn't manage to kill her. Tells her he wants to kill her.
But this is all ok because they love each other!?!
Of course this has been conveyed in other YA books (I will not even go into the 'message' this sends to readers) but it's not handled well in this book. For the majority of the book Patch is trying to kill Nora to become human. Then BAM, he's protecting her and sacrificing humanity for her. He goes from psycho to protector in such a short time. It feels completely unbelievable. This sense of unbelievability is strengthened by Nora's passivity (psychologically) through the entire book. As a reader, you never get the sense that she has doubts. . . which is incredible. She sees that he is the one that's going to kill her, she knows he's the one that has been manipulating her mind and making attempts on her life, yet she's kiss him "more" "more" - It leaves me feeling dumbfounded.
That being said, as you can tell I didn't like the main characters in this book, but one of the big redeeming features of the book was Vee. I absolutely loved her. She cracked me up with her lines and bubbly personality (I love her diet idea). And I really can't praise Becca Fitzpatrick enough for creating such a wonderful character.
So overall, I just didn't like this book at all. I know lots of people out there will disagree so please leave comments - i don't mind a bit of debate :)
P.S. I noticed a post defending Hush Hush, discussing a negative review of this book pertaining to abusive undertones of the story etc. and how some reviews encourage boycotting etc.
Personally I don't believe in banning books. You, me and readers worldwide (and YAs) can decide if we want to read a book or not. My only worry concerning this books and others is the rose tinting of this sort of relationship as being acceptable.
(mod comments is on due to spammers, not due to me censoring people's comments :) - i'll post every relevant comment up)
Thanks for reading this review