My rating: 1 of 5 stars
A sacred oath…
A fallen angel…
A forbidden love…
Nora Grey is a normal teenage girl with a normal life until she is forced to have Patch as her desk mate in biology class. Dark, mysterious, and alluring, he is the kind of guy she should stay away from. Yet, against all odds, she cannot resist falling for him. Meanwhile, creepy things begin to happen around her: a mysterious stalker, a break-in, a serious attack on her best friend wearing her clothes at that unfortunate time, and many other incidents putting her life in danger. She has many names to be suspected… and Patch’s is one of them. For all she knows, they are trapped at the center of centuries-old feud between a fallen angel and a Nephilim.
First of all, I want to highlight that I have finished read this first book of the series Hush Hush when I was still a high-schooler. I was still too stupid and innocent, so stricken by the romantic idea of a fallen angel ends up together with a mortal girl. Well, I am still fond of cheesy romantic stories of an immortal with a mortal but I am not as stupid and innocent as I was back then, I hope. Anyway, when I want to review this series and give it fast reading and scanning, somehow I find so many many things that make me wonder what and why in the hell I’d ever been attracted to this book.
Let’s break it down into the same pattern of my reviews.
What I do like from this book
• The cover. Oh yeah. An image of a floating body with broken wings depicting the fall of an angel. It’s beautiful, really, and promising. What’s not to like? What kind of lovers of stories involving fallen angel that do not attract to read the book? Lesson one, a too familiar one indeed: do not judge a book by its cover.
What I don’t like from this book
• Where should I start? Okay, though I mention that the cover is beautiful and promising, I haven’t mentioned that the color is dominated by grey and black, mostly grey, giving the sense of dark, gloomy, and mysterious. Sadly, it truly depicts the whole content of the book but in a very very bad way. The main hero and heroine are Nora and Patch, but I can’t help thinking that they are the abusive and arrogant version of fallen angel Edward Cullent and the hopeless and stupider Bella Swan. The similarities between two series are crystal clear: they meet at biology class, the hero is so mysterious and the heroine is curious to find out more about the hero, the hero is immortal with dark past and the heroine is normal mortal and they end up together, and the heroine googles the information leading to the revelation about the hero.
• The title of the book and the series is a bit intriguing. I’m not an English speaker, so at first I did not understand the meaning of the word. I look at its meaning on the dictionary and learn that it means ‘secret and not known about by many people’. I think this book is true to the meaning of the title. Even now, there are so many questions I have and many things I cannot understand about the story.
• This book should be about a fallen angel, somehow this book lacks the details about any fallen angel’s myth. So, there are so many holes that leave so many questions about the logic of this story. It is only explained that Patch has fallen because he falls in love with a human. For a fallen angel to have a body to be used freely for a certain period of time, he needs a Nephilim (a half-mortal offspring of fallen angels and humans) and to swear fealty on him. The fallen angel can fully become a human if he kills the descendant of the Nephilim. The fallen angel can also become a guardian angel if he chooses to save a human’s life. Patch wants to be a human, so that he tries to find and kill the descendant of his Nephilim: which is Nora. He is also offered to be a guardian angel by saving a certain someone’s life. Ironically, the certain someone’s life is Nora’s. In the end, he can’t kill Nora because he falls in love with her, as she does with him. Nora decides to sacrifice her life to kill the Nephilim and save Patch, but Patch refuses the sacrifice, resulting in Nora’s soul to be spared and he becomes her guardian angel. What I can’t understand is: Patch becomes a fallen angel because he falls in love with a human. Now he also falls in love with Nora. Shouldn’t he fall again? He repeats his first mistake! Why it’s different now? Also, there is a fact that an angel and even a fallen angel cannot feel anything physical. And yet, Patch falls because he is feeling lust for a woman he loves. Patch also explains to Nora that he cannot feel her touch but he can feel it emotionally inside his heart. He can also feel desire and lust for Nora. Isn’t it confusing? How does that work, anyway? Love might be emotional, but desire and lust are more physical than emotional, aren’t they? It will be logical if Patch can feel desire and lust for Nora when he controls the body of his Nephilim. There’s one more thing: Patch admits that he, at some point before he falls to the dark side, was a boyfriend of Dabria, a fellow angel. HOW COULD THAT BE? Why the book is so inconsistent????
• Nora is a kind of girl in the horror and thriller movies who always approaches danger rather than avoiding it and gets killed first. She gets into harmful accidents, and though in the end they turn out to be only illusions on her part, I cannot help thinking that there’s something wrong with her head. Seriously. Over and over again strange things happened to her, but it never occurs to her to ask for help or advice from adults, her mother, her teacher, or the police, until it is too late. No. She keeps suspecting Patch to be the cause of those creepy accidents, but, rather than staying away from him, she acts so stupid by confronting him directly. She is also so inconsistent. She keeps changing her opinion about Patch every second from bad to good to bad to good, again and again. She even manages to reveal Patch’s intention and he admits blatantly that he wants to kill her. Her reaction? She decides to trust him. All this time she keeps suspecting him and when her suspicion has been proven, she decides to believe that Patch will never hurt her. Unbeliavable. And so stupid. To know more about Patch, Nora does many stupid things like threatening the school with a bomb so that she can break into the students’ record office and look at the confidential file, stalking him and snooping for his information. How stupider she can get? Okay. Definitely, there is something wrong with her. She needs to be checked by a specialist. Not that she tends to do many unhealthy behaviors, she tends to have unhealthy symptoms as well. She keeps seeing illusion, she cannot thinking straight, and it seems her heart doesn’t work properly.
• Patch is an absolute bad boy. Many girls are attracted to bad boys. However, Patch is an outrageous bad boy. He consistently and continuously means Nora harm. His conversation with Nora always ends up with one of them saying nasty things, mostly him. He is an abusive and arrogant fallen angel who seems to take pleasure in intimidating and forcing himself on her physically, humiliating and assaulting her, stalking and violating her privacy, and the most important part, wanting and trying to kill her. There is nothing sexy and romantic about all of those. But somehow Nora finds these irresistible and alluring and falls for him. Badly.
• Against all odds, both of them fall in love with each other. How can that possible, anyway? Even if they are really into a relationship, I bet that it is an unhealthy one. What makes Nora like him anyway? The things that Nora thinks sexy, alluring, and attracting from Patch are delusion. Do not ever think that if a guy treats you nastily, either by his actions or his words, it means that he likes you. BIG NO. Do not ever think that if a guy says he wants to kill you, he is actually in love with you. BIG NO. Again. This is why there are so many cases of domestic violence. When a boy assault you, force you and humiliate you in public, it is not LOVE. It is a CRIME. As for Patch, somehow, as a fallen angel, he may have lived in the world much longer than mortal ones. It means that he has much longer time to observe the life around him. If he is such an abusive and arrogant jerk, which he is, shown from his actions and words against Nora, a too stupid and innocent girl like Nora is only a plaything. And maybe, that explains the way Patch treats Nora. Since the story is narrated by Nora, I know almost nothing about why Patch falls in love with Nora.
• What kind of parents that let her daughter go out the next day after her surgery after she was attacked the previous day? What kind of mother that let her daughter stays alone in the house if the father happened to be a victim of a murder?
• I had been in a biology class back then when I was still a high-schooler. I am pretty sure that the teacher never teach us to find as much as information on classmate sitting beside us. Because, as much as information here can involve private things that are inappropriate to be shared on class. What kind of biology is that? To my horror, the next class, the teacher asks about qualities you are attracted to in a potential mate. Is that biology? Even we have sex education class and I’m pretty sure that things like ‘potential mate’ and ‘how you let that certain person know that he/she is your potential’ are not on the lesson. When we learn reproduction system and sex education, we learn how to know and appreciate ourselves better, not to make us vulnerable to discuss something so private about what kind of man or woman we are attracted to. I mean, do you really want to discuss it in class with all your classmates and teacher. If I want to discuss something like that, I will choose my best friends or my sisters/brothers or my parents.
• What I truly can’t understand is: at that ‘biology class’, Patch humiliates Nora and makes her very uncomfortable. Instead of reprimanding him about it, the teacher encourages him! And no one in the class seems to care besides laughing at it, except Vee, it seems, but unfortunately she does that when the class is over already. And unfortunately, later she seems encourage Nora about him. What kind of best friend wants to do matchmaking between you and someone who certainly makes you uncomfortable? And later, when she admits that Patch makes her uncomfortable and asks for a change in seats, the teacher asks her to tutor Patch instead. What kind of teacher is that?
• There are too many villains in this story. Everywhere Nora goes, there is always someone’s trying to kill her. Patch, at first, is acting like a real villain in the story. Even Vee, her best friend, who, at first, is so fun and full with best-friend material, suddenly becomes a pretty badass friend, meaning, another villain. It seems that everyone in this book is villain for Nora. No hero or heroine can survive that. Even when a hero or heroine must face what seems like an invincible and unbeatable villain, there is always someone to support and back him or her up. No hero or heroine should be alone in any story. At least, she or he should have good characters benefitting him or her throughout the story. Sadly, Nora lacks those as well. She’s totally hopeless.
• The story is written in a very sloppy and too-revealing manner. I don’t know whether it is intended to meet particular word count required or not, but somehow I find so many misplaced details that have nothing to do with the story. I mean, instead of enriching the story, they tend to be annoying. But, when the details are not misplaced, they give too many hints and information. It makes the story lacking the suspense.
• To sum up, this book is more like paranormal romance rather than young adult fiction. The hero has the gift to turn everything normal into perverted things and the best friend of the heroine always thinks and talks about sex.
I try my best to read the book until the end and even finish the series (Yup. There are three books more of the series). Some people, after finding that the book they read doesn’t worthy their time, might throw away the book and want nothing to do anymore with the book and do not give a damn about the ending of the story or series, but it is not in my nature. I always want to know what happened in the end, so, even if sometimes it becomes unbearable, I always try to finish the whole series. Because this is only the first book of four, I always hope that the next books will be better. Sometimes they do be better, but sometimes they don’t. But still, I will give the series a second chance until the end, and when the ending is as bad as the beginning, I can never truly put the blame on the author.
I am a writer as well. Being a writer is easy but being a good one is not. I realize that to have a good idea of a story and to write a good story is totally different. I might have the best idea of story, but when it is written down, there’s no guarantee that the story will be the best written story. Two authors can retell one similar story with different result. One might be better than the other. One might be the worst retelling ever.
I cannot give it a high rating because, honestly, I do not enjoy the book. I can only appreciate it by reading it through the end.