HUSH, HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2009) is one of a bevy of angelic YA books that enjoyed success partially carved out of the Twilight Saga popularity (as in girl meets boy, boy isn't human, girl falls for him anyway).
That's not to say that many of these books are entertaining reads, and I found HUSH, HUSH that.
Fitzpatrick creates interesting characters in her Maine high school students, especially Nora who lives with her widowed mother in an old farm house out in the sticks -- an eerie setting that makes spring-time Maine seem more like autumn.
Nora is a strong, independent female, but she's not perfect and there are times when you wanna slap some sense into her -- although some of her bad decisions seem to be essential for keeping the plot moving.
Nora's bestie Vee tries to corrupt her straight-A-earning BFF but the mysterious Patch may have better luck. Sure, he's dark, gorgeous and silent and... did I mention mysterious? Yep, he's about as typical a teenage love interest as you can get, (and all the descriptions of his flat abs and smoldering charcoal eyes were a bit much at times.)
What really hooks the reader about Patch, however, isn't the author's physical description of him but how she paints him in such a confusing way through the first two-thirds of the book. Like Nora, you sense an attractiveness about him, but you really wonder if he's the good guy or not. Other bad guys show up in Nora's life, but despite the fact that he's obviously on the cover of the book, and clearly the one you're SUPPOSED to want Nora to end up with, there are moments when you're just not sure.
Nora can't get Patch out of her head, literally, like she swears he's speaking to her telepathically. Then when crazy things start happening, but later seemingly didn't actually happen, Nora wonders if she's losing it. Are she and Vee really in danger? What's the story with the new guys from the private school who seem so polite and perfect at first? Who is the guy in the ski mask who keeps showing up to torment Nora -- is he real or a part of her mind still reeling from the violent, random death of her father?
The first book of the series, this sets things up nicely and definitely made me want to find out what happens with Nora and Patch after HUSH, HUSH ends.