Hush, Hush...cool name, right? Fallen angels, creepy twists, foggy East Coast...all cool, right? So how come the name of the hunky male lead is "Patch!" Not cool. But that's just me.
No, there is a lot more to this New York Time's Best Seller, obviously. I read this book back to back with Fallen, and I have to say that Fallen comes out the winner. But it's close. Hush, Hush is a story about a young girl who meets a strange, yet alluring boy at school who treats her like crap. Sound familiar? Then crazy things start happening to her, and her friends, and her family. Until the big reveal...which we already know because its on the cover art to the book. Patch is strange because he's a fallen angel who has lost his wings.
Here's what I learned:
Names of characters matter. Lord Voldemort sounds sinister. Mr. Darcy sounds elegant. Edward sounds old fashioned. Eragon sounds fantastical. But Patch doesnt sound like a sexy shirtless alluring love interest. It sounds like a cat I had when I was little. (By the way Peeta is stupid too. Really, pita bread-bakers son?) But I digress. Names can be powerful. They can either get in the way and make your reader mad at you and want to put the book down, or they can make you fall in love, get attached, and really impress your reader if your smart.
Not to put seemingly important details into the story that never get explained in the entire rest of the book. A friend of mine told me that when you a read a book the author gives you details that are like little rocks that you put in your backpack on your way up the mountain. If you get to the top of the mountain and you have all these dang rocks that dont mean anything, you are going to be pretty pissed with that author. I felt this way about several rocks I carried through this book. Without spoiling anything...I will give one example out of the first chapter: her dad died sometime recently at the start of the book. I think she said something about it being foul play, or strange or something along those lines. But there is absolutely no explanation...just a vague feeling that something happened to him and somewhere, somehow we are going to find out how and why. But we dont!
Popular themes can be the key to having a successful book. I dont feel strongly about the writing in this book. Neither about the plot. Neither about the sort of unbelievability of it all. But what I do feel strongly about are fallen angels. I loved these parts of the book, like the prologue, that give some history behind the idea of angels. Where they originate, why they are here, why some of them fell. The Bible talks about them as being among us. So why not a YA book where they are really among us? I am convinced that this is what made this book sell like hot cakes. Fallen angels are intriguing. I want to read about them. I will keep reading about them. I will even read the sequel to this book "Crescendo"--because I want to read more about them.
I feel like this is my most cynical post yet. Oh well, they all cant be winners! Even though the NY Times List, and far better critics than myself say it is:).