What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a confusing book. Not simply a supernatural romance like Twilight, it quotes from the Old Testament in the Bible and other religious texts; this information will baffle non-religious teens and likely insult those who are religious. Twilighters will no doubt be drawn to the cover art with a beautiful young male angel falling from the sky with broken wings. Sex is the heavy-handed theme throughout the book and it makes the innocent, naive character of Nora hard to take seriously. She is also attacked repeatedly by someone in a mask and someone wearing her coat is murdered.
What's the story?
Nora is a sophomore in high school who falls hard for a mysterious new boy in her sex-ed class. But strange things begin happening, and when she finds herself in danger she can't help but suspect him. She is stalked and then attacked by someone dressed in black and wearing a ski mask; her best friend Vee is attacked. Nora suspects two other boys they recently met, but her friend suspects Patch. Then there is the suspicious new therapist digging into Nora's life. When a homeless person is murdered while wearing Nora's coat and her bedroom is ransacked, the danger escalates, but Nora can't avoid the feelings she has for Patch. As she learns more about fallen angels and a deviant race called the Nephilim, she gets closer to Patch and to unravelling the mystery.
Is it any good?
It's oh, so promising on the outside and so disappointingly creepy and confusing on the inside. It contains Bible verses, quotes from esoteric religious texts, angels lusting after human females, and lots of violence mar this supernatural story. There are numerous plot points borrowed from Twilight, but much more violence -- and Nora has none of Bella's intelligence. Her great romance with Patch is marred by his repeated admissions of lust for her and other human girls in his past. He wants dearly to become human, but we are never sure why, other than to have sex with them. There are many opportunities to offend readers, and at the least to confuse the heck out of them, even readers familiar with the more standard lore of the orders of angels.
The adults are mostly absent. The plot rushes from attack to attack. The characters are not developed enough to really engage with them. Sorry, Twilighters, this isn't the next big thing.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the quotes from the Bible and the other religious texts. They are not fictional; which religions do they represent? What are some of the differences between the religions represented in Hush, Hush?
There are many popular culture representations of angels in our society. What do they represent? Why do they appeal to us?
Nora puts herself in danger many times. What could or should she have done differently?
What do our own family values express about angels? Are there any positive portrayals of angels in this book?