For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.
Fitzpatrick debuts with a gripping chiller where humans become pawns in the hands of fallen angels. Nora Grey is assigned a new partner in her sophomore biology class. Her instincts tell her Patch is trouble, and she doesn't like the way he is already inside her head ("Part of me wanted to run away from him screaming, Fire! A more reckless part was tempted to see how close I could get without... combusting"). Soon she is questioning her sanity--she is attacked by a masked figure that smashes her car window, but later the glass is intact. And the same figure ransacks her bedroom, but everything is in place when the police arrive. The violence and danger escalate, and Nora learns that Patch is actually a fallen angel seeking to become human. Fitzpatrick regularly tweaks the tension, resulting in a fast-paced, exhilarating read. Nora's tempestuous relationship with prototypical bad boy Patch is genuinely, even unsettlingly, seductive--fans of paranormal romance should be rapt. Ages 14-up. (Oct.)
Showing 1-10 of the 19 most recent reviews
1 . Couldn't put it down... addicted
Posted June 21, 2011 by Natalya , ChicagoIf you were to only read one book... let it be this one! Truly a great read. Read it in one day. Read this book you will not regret it! I am in love with Patch. Not only is this book a love story it's a mystery too! Kept me on the edge of my seat. Started it in the morning, read by the pool, read it under the dinner table, almost took it to the movie theaters! Finished at one in the morning. Amazing book!
2 . Loved it!
Posted January 30, 2011 by Lindsey , Knoxville, TNI love reading young adult books. This was a good book. I couldn't put it down.
3 . Not For Adults
Posted January 02, 2011 by Misty , MechanicsvilleI'm an adult who loves reading YA books, but this was not good for me. In this case, this is definitely only for the young adult crowd.
4 . Good Read
Posted October 27, 2010 by Marisol , Santiago, DRThe book is a good read for all us supernatural fiction devourers. I will admit it had some parts that threw my attention elsewhere but It was good enough that I read it in about 3 hours....lol. Bought the just released crescendo and hope it is just as good.
5 . Surprisingly great.
Posted October 19, 2010 by Dominique , PhiladelphiaI really enjoyed this book. I thought it was written okay, but the characters were great. I feel like most YA books depict characters, especially romantic leads, to be perfect. Patch is fair from perfect and that is why I love his character so much. He is not preditable at all. The whole book is very unpredictable as well, which is the many reason I loved it. It was really refreshing to read this and I could not put it down.
6 . Something different
Posted October 13, 2010 by Jessica , Nashvillewhile the story is very much like the other "immortal falling in love with a human" and "tragic romance" stories that have been emerging since Twilight, this book gives readers a little something different with the character Patch. I loved reading this story and watching his dark character unfold. I would definitely recommend this to someone else and may even read it again myself.
7 . AMAZING
Posted August 07, 2010 by Amanda , Ont.i was reading and i could not put it down! the charectors and writing just draw you in and don't let you go!!! I definitly recamend this to anyone and everyone!!
8 . People paid the author to write this???
Posted July 19, 2010 by lsuvalleygirl , Baton RougeAfter reading the reviews on this site, I purchased Hush, Hush and anticipated a good story. I was severely let down. I only finished the entire novel to give it a fair chance. More than half of the book is....nothing. It's the only way I can explain it. It is just pages upon pages of mundane events that have nothing to do with anything. Please, save your money and time and pass on this book. If you're interested in the idea of romance, fallen angels, and Nephilim, I highly recommend City of Bones.
9 . Great read!
Posted June 29, 2010 by Emily , MAHush Hush is one of the most gripping books I've read in a while; it's also one of the most suspenseful, even sometimes sensual, reads. And one thing I like best is that Patch doesn't play into our fantasies completely; he isn't the "bad boy with a hidden good side." He's a selfish jerk that you can't help but fall in love with, just like Nora. Their chemistry is great, and you want them to work out, but there's always that nagging feeling that he's not the guy that we want to believe he is. I love it, I love the book, and I'm sure I'm going to love the sequel (Crescendo). Read it :) It's a good way to spend your afternoon.
10 . LOVE this book!
Posted June 12, 2010 by Lexy , Wyoming, MII've read this book over three times now. This is a fast and great read. It's very suspenseful i couldn't put the book down! I can't wait till the second book comes out in October!
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
October 12, 2009
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
I walked into biology and my jaw fell open. Mysteriously adhered to the chalkboard was a Barbie doll, with Ken at her side. They'd been forced to link arms and were naked except for artificial leaves placed in a few choice locations. Scribbled above their heads in thick pink chalk was the invitation:
WELCOME TO HUMAN REPRODUCTION (SEX)
At my side Vee Sky said, "This is exactly why the school outlaws camera phones. Pictures of this in the eZine would be all the evidence I'd need to get the board of education to ax biology. And then we'd have this hour to do something productive -- like receive one-on-one tutoring from cute upperclass guys."
"Why, Vee," I said, "I could've sworn you've been looking forward to this unit all semester." Vee lowered her lashes and smiled wickedly. "This class isn't going to teach me anything I don't already know."
"Vee? As in virgin?"
"Not so loud." She winked just as the bell rang, sending us both to our seats, which were side by side at our shared table.
Coach McConaughy grabbed the whistle swinging from a chain around his neck and blew it. "Seats, team!" Coach considered teaching tenth-grade biology a side assignment to his job as varsity basketball coach, and we all knew it.
"It may not have occurred to you kids that sex is more than a fifteen-minute trip to the backseat of a car. It's science. And what is science?"
"Boring," some kid in the back of the room called out.
"The only class I'm failing," said another.
Coach's eyes tracked down the front row, stopping at me. "Nora?"
"The study of something," I said.
He walked over and jabbed his index finger on the table in front of me. "What else?"
"Knowledge gained through experimentation and observation." Lovely. I sounded like I was auditioning for the audiobook of our text.
"In your own words."
I touched the tip of my tongue to my upper lip and tried for a synonym. "Science is an investigation." It sounded like a question.
"Science is an investigation," Coach said, sanding his hands together. "Science requires us to transform into spies."
Put that way, science almost sounded fun. But I'd been in Coach's class long enough not to get my hopes up.
"Good sleuthing takes practice," he continued.
"So does sex," came another back-of-the-room comment. We all bit back laughter while Coach pointed a warning finger at the offender.
"That won't be part of tonight's homework." Coach turned his attention back to me. "Nora, you've been sitting beside Vee since the beginning of the year." I nodded but had a bad feeling about where this was going. "Both of you are on the school eZine together." Again I nodded. "I bet you know quite a bit about each other."
Vee kicked my leg under our table. I knew what she was thinking. That he had no idea how much we knew about each other. And I don't just mean the secrets we entomb in our diaries. Vee is my un-twin. She's green-eyed, minky blond, and a few pounds over curvy. I'm a smoky-eyed brunette with volumes of curly hair that holds its own against even the best flatiron. And I'm all legs, like a bar stool. But there is an invisible thread that ties us together; both of us swear that tie began long before birth. Both of us swear it will continue to hold for the rest of our lives.
Coach looked out at the class. "In fact, I'll bet each of you knows the person sitting beside you well enough. You picked the seats you did for a reason, right? Familiarity. Too bad the best sleuths avoid familiarity. It dulls the investigative instinct. Which is why, today, we're creating a new seating chart."
I opened my mouth to protest, but Vee beat me to it. "What the crap? It's April. As in, it's almost the end of the year. You can't pull this kind of stuff now."
Coach hinted at a smile. "I can pull this stuff clear up to the last day of the semester. And if you fail my class, you'll be right back here next year, where I'll be pulling this kind of stuff all over again."
Vee scowled at him. She is famous for that scowl. It's a look that does everything but audibly hiss. Apparently immune to it, Coach brought his whistle to his lips, and we got the idea.
"Every partner sitting on the left-hand side of the table -- that's your left -- move up one seat. Those in the front row -- yes, including you, Vee -- move to the back."
Vee shoved her notebook inside her backpack and ripped the zipper shut. I bit my lip and waved a small farewell. Then I turned slightly, checking out the room behind me. I knew the names of all my classmates...except one. The transfer. Coach never called on him, and he seemed to prefer it that way. He sat slouched one table back, cool black eyes holding a steady gaze forward. Just like always. I didn't for one moment believe he just sat there, day after day, staring into space. He was thinking something, but instinct told me I probably didn't want to know what.
He set his bio text down on the table and slid into Vee's old chair.
I smiled. "Hi. I'm Nora."
His black eyes sliced into me, and the corners of his mouth tilted up. My heart fumbled a beat and in that pause, a feeling of gloomy darkness seemed to slide like a shadow over me. It vanished in an instant, but I was still staring at him. His smile wasn't friendly. It was a smile that spelled trouble. With a promise.
I focused on the chalkboard. Barbie and Ken stared back with strangely cheerful smiles.
Coach said, "Human reproduction can be a sticky subject -- "
"Ewww!" groaned a chorus of students.
"It requires mature handling. And like all science, the best approach is to learn by sleuthing. For the rest of class, practice this technique by finding out as much as you can about your new partner. Tomorrow, bring a write-up of your discoveries, and believe me, I'm going to check for authenticity. This is biology, not English, so don't even think about fictionalizing your answers. I want to see real interaction and teamwork." There was an implied Or else.
I sat perfectly still. The ball was in his court -- I'd smiled, and look how well that turned out. I wrinkled my nose, trying to figure out what he smelled like. Not cigarettes. Something richer, fouler.
I found the clock on the wall and tapped my pencil in time to the second hand. I planted my elbow on the table and propped my chin on my fist. I blew out a sigh.
Great. At this rate I would fail.
I had my eyes pinned forward, but I heard the soft glide of his pen. He was writing, and I wanted to know what. Ten minutes of sitting together didn't qualify him to make any assumptions about me. Flitting a look sideways, I saw that his paper was several lines deep and growing.
"What are you writing?" I asked.
"And she speaks English," he said while scrawling it down, each stroke of his hand both smooth and lazy at once.
I leaned as close to him as I dared, trying to read what else he'd written, but he folded the paper in half, concealing the list.
"What did you write?" I demanded.
He reached for my unused paper, sliding it across the table toward him. He crumpled it into a ball. Before I could protest, he tossed it at the trash can beside Coach's desk. The shot dropped in.
I stared at the trash can a moment, locked between disbelief and anger. Then I flipped open my notebook to a clean page. "What is your name?" I asked, pencil poised to write.
I glanced up in time to catch another dark grin. This one seemed to dare me to pry anything out of him.
"Your name?" I repeated, hoping it was my imagination that my voice faltered.
"Call me Patch. I mean it. Call me."
He winked when he said it, and I was pretty sure he was making fun of me. "What do you do in your leisure time?" I asked.
"I don't have free time."
"I'm assuming this assignment is graded, so do me a favor?"
He leaned back in his seat, folding his arms behind his head. "What kind of favor?"
I was pretty sure it was an innuendo, and I grappled for a way to change the subject.
"Free time," he repeated thoughtfully. "I take pictures."
I printed Photography on my paper.
"I wasn't finished," he said. "I've got quite a collection going of an eZine columnist who believes there's truth in eating organic, who writes poetry in secret, and who shudders at the thought of having to choose between Stanford, Yale, and...what's that big one with the H?"
I stared at him a moment, shaken by how dead on he was. I didn't get the feeling it was a lucky guess. He knew. And I wanted to know how -- right now.
"But you won't end up going to any of them."
"I won't?" I asked without thinking.
He hooked his fingers under the seat of my chair, dragging me closer to him. Not sure if I should scoot away and show fear, or do nothing and feign boredom, I chose the latter.
He said, "Even though you'd thrive at all three schools, you scorn them for being a clich� of achievement. Passing judgment is your third biggest weakness."
"And my second?" I said with quiet rage. Who was this guy? Was this some kind of disturbing joke?
"You don't know how to trust. I take that back. You trust -- just all the wrong people."
"And my first?" I demanded.
"You keep life on a short leash."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"You're scared of what you can't control."
The hair at the nape of my neck stood on end, and the temperature in the room seemed to chill. Ordinarily I would have gone straight to Coach's desk and requested a new seating chart. But I refused to let Patch think he could intimidate or scare me. I felt an irrational need to defend myself and decided right then and there I wouldn't back down until he did.
"Do you sleep naked?" he asked.
My mouth threatened to drop, but I held it in check. "You're hardly the person I'd tell."
"Ever been to a shrink?"
"No," I lied. The truth was, I was in counseling with the school psychologist, Dr. Hendrickson. It wasn't by choice, and it wasn't something I liked to talk about.
"Done anything illegal?"
"No." Occasionally breaking the speed limit wouldn't count. Not with him. "Why don't you ask me something normal? Like...my favorite kind of music?"
"I'm not going to ask what I can guess."
"You do not know the type of music I listen to."
"Baroque. With you, it's all about order, control. I bet you play...the cello?" He said it like he'd pulled the guess out of thin air.
"Wrong." Another lie, but this one sent a chill rippling along my skin that left my fingers tingling. Who was he really? If he knew I played the cello, what else did he know?
"What's that?" Patch tapped his pen against the inside of my wrist. Instinctively I pulled away.
"Looks like a scar. Are you suicidal, Nora?" His eyes connected with mine, and I could feel him laughing. "Parents married or divorced?"
"I live with my mom."
"My dad passed away last year."
"How did he die?"
I flinched. "He was -- murdered. This is kind of personal territory, if you don't mind."
There was a count of silence and the edge in Patch's eyes seemed to soften a touch. "That must be hard." He sounded like he meant it.
The bell rang and Patch was on his feet, making his way toward the door.
"Wait," I called out. He didn't turn. "Excuse me!" He was through the door. "Patch! I didn't get anything on you."
He turned back and walked toward me. Taking my hand, he scribbled something on it before I thought to pull away.
I looked down at the seven numbers in red ink on my palm and made a fist around them. I wanted to tell him no way was his phone ringing tonight. I wanted to tell him it was his fault for taking all the time questioning me. I wanted a lot of things, but I just stood there looking like I didn't know how to open my mouth.
At last I said, "I'm busy tonight."
"So am I." He grinned and was gone.
I stood nailed to the spot, digesting what had just happened. Did he eat up all the time questioning me on purpose? So I'd fail? Did he think one flashy grin would redeem him? Yes, I thought. Yes, he did.
"I won't call!" I called after him. "Not -- ever!"
"Have you finished your column for tomorrow's deadline?" It was Vee. She came up beside me, jotting notes on the notepad she carried everywhere. "I'm thinking of writing mine on the injustice of seating charts. I got paired with a girl who said she just finished lice treatment this morning."
"My new partner," I said, pointing into the hallway at the back of Patch. He had an annoyingly confident walk, the kind you find paired with faded T-shirts and a cowboy hat. Patch wore neither. He was a dark-Levi's-dark-henley-dark-boots kind of guy.
"The senior transfer? Guess he didn't study hard enough the first time around. Or the second." She gave me a knowing look. "Third time's a charm."
"He gives me the creeps. He knew my music. Without any hints whatsoever, he said, 'Baroque.'" I did a poor job of mimicking his low voice.
"He knew...other things."
I let go of a sigh. He knew more than I wanted to comfortably contemplate. "Like how to get under my skin," I said at last. "I'm going to tell Coach he has to switch us back."
"Go for it. I could use a hook for my next eZine article. 'Tenth Grader Fights Back.' Better yet, 'Seating Chart Takes Slap in the Face.' Mmm. I like it."
At the end of the day, I was the one who took a slap in the face. Coach shot down my plea to rethink the seating chart. It appeared I was stuck with Patch.
My mom and I live in a drafty eighteenth-century farmhouse on the outskirts of Coldwater. It's the only house on Hawthorne Lane, and the nearest neighbors are almost a mile away. I sometimes wonder if the original builder realized that out of all the plots of land available, he chose to construct the house in the eye of a mysterious atmospheric inversion that seems to suck all the fog off Maine's coast and transplant it into our yard. The house was at this moment veiled by gloom that resembled escaped and wandering spirits.
I spent the evening planted on a bar stool in the kitchen in the company of algebra homework and Dorothea, our housekeeper. My mom works for the Hugo Renaldi Auction Company, coordinating estate and antique auctions all along the East Coast. This week she was in Charleston, South Carolina. Her job required a lot of travel, and she paid Dorothea to cook and clean, but I was pretty sure the fine print on Dorothea's job description included keeping a watchful, parental eye on me.
"How was school?" Dorothea asked with a slight German accent. She stood at the sink, scrubbing overbaked lasagna off a casserole dish.
"I have a new biology partner."
"This is a good thing, or a bad thing?"
"Vee was my old partner."
"Humph." More vigorous scrubbing, and the flesh on Dorothea's upper arm jiggled. "A bad thing, then."
I sighed in agreement.
"Tell me about the new partner. This girl, what is she like?"
"He's tall, dark, and annoying." And eerily closed off. Patch's eyes were black orbs. Taking in everything and giving away nothing. Not that I wanted to know more about Patch. Since I hadn't liked what I'd seen on the surface, I doubted I'd like what was lurking deep inside.
Only, this wasn't exactly true. I'd liked a lot of what I'd seen. Long, lean muscles down his arms, broad but relaxed shoulders, and a smile that was part playful, part seductive. I was in an uneasy alliance with myself, trying to ignore what had started to feel irresistible.
At nine o'clock Dorothea finished for the evening and locked up on her way out. By way of a good-bye, I flashed the porch lights twice; they must have penetrated the fog, because she answered with a honk. I was alone.
I took inventory of the feelings playing out inside me. I wasn't hungry. I wasn't tired. I wasn't even all that lonely. But I was a little bit restless about my biology assignment. I'd told Patch I wouldn't call, and six hours ago I'd meant it. All I could think now was that I didn't want to fail. Biology was my toughest subject. My grade tottered problematically between A and B. In my mind, that was the difference between a full and half scholarship in my future.
I went to the kitchen and picked up the phone. I looked at what was left of the seven numbers still tattooed on my hand. Secretly, I hoped Patch didn't answer my call. If he was unavailable or uncooperative on assignments, it was evidence I could use against him to convince Coach to undo the seating chart. Feeling hopeful, I keyed in his number.
Patch answered on the third ring. "What's up?"
In a matter-of-fact tone I said, "I'm calling to see if we can meet tonight. I know you said you're busy, but -- "
"Nora." Patch said my name like it was the punch line to a joke. "Thought you weren't going to call. Ever."
I hated that I was eating my words. I hated Patch for rubbing it in. I hated Coach and his deranged assignments. I opened my mouth, hoping something smart would come out. "Well? Can we meet or not?"
"As it turns out, I can't."
"Can't, or won't?"
"I'm in the middle of a pool game." I heard the smile in his voice. "An important pool game."
From the background noise I heard on his end, I believed he was telling the truth -- about the pool game. Whether it was more important than my assignment was up for debate.
"Where are you?" I asked.
"Bo's Arcade. It's not your kind of hangout."
"Then let's do the interview over the phone. I've got a list of questions right -- "
He hung up on me.
I stared at the phone in disbelief, then ripped a clean sheet of paper from my notebook. I scribbled Jerk on the first line. On the line beneath it I added, Smokes cigars. Will die of lung cancer. Hopefully soon. Excellent physical shape.
I immediately scribbled over the last observation until it was illegible.
The microwave clock blinked to 9:05. As I saw it, I had two choices. Either I fabricated my interview with Patch, or I drove to Bo's Arcade. The first option might have been tempting, if I could just block out Coach's voice warning that he'd check all answers for authenticity. I didn't know enough about Patch to bluff my way through a whole interview. And the second option? Not even remotely tempting.
I delayed making a decision long enough to call my mom. Part of our agreement for her working and traveling so much was that I act responsibly and not be the kind of daughter who required constant supervision. I liked my freedom, and I didn't want to do anything to give my mom a reason to take a pay cut and get a local job to keep an eye on me.
On the fourth ring, her voice mail picked up.
"It's me," I said. "Just checking in. I've got some biology homework to finish up, then I'm going to bed. Call me at lunch tomorrow, if you want. Love you."
After I hung up, I found a quarter in the kitchen drawer. Best to leave complicated decisions to fate.
"Heads I go," I told George Washington's profile, "tails I stay." I flipped the quarter in the air, flattened it to the back of my palm, and dared a peek. My heart squeezed out an extra beat, and I told myself I wasn't sure what it meant.
"It's out of my hands now," I said.
Determined to get this over with as quickly as possible, I grabbed a map off the fridge, snagged my keys, and backed my Fiat Spider down the driveway. The car had probably been cute in 1979, but I wasn't wild about the chocolate brown paint, the rust spreading unchecked across the back fender, or the cracked white leather seats.
Bo's Arcade turned out to be farther away than I would have liked, nestled close to the coast, a thirty-minute drive. With the map flattened to the steering wheel, I pulled the Fiat into a parking lot behind a large cinder-block building with an electric sign flashing BO'S ARCADE, MAD BLACK PAINTBALL & OZZ'S POOL HALL. Graffiti splashed the walls, and cigarette butts dotted the foundation. Clearly Bo's would be filled with future Ivy Leaguers and model citizens. I tried to keep my thoughts lofty and nonchalant, but my stomach felt a little uneasy. Double-checking that I'd locked all the doors, I headed inside.
I stood in line, waiting to get past the ropes. As the group ahead of me paid, I squeezed past, walking toward the maze of blaring sirens and blinking lights.
"Think you deserve a free ride?" hollered a smoke-roughened voice.
I swung around and blinked at the heavily tattooed cashier. I said, "I'm not here to play. I'm looking for someone."
He grunted. "You want past me, you pay." He put his palms on the counter, where a price chart had been duct-taped, showing I owed fifteen dollars. Cash only.
I didn't have cash. And if I had, I wouldn't have wasted it to spend a few minutes interrogating Patch about his personal life. I felt a flush of anger at the seating chart and at having to be here in the first place. I only needed to find Patch, then we could hold the interview outside. I was not going to drive all this way and leave empty-handed.
"If I'm not back in two minutes, I'll pay the fifteen dollars," I said. Before I could exercise better judgment or muster up a tad more patience, I did something completely out of character and ducked under the ropes. I didn't stop there. I hurried through the arcade, keeping my eyes open for Patch. I told myself I couldn't believe I was doing this, but I was like a rolling snowball, gaining speed and momentum. At this point I just wanted to find Patch and get out.
The cashier followed after me, shouting, "Hey!"
Certain Patch was not on the main level, I jogged downstairs, following signs to Ozz's Pool Hall. At the bottom of the stairs, dim track lighting illuminated several poker tables, all in use. Cigar smoke almost as thick as the fog enveloping my house clouded the low ceiling. Nestled between the poker tables and the bar was a row of pool tables. Patch was stretched across the one farthest from me, attempting a difficult bank shot.
"Patch!" I called out.
Just as I spoke, he shot his pool stick, driving it into the tabletop. His head whipped up. He stared at me with a mixture of surprise and curiosity.
The cashier clomped down the steps behind me, vising my shoulder with his hand. "Upstairs. Now."
Patch's mouth moved into another barely-there smile. Hard to say if it was mocking or friendly. "She's with me."
This seemed to hold some sway with the cashier, who loosened his grip. Before he could change his mind, I shook off his hand and weaved through the tables toward Patch. I took the first several steps in stride, but found my confidence slipping the closer I got to him.
I was immediately aware of something different about him. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I could feel it like electricity. More animosity?
More freedom to be himself. And those black eyes were getting to me. They were like magnets clinging to my every move. I swallowed discreetly and tried to ignore the queasy tap dance in my stomach. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but something about Patch wasn't right. Something about him wasn't normal. Something wasn't...safe.
"Sorry about the hang-up," Patch said, coming beside me. "The reception's not great down here."
With a tilt of his head, Patch motioned the others to leave. There was an uneasy silence before anybody moved. The first guy to leave bumped into my shoulder as he walked past. I took a step back to balance myself and looked up just in time to received cold eyes from the other two players as they departed.