Nora Grey seems to be like every other normal teenage girl, though there's a secret about her heritage that she is not aware of. She is drawn to her arrogant, mysterious seatmate, Patch Cipriano, who knows suspiciously too much about her and is able to communicate directly to her mind. Strange things begin to happen to Nora, such as getting attacked by an unknown stalker. She finds out later that she is in the middle of a centuries-old feud between a fallen angel and a Nephil (the child of a human and a fallen angel).
Morality lines are blurred in this story. I worry for the young innocent girls who read this story because they might take Nora as their model heroine, or take Patch as their ideal man. They might get a warped idea of what romance should be. Love shouldn't be wrought with danger, shouldn't involve sacrificing one's life, and shouldn't require surrendering one's values. As another review stated, "It takes the theme of forbidden romance a step too far, twisting the idea that true and exciting love must be dangerous and also demeaning to the heroine."
Nora allows Patch inside their house at night even if she knows she shouldn't, especially since she is alone. When she goes out to meet Patch or other boys, she either lies about where she's going or she doesn't tell the whole truth to her mother or the housekeeper.
Patch is almost always disrespectful and insulting towards Nora, and often inserts sexual innuendos in their conversation to make her uncomfortable. And yet, Nora still feels completely drawn to him.
Just the idea that a fallen angel can be a hero in a story is very problematic. The way these fallen angels act, even before their fall, is highly questionable. There is the very questionable use of a Bible verse (2 Peter 2:4) in the first page of the novel, before the prologue.
A character is attacked and almost killed by an angel (who is not yet fallen at that time), who turns out to be the ex-girlfriend of one of the fallen angels.
Fallen angels completely possess the bodies of human beings.
An angel gets thrown out of heaven because he lusted after a woman. This same fallen angel gets back to heaven's good graces by saving the life of a human and becomes her guardian angel. When asked by the human what his job description is as a guardian angel, he answers suggestively about guarding her body and needing to "get acquainted with the subject matter on a personal level." It appears that this ex-fallen angel learned nothing from his fall and is still filled with lust, which makes you wonder why he doesn't get thrown out of heaven again.
There are several violent parts in the book, although none is described too graphically. A girl is murdered by being hung on a tree (to make it appear like suicide). Nora's best friend Vee is attacked by an unknown assailant. A woman is shot to death by another character.
Drug and Alcohol Content
A drunk high school boy physically threatens a character when she refused to go out with him. Unbelievably, when the girl told her best friend about it, the best friend's reply was that he was just drunk, and that he had a lot of things in his mind. She clarified that she wasn't justifying the action, but what else could it be?
Patch is obviously lusting after Nora's body. He checks into a motel room with her, supposedly to get to a dry place when they got soaked in a downpour, and they remove some of their wet clothes (although nothing happened). They make out a couple of times, and each touch is described in a sensual way.
Crude or Profane Language or Content
Characters are often disrespectful to each other. Nora's best friend, Vee, who was a bit on the heavy side, rudely ordered a salesgirl to "take the d**n measuring tape away" because she already knew her size. Two characters do some name calling while arguing, using insults like "sk*nk" and "sl*t." A fallen angel is in a hurry to possess a human body to be able to do crude things to a girl.
I regret the almost two hours I spent reading this book. Hush, Hush shows a worrying trend in Young Adult literature today that seems to follow the plot line used by Twilight, wherein an ordinary girl falls in love with a dangerous, supernatural bad boy. The story is told from the limited perspective of Nora, who realizes that Patch is a fallen angel towards the end of the novel while the reader is sure to have guessed this already, especially with the cover art (picture of a fallen angel) and the tag line "A fallen angel... A forbidden love..." The characters are two-dimensional, the dialogue is choppy, and the storyline is weak. In addition to these problems in the quality of writing, there's also problems in the content itself as mentioned above.