Monday, November 29, 2010

Literary Feast Discussion: Hush, Hush (Chapters 1-5)

Few But Dear Readers, I was denied a great beauty.  When my copy of hush, hush arrived in the mail it lacked a dust jacket.  I was depressed.  Where was my pretty?

I almost couldn't get over it.  My suffering was so great.

Only Monica's promise that we would read the book together managed to rouse me.

Our thoughts about the first five chapters are below.  Feel free to leave your insights about hush, hush in the comments.

Shel:  Tell me, who describes herself as 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" (p. 9).  Well written, good imagery.  I've just never heard someone say, "Hi, I'm a smoky-eyed brunette" before.

Monica:  I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of refreshing to have a character describe herself good looking, for all that she follows it up with a description of how much better looking her bestie is.  I’m so used to the Bella-type descriptions, “OMG am so disgustingly plain and ugly, how could anyone like me, oh look, yet another ridiculously attractive man is drooling all up in my business….”

Shel:  This is true.  But of course, Nora still manages to be uncoordinated.  Apparently we can't have it all.  I have to say, from first meeting Patch is rocking the creepy vibe.  Why must stalkers be presented as sexy?  Why must this be a trend?  

Monica:  Say it with me, girls!  Stalking!  Is!  Not!  Sexy!  If there is a man who is a) watching you sleep, b) staring at you in a bizarre fashion for any length of time, c) telling you disturbingly accurate personal information about yourself, or d) expressing that you’re “Not what he expected” whilst gazing into your eyes and looking like he wants to eat you, GET AWAY FROM HIM AND CALL SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP.  Like Buffy.  Or Harry Dresden.

Shel:  If possible, I'd have Buffy on my speed dial.  I think when we finish this book we're going to have to add it to our Stalker Scale.  *claps*  Also, why the name Patch?  It makes me think of a stuffed dog.

Monica:  I’m assuming “Patch” is short for something, like Apatchapherialazaringal, and we’ll learn about in the presumably-upcoming big reveal.

Shel:  You're probably right.  But don't be too surprised if in the meantime I start referring to him as Patches and start cooing about his fuzzy little ears.  Who's a good puppy?  Muh-muh-muh.

Monica:  Wrong genre, Shel!  He’s not a werewolf, he’s a… actually, I don’t know exactly what he is, yet.  I assume some angely-type critter……

Shel:  Such an awkward classroom conversation.  What are your top three qualities for a potential mate?  Here are mine:  gentle...dumb...and easily manipulated.  Where does that leave the future of humanity?  That biology class needs to rebel against that coach/teacher.

Monica:  Dude, I’m finding the coach fairly stalkerish as well, really.  He seems to be breaking any number of classroom conduct rules.  I don’t care what he’s told them; I would be recording Biology like it was my job, via both video and a hidden microphone feed, and if he tried to take them away, I’d shriek about constitutional rights until he either left me alone or let me drop the class.  (This is obviously a function of me reading way too many Bruce Coville books as a child.  I am perpetually ready to assume that my teacher is out to get me.)

Shel:  I'd have a back-up microphone in my bag, just in case one of yours fails to record.  So, how threatened do you think Nora actually feels?  Like, I get the bad boy thing generally.  But if I actually felt threatened by a crush, I think in that moment he would stop being my crush.  Patch certainly is king of making a girl uncomfortable.  I wouldn't want to be his biology partner.

Monica:  Apparently it’s hot when a guy makes you want to hide under your desk?  Seriously, though, Nora.  If a guy makes you uncomfortable, stay away from him.  If the guy makes you uncomfortable and the professor refuses to allow you to stay away from him, contact a person in a position of authority.  What the heck is this book teaching young girls about protecting themselves!?!?

Shel:  I do not know.  And I really don't understand the motive for wanting to write such creepy, icky, fiends as the good guys.  I like a little romantic escape as much as the next girl, but that doesn't mean I want to see the female protagonists abandon their ability to, you know, manage their own bodies and decisions.  I do like Vee and her rapport with Nora, though.  It entertains.

Monica:  I also sympathize with Vee’s diet.  All fruits and vegetables on a color wheel of sorrow?  No thank you.  ;)

One does wonder, though, at what point she’s going to suggest to Nora that Stalker Patch is *not* endearing but rather creeptastic.  That’s kind of a best friend’s job, don’t you think?

Shel:  I don't know, I think she is crushing on Patch too.  I think she's more likely to be jealous.

Monica:  Girls, girls.  Fight over someone who seems like he’s worth it…..

Okay, cool cats and hot dogs, that's it for now.  Never fear, the next course in our literary feast will (hopefully!) post on Thursday.  Probably.  We'll be reading chapters 6-12.

This doesn't mean the discussion of hush, hush has to be put on hold until then.  Let us know what you think of the book!

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