In Bad Books Good Times news not related to Hush, Hush, in one week from today, Ariel and I will be back at school and hanging out and having adventures! I promise this is actually relevant to your interests, because we have plans for a bunch of new types of content for Bad Books, Good Times we need to be in the same place to do and we’re super excited about all of it and you should be too!
In Bad Books, Good Times news related to Hush, Hush, this book still sucks.
Elliot finally shows up again in Nora’s first-hour PE class, because apparently it took them a full day of school before they were able to give him his schedule, and also apparently they still have co-ed gym in high school here.
“I never heard why you transferred here,” I said.
“I lost my scholarship and my parents couldn’t afford the tuition.”
Miss Sully blew her whistle.
We immediately transition away from this fairly personal reveal and Nora never reacts to it at all, so hopefully you’re not really interested either.
“I take it the whistle means something,” Elliot said to me.
Evidently Elliot either 1) went to a private school where they literally never had to react to any sort of auditory stimulus, or 2) is actually so stupid he has to talk his way through this mystery, in which case it makes sense that he lost his scholarship. I get that he’s just trying to make a dumb, flirty joke, but this is a dumb joke.
Then captains are chosen to pick teams for softball and Elliot is a captain and Elliot’s first pick is Nora. The other captain, obligatory young adult fiction bitchy cheerleader character who we met a few chapters ago but I forgot to mention because I just couldn’t get myself to care, is… over the top, to say the least.
“Thanks,” she told Elliott, flashing him a toxic smile that, for reasons beyond me, mesmerized the opposite sex. […] “For handing us the game […] There’s a hundred reasons why I’m a cheerleader and Nora’s not.”
Let’s ignore the content of her dialogue (please let’s ignore the content of her dialogue) and just focus on the “guys like bitches” trope at play here. The whole “toxic smile” thing makes it pretty obvious that this is supposed to be flirty and bitchy, but the super excessive bitchiness what she actually says makes it pretty obvious that Fitzpatrick has no idea how the whole “bitchy flirty” thing actually works. So instead she just ran with “bitchy” and then explicitly told us it’s supposed to be flirty, which is, uh, kind of cheating.
Let’s pretend, say, Harry Potter was written this way:
- “You’ll soon find out some wizarding families are better than others, Potter. You don’t want to go making friends with the wrong sort.” Draco Malfoy said to Harry in a friendly and charming way.
- “Are you sure that’s a real spell? Well, it’s not very good is it?” Hermione said in a way that suggested she was very insecure of herself and used her intelligence to tell herself that it was okay that she didn’t get along well with other children.
- “Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts!” Dumbledore said homosexually.
Nora and Elliott keep flirting lightly, and, unexpectedly, it’s… well, it’s not interesting, but it’s tolerable and way better than the flirting we get between Nora and Patch. But since Patch is a dick and this is young adult fiction, I’m guessing we’re not supposed to be rooting for Elliott. Speaking of Patch, Patch continues to be totally fucking ridiculous, showing up suddenly watching the game from the sidelines wearing all black, save for a blue baseball cap, and projecting his thoughts into Nora’s mind, because an emo kid who can mind rape you is just sexy as shit.
the alternative was considering that Patch held the power to channel thoughts into my mind. Which couldn’t be.
What’s funny is that although this is obviously true to the reader because we’re very (very) aware that we’re reading supernatural fiction, this is a hilarious and weird conclusion for Nora to jump to almost immediately. Patch uses his telepathic powers to tell Nora when to swing the bat and she hits it but gets out anyway because she tried to run for a double. There is a somewhat hilarious sequence where she’s trying to figure out how to slide into the base, but I’m not entirely sure if it’s intentionally funny or not.
Elliott didn’t look fully convinced. “You sure nothing’s going on between the two of you? I don’t want to chase after an unavailable girl.”
It’s a shame Elliott’s the Jacob.
The next chapter opens with Nora’s housekeeper/babysitter Dorothea talking about sex because everybody is this book is always talking about sex.
“Every woman needs to reinvent her sexy side – I like that. My daughter got implants.”
Just so we’re clear, this is a sixty-something year old woman speaking to a fifteen year old girl she isn’t related to. Seriously, this book is almost worse than Fifty Shades of Grey at times.
“Trust me, Dorth, there are no boys in my life.” […]
“This is a good thing, and a bad thing,” Dorothea said scoldingly.
How can you possibly say this scoldingly? It’s completely morally ambiguous.
“You find the wrong boy, you ask for trouble. You find the right boy, you find love. […] When I was a little girl in Germany, I had to choose between two boys. One was a very wicked boy. The other was my Henry. We are happily married for forty-one years.
Nora tells Vee about the double date, like, the night of the double date, but this isn’t a problem in the world of young adult fiction, so Vee rushes over to Nora’s and tells her she looks like shit because they’re BFFs.
“What?” I said.
“We’re meeting up with boys tonight.”
“Last I checked, yes.”
“Boys like girls who look like… girls.”
Anyway they get to the amusement park (because this is actually where the double date is taking place) and symbolism!
Delphic Amusement Park’s Newest Sensation! The Archangel! Remodeled and Renovated! Fall From Grace On This One-Hundred-Foot Vertical Drop.
Nora and Vee go on some rides and try some carnival games and then decide to go look for Elliott and Jules, because for some reason this isn’t their first priority. They find Elliott and Jules but also find PATCH! Vee starts flirting with Jules and Jules leaves because Jules doesn’t give two shits about the novel. He’s like an audience surrogate for people who don’t like young adult fiction, and I love it. Anyway, Vee talks about/exaggerates/blatantly lies about how Patch has been creeping on Nora, so Elliott offers to go talk to him, but Nora wants to do it herself and promptly walks over to Patch and flirts the absolute shit out of him.
“First week at school and he’s already made friends. Lucky guy.” He slid me a look. “Could have a dark and dangerous side we know nothing about.”
“Seems to be my specialty.”
He tells her to meet him at the Archangel and go on a date with him instead, which doesn’t even make sense because she totally doesn’t like him.
I wouldn’t be surprised if under his clothes he bore several scars, souvenirs from street fights and other reckless behavior. Not that I wanted to look under his clothes.