Study Guide

Hush, Hush Love

By Becca Fitzpatrick


"There are very few boys, if any, boys at school you would fall for."

"That's not true." I said the words automatically. It wasn't until I'd spoken them that I wondered how accurate they were. I had never been seriously interested in anyone. How weird was I? "It isn't about the boys, it's about… love. I haven't found it."

"It isn't about love," Vee said. "It's about fun."

I lifted my eyebrows, doubtful. "Kissing a guy I don't know—I don't care about—is fun?" (3.105-108)

In this conversation, Nora takes a pretty serious attitude toward romance, while Vee's attitude is more lackadaisical. Nora isn't looking for random hookups and meaningless dates, which lets us know that if she does show interest in someone, that person must be pretty special and her feelings for him must be really strong.

"You find the wrong boy, you ask for trouble. You find the right boy, you find love." (7.13)

Wise words from Dorothea. Throughout the book, Nora struggles with feelings about Patch, going back and forth between feeling attracted to him and feeling uneasy around him. Are Nora's feelings evidence that Dorothea's sage advice may be too simple? Can a romantic interest bring both love and trouble?

She always smells like Love by Ralph Lauren. (13.9)

This quote comes in a description of Nora's mom, and it's a reference to maternal love rather than the romantic love that gets most of the attention in the book. Nora's mom isn't around a lot, but her reason for being absent is that she travels for work in order to provide for Nora. Sure, her mom comes across as pretty clueless, but she loves Nora unconditionally, and the mention of her perfume is a little nod to that kind of love.

"How did you know you were in love with Dad? […]"

"I didn't. Not until we'd been married about a year."

It wasn't the answer I'd expected. "Then… why did you marry him?"

"Because I thought I was in love. And when you think you're in love, you're willing to stick it out and make it work until it is love." (14. 26-29)

Mama Grey says true love takes time. In her opinion, there is a difference between thinking you're in love and actually being in love, and real love takes work. Do Mrs. Grey's words seem to apply to Nora and Patch's relationship?

Back then, nobody had even heard of fallen angels. So it made sense in my mind, that if I fell, I'd lose my wings and become human. At the time, I was crazy about a human girl, and it seemed worth the risk. (24.65)

Here, Patch explains the reason why he fell. He did it for a girl he was crushing on. See, this is why you make sure you're really in love with someone before you go do anything drastic: If you don't, you might find yourself roaming the earth without your wings.

"[…] I'm surprised you want him to get his wings back at all. After what he did to you, aren't you happy he's banished here?"

"He left me for a worthless human girl!" she spat, her eyes a fiery blue.
'He fell because he wanted to be human, like her! He had me—he had me!' She gave a scoffing laugh, but it didn't mask the anger or sorrow. 'At first I was hurt and angry, and I did everything in my power to forget about him. Then, when the archangels figured out he was seriously attempting to become human, they sent me down here to change his mind. I told myself I wasn't going to fall for him all over again, but what good did it do?' (25.67-70)

Love, man—it makes us do wacky things. Or at least, it makes Dabria do wacky things. Which makes us wonder if she really loves him, or if her feelings for him should be classified as something else? Possessive? Obsessive?

'Let me guess what you're thinking,' said Jules, rising to his feet and sauntering to the front of the room. 'You're starting to wish you'd never met Patch. You wish he'd never fallen in love with you. Go on. Laugh at the position he's put you in. Laugh at your bad choice.'

Hearing Jules talk about Patch's love filled me with irrational hope. (28. 90-91)

Patch has made Nora vulnerable to Jules's violence because Jules recognizes Patch's feelings for Nora. Jules can't physically hurt Patch because he is immortal, but he thinks he can inflict pain on him by killing Nora. What do you think of Jules's premise here? Is watching a loved one suffer worse than enduring the pain personally? Even if you knew a loved one would bring you great suffering and require tremendous sacrifice from you, would you still want that person in your life?

Right then, I wanted to go back in time and relive every moment with him. One more secret smile, one more shared laugh. One more electric kiss. Finding him was like finding someone I didn't know I was searching for. He'd come into my life too late, and now was leaving to soon. I remembered him telling me he'd give up everything for me. He already had. He'd given up a human body of his own so I could live. (29.90)

These lines read like a dating profile section asking Nora to list her ideal relationship. She lays out what love is in her view: laughter, attraction, excitement, and sacrifice for the other person.

Tears stung my eyes. With no time for second thoughts, I threw myself off the rafter. (29.96)

Nora technically isn't giving up her life to save Patch's—he's immortal—but she knows that she's in a situation where she will die, so she chooses to sacrifice her life to give Patch what he wants, which is still brave. Do you think this is truly an act of love, though? What about self love?

"I didn't accept your sacrifice. I turned it down."

I felt a small Oh form at my mouth, but it never made it past my lips. "Are you saying you gave up getting a human body for me?" (30.17-18)

In rejecting Nora's sacrifice, Patch also gives up something that he's been wanting for a long time: becoming human. They both are willing to give up anything for the other, it seems. Could this be love?

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