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Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight is notorious for this - it’s the archetypal example, the model that Hush, Hush follows closely.
He is a continual threat to Nora’s independence, self-respect and even survival.
In one particularly horrifying scene, Nora is stranded with Patch with no cell phone and no way of calling for help.
My friend Hope commented that “it sounds as though YA might be going through the same need to reject rape-as-love dynamic that the romance world went through about fifteen years ago”.
But before YA can reject the bad-boy archetype that gave us Patch and Edward, the romantic hero whose obsessive, dangerous love is expressed through threatening and controlling and overriding the heroine, it first needs to recognise that archetype for what it is: Aja’s “perpetuation of rape culture”.
I use this term “designated love interest” to try to express how very artificial the supposed romance is.
Nora isn’t drawn to Patch because of his humour, warmth or respect for her: he has none. Nor because he empowers her to become a fuller, better person: he doesn’t.
Aja argues that Becca Fitzpatrick’s debut YA paranormal romance Hush, Hush “repeatedly and systematically reinforces rape culture”: the protagonist is “both a victim of rape culture and a perpetuation of it”. When Patch corners her alone in a deserted tunnel, Nora explicitly wonders if he's going to rape her.
I scored a copy of Hush, Hush to see if it was as bad as Aja said. While Patch may not physically rape her, his actions constitute psychological (invading her thoughts) and metaphorical (entering her mind, taking over her body, and physically restraining her from calling the authorities so they can protect her) rapes.
After taking a liking to Shaina, Aronson invited her to dinner, sources said. “I’m not talking to you.” Shalaine’s lawyer, Brian Kennedy, said Aronson plied the girls with raspberry-flavored Bacardi rum and added, “There is definitely more than meets the eye in this case.” The girls were “lured in there with a promise of dinner, a promise of alcohol and I think there was an expectation of something more on the part of Mr. Kennedy said Aronson had been out with Shaina before and she brought along Shalaine, who attends the Humanities Preparatory Academy on W. It’s going to ruin their lives forever." “I don’t know what to say other than this is horrible,” she said.