06 December 2011

(ARC) YA Book Review: Hushed by Kelley York

Release Date: 6 December 2011
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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Goodreads description:
He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her.

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another—Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed.

Then along comes Evan, the only person who’s ever cared about Archer without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.

But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer’s committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn him in if she doesn’t get what she wants… And what she wants is Evan’s death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.
My Thoughts...

WOW.  From the moment that you read the description of this novel, you know it's going to be one wild ride of a story.  Kelley York's story will pull you in and take you on an intense emotional roller coaster as she pulls you into her characters and their lives. If you're looking for that next great read, look no further. Ms. York has crafted a beautiful, compelling story of friendship, love, sacrifice,...and murder.

The first thing that I really loved about this story is the day-by-day format.  Instead of chapters, the story segments are divided into individual days and it works. It helps mark the passing of time in a perfect way--without intruding upon the story. I know that it's a fairly minor point, but I liked it.  But, this story, for me, is all about the characters.

Archer, oh, Archer.  This boy has got some deep-seated emotional problems--that much is fairly clear from the very beginning.  When we meet him, he's already committed, either directly or indirectly, multiple muders and there are at least three more (with the possible fourth) on his hit list--all in order to get revenge for atrocities committed against his best friend years ago.  His emotional state is clearly fragile from the beginning and it's clear that he doesn't fully understand what it's like to have someone in your life who actually CARES about you. I won't lie--Archer was not a character that I loved from page one.  At the beginning, I wasn't at all sure that I was going to be able to enjoy reading from his POV.  However, he grew on me immensely and after not too long I was completely sucked into his thoughts, actions, and emotions.

Rescuer-boy was taller than Archer by a few inches, so he had to look up to see hi face, his dark eyes and mousy brown hair. Every inch was trim and lean where Archer was slim and willowy.  The guy took one look at Archer's expression and let him go, pocketing his hands.

Archer scooped his bag off the ground. "I'm fine. People never watch where they're going."

The guy quirked a smile. There was something about the soft shape of his mouth, something that made him stare a moment longer than necessary. "You say that like you're used to being bowled over."

-p13, eARC

Enter Evan.  I LOVED Evan from the moment that he first inserts himself into Archer's life (see above).  Even from their brief first interaction, I felt like Evan was someone that I desperately wanted to get to know and spend some time with.  He's so awesome.  *cue gushing*  Evan is the kind of person that we all want/need in our lives.  He's constant and understanding and loving (and it doesn't hurt that he's athletic and gorgeous...not that I'm at all his type but whatever).  I loved that he was totally there for Archer and he was willing to stick with him through a lot and draw him out of his shell.  At the same time, Evan totally wasn't willing to just let Archer take everything out on him and become an emotional punching bad (i.e. he won't let Archer treat him like Vivian treats Archer).

Oh, and Vivian.  Man, that chick is crazy.  I seriously couldn't stand her from the beginning and all I wanted was for Archer to get Viv out of his life. I know the girl has issues but you should only be willing to take so much.  I mean, seriously Archer, Evan is the better choice!!!

Something else that this story does incredibly well is portray an LGBT relationship without turning into an issue book.  The book is not about being LGBT or coming out--it is a thriller that just happens to feature a male-male romance.  And it's a heart-breakingly beautiful romance.  It's the kind of romance that I think we all can appreciate and hope to have someday (if we haven't already found it).  It was wonderful.  I wish there were more books like this and I honestly hope to read more like this in the future. Oh, and this book also had something else I want more of: college-age MCs! I love reading about college-age MCs and I bet a lot of high schoolers do/would as well!

Overall, I don't think that I can recommend Hushed enough!  I loved it so much that I read it in one sitting--and hours later couldn't stop myself from going back to reread certain parts. I definitely think that it's a story that I would like to read in its entirety again sometime soon.  It's a quick-paced read that will keep readers on the edge of their seat.


Dirtybrit said...

This book is on the top of my want list. I can not wait to get my hands on it. Nothing I have read has been bad about it. Thank you for the review and yet another voice telling me I need to read it

Giselle (Xpresso) said...

Awesome review Jessi I really loved this one as well! I agree Vivian was a BIIIIITCH!! Really fun to hate for sure!!

Xpresso Reads

Rnydayramblings said...

Wow..Imteresting I have been seeing this book all over the blogosphere. Very interesting premise!

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