Andrea at Reading Lark's Reviews > Hushed

Hushed by Kelley York
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Mar 31, 13

bookshelves: 5-stars, arc, contemporary, kindle, read-in-2012, young-adult
Read from November 17 to 23, 2011

Review Posted on Reading Lark 11/23/11:

Hushed is the story of Archer and Vivian's dysfunctional friendship; the lives of these two produce poisonous effects and everything they seem to touch withers. Archer is seen as a monster to many - including his own mother - for his violent and antisocial tendencies. Vivian's experiences with abuse as a child have left her damaged and needy. Neither one can imagine their life without the other wallowing in pain beside them. However, Archer wants nothing more than to soothe Vivian's aches and make up for past wrongs. How does he accomplish this task? He makes a hit list of all the people who have hurt Vivian and one by one he starts to kill them off. Didn't I tell you that this friendship was dysfunctional?

The summary of this one had me a little nervous before I started the book. I have loved everything I have read from Entangled Publishing in the past so I was willing to give this one a shot on that alone. This book was something entirely unexpected. I honestly wasn't planning to find a way to understand Archer or Vivian - let alone be sympathetic to their flights of crazy - but somewhere along the way I did find myself feeling sorry for them both. It was unnerving for me to feel sympathy towards a serial killer, however, as Archer's story unfolds, you start to hope that things will get better for him and in the end he will be okay. It's so odd to see the traditional villain type role be something other than evil. Part of what makes this book so amazing is the flaws of the characters and how they seek to overcome and/or drown in those negative aspects of their lives. My heart broke for Archer as I watched him struggle with his guilt over his actions. On the other hand, feeling sorry for Vivian didn't come as easily.

I feel like this book will appeal to YA and adult readers for many reasons. The plot is suspenseful and intriguing. Each time I would think the story line was winding down, a new twist would arise and spin me off in a direction I never saw coming. The grittiness and realism of this book will also appeal to many. Finally, I think the struggles Archer goes through concerning relationships will also speak to various audiences. Archer's heart is divided between Vivian, the girl he's longed for since childhood, and Ethan, a new guy he met on his college campus. The relationship between Archer and Ethan was well written and many teens could benefit from watching as the guys come out of the closet with family and friends.

Overall, this book was a shocking surprise. This isn't my typical genre, but I ended up loving it. Hushed is extremely dark and tragic. I spent most of the novel feeling creeped out and shivers danced up and down my spine. This one reads as if you have a front row seat as the story is playing out. Kelley York has done an amazing job of creating a story that is the dark chocolate of books - sweet with just an edge of bitterness and massively addicting. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for something dark, edgy, and suspenseful.

One Last Gripe: I love Ethan, but I don't think I could overlook all of Archer's past demons. Ethan's easy acceptance of everything seemed a bit unrealistic.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The evolution of Archer

First Sentence: "I feel that suicide notes lose their zing when they drag on too long," Archer emphasized the statement with a tap of his foot.

Favorite Character: Ethan

Least Favorite Character: Richter
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