Hushed by Kelley York
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, LGBT
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: December 6th 2011
Synopsis: 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.
Hushed is a disturbing, sinister, and ultimately ugly novel that is hard on the heart to read. I actually had a terrible time reading it. Sadness kept toppling me over and I had to force my fingers to turn the pages. You are probably wondering why I even kept reading if it pained me so much. The answer is that I just felt a small speck of hope among all that chaos that is Hushed. And when I got to the end I didn’t regret putting my poor, poor heart through all that pain.
Kelley York’s story has a question buried in all the words that make up the book: If a child grew up in a terrible, twisted environment will the child become as twisted as the enviroment he was raised in? It’s a sad question, really, but it was dealt with in a flawless, powerfully, and ultimately thought-provoking way in York’s novel.
The plot is wholly unpredictable and bloody. It kept me on my toes, waiting with anticipation and horror for what was going to come next. There were some moments that made me cry, some that made my eyes widen in disbelief, and some that made my head spin with the craziness.
Archer and Vivian, the two key characters in this novel, are both twisted, heartbreaking characters that have done terrible things to other people and each other. They are characters that both take part in a toxic, abusive relationship that has no good benefits for either one of them. But they couldn’t be more different. Archer reached out and sought happiness after he learned that there was a better life, awhile Vivian spiraled deeper and deeper in insanity.
I didn’t really feel any feeling of like to these two characters, but I did find myself caring for them. I wished for them to both turn out alright and get a second chance at life.
Evan was the only character I loved and is the only source of comfort in Hushed. He is the cute boy who promises Archer a life with happiness– totally different from the bleak, cruel life that Vivian promises.
The writing is mostly made up with short, concise sentences. This worked for the most part, but I wanted more from York as a handler of words. The lacking in the writing was jarringly distracting at times. This is something that has seemed to have affected only me, judging from other reviews, though.
To be honest, I have been having a terrible time writing this review and the version you see now is what I believe to be my best. So forgive me if it’s a jumbled mess, but I just really, really wanted to let everyone know about this powerful tale of redemption that will rock you to your very core.
Oh, and if you decide to read this book…