Hushed Review

Monday, November 28, 2011

Title: Hushed
Author: Kelley York (Twitter, Facebook)
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publish Date: December 6, 2011
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 260
Source: Publisher

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.
Archer would do anything for Vivian. From her tragic youth to her tangled and messy life in the present, he's stood by her side. He loves her, and his love is unwavering, but Viv is blinded by the world she's been raised in. But as Archer sinks deeper into the role of Vivian's go-to guy, he finally finds someone that might be able to prove to him that he's worth more - that he is more. Viv isn't used to not having Archer there at her beck and call though, and she won't let him go easily. Can Archer find comfort and peace, or will their toxic and destructive relationship bring them both down together?

First of all, it has to be said that I love dark, messy and twisted stories. Second, I have to say that Hushed completely floored me by not only meeting the above criteria, but also blowing it out of the water. Gritty and raw, Hushed is so painfully real and tangible that it's nearly a horror story, scoring wounds deep into your soul as you encounter the poisonous relationship Archer and Viv have for one another. Author Kelley York has written a no-holds-barred account of co-dependent relationships that deftly balances everything from addiction, to murder, to drugs, lies and sexuality. Never crass and with a remarkably honest and human approach, Hushed is one of those reads that will stay with you long past the last page.

Archer was a mess. I'm just going to throw that out there. That said though, so was Viv, and their relationship was only fueled by their inability to cope with their own inner turmoil. Archer was so hell-bent on saving Viv, that he was losing himself to her narcissistic and manipulative ways. Both these main characters fueled the other, sending each one into a downward spiral from which it seemed there would be no return. Enter Evan though, and there became a glimmer of hope in Hushed. Now, allow me to say that I don't read too many novels with GLBT themes, simply because I've yet to read a truly real and honest one. The relationship between Evan and Archer epitomizes truth. There's a clarity between the two that becomes a beacon in a story so black and morose that you can almost taste the tension. The great skill of Hushed is that this human approach allows you to access the bad guy and understand his motives, all the while feeling for him. And, at the same time, you're given a victim that is nearly as guilty of treachery as the other is of murder. Hushed is a mess of chaos spun into a hypnotizing story that will leave you breathless. Balancing serious themes with ease and featuring a steady, lyrical prose, Hushed is the best of all worlds.

I have to say that Hushed exceeded my expectations, and it's definitely one of the darkest stories I've ever read. I give it a 4 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to an upper YA audience due to some graphic violence and sexual situations. Those who enjoy contemporary fiction and GLBT storylines will enjoy this one.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. Such a great review, Melissa! You've really sold me on this one, I was a bit unsure before. I love twisted stories as well, so I hope I enjoy this one. Have you read any Gail Giles? She writes some very twisted stories, so you might like her.

  2. i was on the fence about this one, and i was curious of your take on it. i think i may give it a whirl. i do love the dark books myself, especially if they're also psychological - so this one sounds really awesome.

    thanks, gal!

  3. Ooooh...creepy. Probably too creepy for me but it sounds interesting. I like that Archer goes so overboard to "save" Viv that he gets sucked into her manipulations. Would make for good reading.

  4. "Hushed is a mess of chaos spun into a hypnotizing story that will leave you breathless."

    Brilliant. I tend to love stories like that, I'm not sure what it says about me that I like the dark and twisted, but I do. Love that you said the relationship between Archer and Evan feels real and true as well, I'm looking forward to tackling this one!

  5. Hmm...the more reviews I read about this book the more intrigued I get. Still on the fence about this one so I'll put it on my "maybe" pile. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

  6. I didn't read your review because I'm about to write mine but I had to see if you liked it as much as I did. You did. I'll come back and see exactly what you said, but I don't want it to influence my review at all. I'm afraid I'll just say "Read the review at I Swim For Oceans!"


  7. I've been going back and forth for a while now with trying to decide if I should or shouldn't read this one. As always, your review has made me want to read it. Dark and twisty, if done right, can make for a great story and it sounds like this one did it right.
    Thanks for the review!

  8. Great review! I hadn't heard of this one before, but it's definitely something I'll look for now. I'm always interested in finding dark, twisted stories - they usually end up being the most fascinating reads

  9. great review , loved it [book n review]

  10. Ooh I'm reading this next week I'm so looking forward to it! I also love dark twisted stories and your review made me UBER excited!! :D

    Xpresso Reads

  11. Oh, wow! Now I'm seriously intrigued. I'm so glad Hushed exceeded your expectations! I love books that are gritty and real. Thanks for the beautiful review, Melissa!

  12. Sounds intense, great review as always :)

  13. Another great glowing review for this book! I need to read it soon!

  14. Wow. This one sounds like a hard read! Such deep, dark motivation with the characters and their actions. Intriguing.

  15. I enjoyed this one, too. I liked how twisted everything in the plot was and how Archer was so sure he was doing right. I was glad how it ended, it felt better than Archer not having anything happen. Great review, Melissa. You always say the things I wish I could say in my own reviews. :D

  16. This sounds like a crazy read! I hadn't heard of it before but I'll have to remember it for the future. Sounds like a must read!

  17. Wow! This book sounds amazing and squicky and intense and just- whoa. I've seen quite a bit about it recently and it's definitely one I'm looking forward to reading!


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