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.
As soon as I read the summary for Hushed, I knew immediately that this would be one book that would draw me in from the opening paragraph and keep me hooked up until the last word. And I wasn’t wrong.
Archer is a tortured soul; helplessly in love with his best friend Vivian, he would do anything for her and that includes seeking revenge on those that have hurt in the past. When we meet him, he is a vengeful, cool, calm and collected character who will stop at nothing until he has fulfill the promised he has made to himself. He keeps himself to himself, he only truly has one friend and he has a low tolerance level for anyone else that he meets.
So when Evan comes along and rocks the world that Archer has carefully built including the feelings he thought he had for Vivian; no one can predict the fall out that follows.
It is Vivian’s reaction to Evan that pushes Archer to make decisions that have serious consequences and is the very core of this story.
Hushed is a delectably dark novel with twists and turns throughout the story. The three main characters fill you with a range of emotions. From pure frustration and fury at Vivian and the way she constantly walks all over Archer despite being fully aware of his feelings for her; to the joy and relief of Evan, a breath of fresh air in Archer’s hateful life. Evan is Archer’s angel – he’s there to pull him through just as things take a turn for the worse.
As a reader, I couldn’t help but have very strong and conflicting feelings for the characters in this story. Vivian brought out a fury in me that I have very rarely felt when reading other stories. Evan is someone I wanted to protect and Archer? Archer is the killer that I actually had sympathy with. How can one who is so evil in his beliefs actually draw out your sympathetic nature?
Whilst the love aspect within this story isn’t one that is covered a lot in many YA novels, it is handled sensitively and still gives you butterflies during the tender moments between Archer and Evan. You want them to make it, even if their relationship is against all odds right from the word go.
And it is that coupled with the dark undertones that run throughout that makes up the beauty of this story. It’s unconventional in its storytelling and has you questioning who exactly is the good guy here?
The end isn’t a cliched one but it does give you hope. And it also gives you redemption because out of all the bad things that happen, one of them does actually make you smile – because let’s face it, karma really does come back to bite you.
If you add one book to your reading list, please choose this one. It draws you in; it makes you question who is the victim, and it gives you a sense of hope. I, for one, can’t wait to get my hands on any other books that Kelley has on offer.
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