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.
I love you so much it kills…
One of the very first things that drew me to Hushed was the premise: Archer loves Vivian so much, he’ll kill for her.
Just think about that.
Yes, we’ve all read books where boys kill for girls, and vice versa, because they’re threatened or because they’re at war or because of some other extenuating circumstance. But that’s not really the case here. Vivian was hurt. Gravely. But Archer and Vivian still live in our modern world, one in which vigilante murder is a crime. Murder is wrong.
What’s more, Archer knows this. When we meet him, in the midst of his second murder on Vivian’s behalf, he knows what he’s doing is wrong, you can tell his soul is cringing away from what he’s about to do. And yet…
That right there, is some powerful stuff.
She loves me, she loves me not.
Another twist to this storyline that I found enthralling was that Vivian isn’t falling at Archer’s feet for being her dark knight. Instead, she uses him like a tissue. Crying into his shoulder and then flouncing off when she needs her self-esteem fix in manly form. And the depths to which Archer is devoted to Vivian make that betrayal all the deeper, stirring up layer upon layer of self-loathing and worthlessness within him.
And then he kissed me!
Well, Archer actually. Can I just SQUEE for a moment about how much I fell in love with Evan and Archer!?!?!
Evan is everything Vivian is not: kind, supportive, emotionally available…and a man to boot! But for me this wasn’t an LGBT issues book. This is a book about Archer, who just happens to be gay. Something we get to watch him discover, accept and embrace. All in the midst of the process of discovering, accepting and embracing the fact that not only will Vivian never love him, he doesn’t even like who his devotion to her has turned him into.
But I wanted to talk about Evan. Sweet Evan. The hottie in the swimming pool who is the kind of boy anyone in their right mind would fall in love with.
I loved the way he draws Archer out of his incredibly hard shell. I loved the way he could make grumpy, sour old Archer laugh and smile. And I loved the way when he and Archer were together everything just felt better. Archer and Evan are a couple you will definitely be rooting for!
A Bitch on Wheels
Ah, Vivian. I just couldn’t get into this girl’s head. She’s an interesting villain (yes, I consider her a villain despite that she’s been one hell of a victim). She’s manipulative, and crafty and as damn near soulless as I can imagine a girl to be. I have to admit, as I read further into the book and got to know her more, I wondered that it was Archer who wound up committing felony murder when Vivian’s got the heart of a snake.
And who-whee! When she figures out that Archer’s love for her is waning in favor of Evan: Girl. Gets. UGLY! And as crazy bad as she gets, it’s just so good to read!
Kelley York really does an excellent job of making the reader identify with Archer, feel his feelings and walk in his shoes. It’s no small task as Archer is so many things I am (and most of us are) not. But that just speaks to her prowess as a writer. I identified with Archer keenly throughout the book. And I didn’t just enjoyed every page that Ms. York wrote, I devoured them with gleeful pleasure. This book is just that amazingly good!
On a curious side note, this was proof to me that blog tours do work. I was surfing through some blogs I follow over the Christmas break and I came across a site that was hosting Hushed for a blog tour. The host was enthusiastic, the guest post was interesting, and I was hooked. I bought Hushed that same day.
And I’m wondering, has that ever happened to you with a book, where you know you’re being purposefully sold (the author’s definitely promoting the book rather than a blogger just giving his or her unsolicited opinion) and still you can’t help but be sold? What did you get hooked into from a blog tour and did you like it as much as I loved Hushed? Drop me a comment and let me know!