Review: Hushed by Kelley York

Posted 29 March, 2012 by Pushy in Blog, Pushy, Pushy Book Review / 23 Comments


Genre: YA, Contemporary, Noir Romance
Publication: December 6th 2011 by Entangled Publishing
Purchased by reviewer
Get your own: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
synopsis from goodreads
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.
Angst and romance and the evil that lurks within intertwine in this noir tale of what it takes to find inner truth, acceptance and love.


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!

Bewitched Rating

Bottom Line

Fresh, different and seriously un-put-down-able, this book will get its hooks into and not let go! It’s a DEFINITE MUST READ!

Additional Notes

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!

Now go and get lost…in a book!
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Lover of words and authors; absolute fan girl of books! Give me a good story, with characters I can love (and hate) and I'll follow you anywhere. Sing me a song of worlds I can dream of, and I'll listen forever.

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23 Responses to “Review: Hushed by Kelley York”

  1. Nice review, I’ll be adding this to my tbr. Sounds like a good dark read.

    Reply »

    Pushy 3/29/2012

    Thank you so much, Sarah!! As you can tell, I just loved this book! It is dark, but not completely dark; just enough snark and humor to make the dark rich like chocolate! Hope you enjoy it as much as I have!!!

    Reply »

  2. This is a great review, Pushy!
    Although, I have seen the book around, I never checked it out.
    Your review convinced me that I should 🙂

    Thanks for the awesome review!

    Reply »

    Pushy 3/29/2012

    Hooray!!! Thanks, Nick! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it too!! Have a great day!

    Reply »

  3. Greta at PW

    Wow! This sounds awesome! I wish my library had it! I think I know a book I need to request them to get 🙂

    Awesome review!

    Reply »

    Pushy 3/29/2012

    Thanks, doll!! You need a Kindle like TODAY!!!! Perhaps when you make your first million you’ll invest. *wink*

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  4. Haha a bitch on wheels! I HATED that freaking bitch!! Greatly written “villain” for sure! I really enjoyed this one too I loved the premise (huge fan of Dexter) and it was really original for YA.

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    Pushy 3/29/2012

    Completely agreed! I’ve never read anything like this in YA before and I loved Archer!!!

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  5. I’ve thought of it and I’ve already come to a conclusion: I really need to read this book!! x) First, I have to admit that I loooooove the name Archer so that’s one more reason to want to meet him, but he sounds like such a sweet & broken boy who deserves more than Vivian! (I don’t like that girl already!)

    Fantastic review, Danny! Those five dolls are telling me to read this book and I think I have to listen! 😉
    Mimi Valentine recently posted..Review: Spell BoundMy Profile

    Reply »

    Pushy 3/29/2012

    Thanks, Mimi!! You will not be disappointed, this book was fantastic!!!

    Reply »

  6. I’m SO glad you enjoyed HUSHED. And it’s great to know that blog tours (and all the work that goes into them!) definitely does get the word out there. Vivian is definitely a victim, just as much as Archer is. It was fun writing about how they went in completely opposite directions in dealing with their trauma.

    Again, thanks so much. Totally made my day! 🙂
    Kelley York recently posted..First 250 Words WorkshopMy Profile

    Reply »

    Pushy 3/29/2012

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Kelley!! I absolutely loved your book and can’t wait to see what you’re working on next! Have a great day!!!

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  7. I remember readihg reviews on this when it came out, This sounds like a thrilling and dark read. I am not a mean girl fan at all, I am sure I would detest Vivian The Bitch on Wheels. i should look into this book, sounds like an entertaining read.

    Reply »

    Pushy 3/29/2012

    Thanks for stopping by, Heidi!!! This book is truly fantastic! And believe me, as much as you’ll hate Vivian, part of you will feel for her too. This book is complex and dark and just wonderful!

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  8. !!!!
    OMG YES! I felt exactly the same! Ohhh, it was fantastic and I loved it too. You took the words out of my mouth! Perfect review. I love it!

    And yes, I’ve been sold on books through blog tours! I can’t recall exactly which ones (and I admit I have yet to read some *hangs head*), but I do know I’ve really ended up liking some! Ohh, like Open Minds! See I remembered one. 😉 But yeah, I can definitely be sold by the author on tours like that!

    I’m so glad you picked it up and loved it as much as I did. :DDD
    Rebecca (Kindle Fever) recently posted..Mystery Blogger: Vicky (Books, Biscuits & Tea)My Profile

    Reply »

    Pushy 3/29/2012

    Blog tours rock!!! *wink* Thanks so much, Rebecca!!!!
    Pushy recently posted..Review: Hushed by Kelley YorkMy Profile

    Reply »

  9. Pushy-

    “Used him like a tissue” that is such a great way to describe how Vivian used Archer!
    I LOVED this book. And Archer and Evan oh God they were so sweet together. I loved their story and hated Vivian for all the reasons you said.

    As far as a blog tour influencing me to get a book, not yet, but I’ve been getting closer and closer. I haven’t been joining many tours lately out of time constraints but as I see the tours, the books are catching my eye.

    hrose2931 recently posted..Review and Giveaway- Neversink by Barry WolvertonMy Profile

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