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 read Hushed as part of the LGBT Reading Event being hosted by Adam @ Roof Beam Reader. I'm absolutely having a great time reading LGBT books and I'm surely going to explore the genre.
Thank you Adam for initiating and hosting such a cool event!
Throughout the book, I had a love-hate relationship with Archer. There were times when I wanted to slap him and there were time when I wanted to whisper in his ear that everything will be alright. His life is so screwed up that fixing it becomes a daunting task. Some of his actions were justifiable, while others seemed too spontaneous and too hard. He took too much on himself. He could have done better but he managed to do his best and he is a good guy which is all that matters.
Vivian was an absolute mess. I couldn't understand her and I couldn't relate to her. She was crazy and didn't know what she doing. She made Archer suffer so much. She meant everything to him and she only went to him when she needed him. It is understandable that she lost her brother and mom and was depressed, but she took crazy to a whole new level with her drama. The way she takes revenge against Archer was cruel.
The most amazing character in Hushed is Evan. He asks Archer for help in finding the school principal's office and the two eventually start hanging out. Author Kelley York explains the way in which Archer and Evan's relationship evolves in a very beautiful manner. Evan is the perfect, normal and clean balance to Archer's disgust, guilt and burdens. He is always there for Archer giving him his space at the same time. The romantic scenes between the two were so beautiful. I was so happy to read that they both make each other happy and they share a beautiful relationship. There was a scene where Archer is finding it hard to put a name to how Evan smells. He comes up with hope, if even there is such a scent. Evan smells of hope to Archer. How beautiful is that! The scene where Evan's sister sort of claims to like girls more than guys just to make their parents more comfortable about Evan and Archer was so sweet. Evan's family scenes and any scenes with Evan in them bought a normal and relaxed touch to the general tensed atmosphere of the book.
Archer's relations with his mother and Vivian's mother were also beautiful in their own way. I loved how close he was to Viv's mom, how much he cared about her, how much she meant to him and how she was more a mother to him than his own mother.
I do wish that the physical appearances of the main characters at least were more elaborated. I couldn't picture the guy on the cover as Archer (he looks so good, in case you hadn't already noticed!). I kept imagining Viv with dark hair when she actually had blonde hair.
Hushed is all about falling apart, breaking into a million pieces, picking those pieces up and emerging as a new person. It has a dark, depressing and disturbing edge to it. Kelley York's writing is simple, systematic and precise. Just like I did with Archer, I have a love-hate relationship with the book. I didn't like Hushed. No wait. I liked Hushed. Yes, I really liked Hushed. I don't have a concrete feeling about the book in my head, but I can say that Hushed was a beautiful and emotionally powerful read that I highly recommend.