|Photo credit: Goodreads|
Before I begin! Here’s the Goodreads summary:
“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.”First and foremost! Hushed by Kelley York is a New Adult Thriller/MM Romance! I’ve seen a lot of people call it YA, but Archer and Evan are in college (as are all the major characters) and it’s published by Entangled’s Embrace line (which is a New Adult line). So just clearing that up. (Also, full disclosure: I'm an Assistant Editor for Entangled, but they did not ask me to review this book. I'm reviewing it because I enjoyed it and that's it).
Related to the NA note: for those of you nervous about reading NA because of the potentially graphic content, this book is pretty tame. There’s one (literally) steamy scene, but there isn’t graphic content, and more than anything there’s just a lot of adorable cuddles and kisses. (Though, trigger warning, there’s some sexual assault mentioned throughout the book).
Okay! So as for the actual book, this was such an interesting read. First of all, I can only think of one other book I’ve read from the primary POV of a serial killer (or, I suppose, vigilante, depending on how you look at it) and it made for a totally fascinating read. Mix in the super unhealthy relationship between Archer and Vicki and the ridiculously adorable Evan (who I just want to huggle forever) and I was totally hooked. The plot is interesting, the pacing works well and the relationships are complicated. I was totally emotionally invested and I really really enjoyed it.
Minor gripes: I may have missed it, but I don't think Archer specifically identifies as bisexual, which isn't a deal-breaker, but as he's pretty obviously bisexual, I would have liked to see him identify and help fight against bi erasure. (Though, if I missed it, which is totally possible, then never mind). Also, toward the end, I started getting kind of aggravated with Vivian and Archer's relationship, but I didn't think it was necessarily unrealistic...just frustrating. So.
All in all, I loved reading Hushed and I was so extremely happy to not only see some diversity on the NA shelf, but to see some diversity in a NA book that isn't strictly Contemporary Romance (*double high five!*). If you’re looking for some diversity to add your NA shelf, I absolutely recommend Hushed.
Do you have any diverse NA recommendations for me? I’d love to hear about them!
.@Ava_Jae gives 4.5/5 stars to HUSHED by @elixing. Have you read this gripping LGBTQ+ NA Thriller? (Click to tweet)
Looking for an intense NA read with a LGBTQ+ protag? Check out HUSHED by @elixing. (Click to tweet)