Review: Hush by Stacey R. Campbell

Okay, for some reason, I have a misconception as to when a book is paranormal and when it isn't. This is yet another book that I thought was paranormal, only to find out that I was hopelessly wrong. And I'm not even in a paranormal phase right now, I just keep forgetting which books are in which genre.

Publication Date: November 15, 2012

Blakely Henry has lived a wonderful life with parents who love her, a fantastic school, and friends who will stick by her forever. She has never had a reason to wonder about her birth parents and why they gave her up. Until she meets Max....

Max Ryder has a secret. He knows more about Blakely than he wants to admit. It's the whole reason why he transferred to her school. Hiding his secret and falling for Blakely becomes harder to juggle as he spends more and more time with her. But will his secret end up tearing them apart?

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I was quite excited to go into this because of the title and the cover, but I really didn't remember the synopsis or anything else about this book.

Within the first 7 chapters, I was really interested because the book featured parts of Scotland and St. Andrews, both of which my best friend is obsessed with. So when they came about in the book, I immediately expected the book to be wonderful. And sadly that was not the case for me.

The first few chapters really interested me, but then I began to notice the inconsistencies and changes in writing style. For one, POVs would change really quickly, without any notice. It would be Blakely's POV in one paragraph and the next would be Max's. But there was little you could really do to tell the POVs apart, it all felt like one big voice.

It was also kind of hard to connect with the characters because they felt so one-dimensional, undeveloped and shallow. We were supposed to be given a larger understanding of the plot because we saw from various POVs, but it ended up feeling disconnected.

It was also quite annoying for me to read about all these secrets when I, as the reader, already knew the whole truth from the beginning. It was just reading about these characters who did a whole bunch of stuff and then randomly got to the secret and it became a huge deal.

I had pretty big issues with the characters and the romance, mostly because the latter was shallow and based on physical attraction. There was no mention of other qualities that attracted them to each other besides their bodies. And Max's bias got old really quickly.

Finally, there's the ending. Oh my gosh, how do I even put this nicely? The whole ending was so incredibly convenient and no one batted an eye when the secret was revealed to all the characters. I imagined the whole thing to be something along the lines of "Oh it's cool, we're totally fine with this big change. BTW, we're all, like, not gonna mention any of this and totally back you up in anything and everything." I mean, it's great that her friends stood by her and everything, but it was all so cliché and felt so fictionalized. There was no conflict in the end and everyone took things so unbelievably well, it could only have been fiction. In reality, people would've freaked out and the main character definitely wouldn't have been like, "Oh cool, let's go on with the rest of my convenient life now."

I didn't connect with any of the characters. I liked Blakely a lot, until she started contradicting herself so much. She would claim to not be attracted to Max and that they were just friends, but then she would flirt with him incessantly. It was really annoying to see her talk one way and then act in the complete opposite. Her attraction to Max felt shallow and while it was a cute romance, I didn't like how it came about, or that it even happened.

Max was fun to read about in the beginning because he knew all these other things about Blakley, but then it became overrated really quickly. The whole reason why he transferred to her school, the way he treated her, and basically everything, eventually became based on his feelings for this beautiful, sporty, sarcastic girl.

And I'm really sorry to say this, but my favorite person was North, Blakely's best friend, and I was totally hoping that there would be best-friends-to-lovers thing going on, but that didn't happen. I was so disappointed when nothing happened between them, but then later, I got really upset with Max for not being as worried about Blakely as North was. At the end of everything, North was really the one who deserved a bunch of the credit and he fixed almost everything.

3 stars. Not really sure if I recommend this to anyone. I'll be telling my best friend that it's really not worth the read, even if it does contain scenes from Scotland and St. Andrews. The plot and characters don't live up to it's potential and there's a lot of editing that could've been done.

I did find out at the end that the author, Stacey R. Campbell, is dyslexic, and I commend her for writing and publishing a book. But I think that her editors could have done a much better job with cleaning up the book and making it more coherent as a whole. In the end, it was the sloppiness in editing and storyline that put me off and made me dislike the book.

Thank you to NetGalley for hosting this and thank you to Green Darner Press (Gemelli Press LLC) for putting this up on NetGalley and approving my request to read this. 

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