Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Book Review: Hush (Lakeview Series, #1) by Stacey R. Campbell

Hush (Lakeview Series, #1)

Author: Stacey R. Campbell

Purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Synopsis: For small-town girl Blakely Henry, any hope of finding her biological parents died when she stopped believing in fairy tales and Disney princes. That is, until she spots her boarding school’s new British exchange student, Max Ryder, staring at her. Why would a boy who looks like he stepped out of the pages of a magazine be looking at her? Because Max knows something Blakely doesn’t. 

Following the tragic demise of one of Europe’s most beloved royal families, Max has stumbled upon information he thinks may lead to a lost royal heir, and now he is on a quest halfway around the world to see if he’s right.

Sworn to secrecy by his university professor and the headmaster of Lakeview Academy, Max is admitted into an exchange program with the sole purpose of finding out the truth. But will his personal feelings for Blakely get in the way? 

When a stolen email surfaces, Blakely and her friends’ lives are threatened, and Max starts to question what he is really after.

From the exclusive rolling lawns of Canada’s most prestigious boarding school to the University of Saint Andrews’ hallowed grounds, Blakely’s quiet, unassuming life is turned upside down. Is she really who she thinks she is? Can she survive long enough to help Max unearth the truth?

Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell Cadiz

Side Note: Thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to read this book through Netgalley.

Review: As much as I love the modern fairy tale aspect, it’s hard to find a book that really offers a good take to the world of happily ever after and Hush was not an exception.

Hush offered a potentially good story. A young boy discovers the princess his aunt had worked for when he was growing up may have had a child in secret and she was hidden away by being adopted. A girl discovers her family is history is filled with royalty and her life changes forever. Mind you, it sounds very Princess Diaries meets Disney’s Anastasia, but it sounds like a cute story.

The problem with Hush—er, well, the main problem—was the lack of ANY emotional depth to either the characters or plot. The ENTIRE book is TOLD to the reader. The reader never gets a chance to EXPERIENCE the story or connect with the characters. Everything is dictated to the reader and what’s worse it’s dictated in a monotone voice. Think of your friend who can’t stop talking and is telling you a story but after the first two minutes, you space out and start playing Angry Birds on your phone while mumbling “Uh-huh” every few seconds so your friend thinks you’re listening. That’s what your experience would feel like while reading this book.

There’s never a moment that offers any sort of depth to the plot, to the world building, or to the characters. The lack of details that mattered, the lack of character development, the lack of any type of emotional arc or climax made reading feel heavy and boring.

The so-called romance never felt real. Since all the characters fell flat, the romance never had any heart to it. But I suppose that had more to do with the fact that the book had nothing of real importance going on for most of it. Even when the quote on quote action kicked in, it was so quickly and easily resolved, it was pointless to even place into the story. The villains were so inept and so useless, there isn’t a second readers can take them serious (even though they are supposed to be trained assassins).

The transitions from one scene to another were horrible because the point of view would suddenly and abruptly change from one character to another, sometimes right in the middle of a scene! It was the same way with the transitions from one chapter to another. They would end without an actual wrap up and just stopped mid-scene then the next chapter would open to a totally different scene. The dialogue and humor often felt forced. The pacing was so INCREDIBLY choppy because the chapters would jump from scene to scene quickly, resolve everything in an instant, then move to the next scene but nothing of SIGNIFICANCE happened throughout much of those scenes.

Hush is an easily forgettable book. The plot doesn’t really exist. The characters, the romance, and the humor are all bland. As much as I loved the concept behind the book and the setting taking place in Canada, it wasn’t anywhere near enough to save the story.

About the Author: Stacey R. Campbell lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three daughters, three dogs, and a pet turtle named Todd. Hush is her first book in the Lakeview Novel series. Look for book two, Whisper, coming fall 2013.

Where to Find the Author

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