Hushed is the kind of story that, if it were a film rather than a book, it would be the type of extremely slow, action less adaptation that only a patient viewer would tolerate. As a book, however, with the deep delve into Archer’s mind, alongside the GREAT writing of Kelley York, is on a whole level of Whoa! F****d-up-ness that is compelling and hypnotising and quite possibly even haunting. To the point that pretty much nothing I have to say will do it justice.
From the off, I connected with Archer. Wanted him to be liked—for himself—by just … someone. Because Viv’s selfish ways and control she had over him, even if neither of them recognised it for what it was, was unhealthy and degrading and slowly suffocating the poor guy (possibly herself, too). Though, this assessment in itself is a shocking one, given that the MC is serial killer, for pete’s sake—I mean, the author had me rooting for a teen who was going around committing murder!!! This is how good of a job Ms York did of portraying his vulnerabilities and giving us a reason to connect. Or maybe I just saw the redemption in him—just as Evan did. And thank goodness for him, too. He was the light to Archer’s dark. The saviour of the story. From the very first moment he spoke to Archer, something within him seemed to reach through Archer’s shadows deep enough to touch him on a level he needed, and from that very first moment of us meeting Even, I got my first glimmer of hope for the poor MC, despite being fearful for Evan for being drawn to someone like Archer all at the same time.
Now, I don’t want to say too much, because this is the kind of book one should experience for themselves. But this book is intense, extremely psychological, somewhat F’d up, and definitely emotional. It also handles difficult aspects of self-discovery and coming of age with finesse and grace. If you think you can handle it, then I 100% recommend checking this out—if only to see how this type of young readers’ book should be done.