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{July 10, 2013}   {Review} Hush by Stacey R. Campbell (A Lakeview Novel #1)

hushFrom Goodreads: For small-town girl Blakely Henry, any hope of finding her biological parents died when she stopped believing in fairy tales and Disney princesses. 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?

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If you enjoyed any of the Disney princess movies along the lines of The Princess Diaries, then you’ll like Campbell’s novel, Hush.  While the story of a lost princess unaware of her heritage is nothing new, this novel presents a different perspective in which no one knows that an heir even exists, but when a young man studying journalism stumbles upon documents that hint at a secret birth, the sleuthing begins.  I liked the fact that we knew the truth about Blakely’s heritage from the very beginning as Campbell sets the stage, allowing readers a birds eye view of everything happening in both Canada and the UK.  As the reader, we are privy to everyone’s thoughts, giving us the advantage of knowing what’s going to come next.  While I usually like to be surprised, I thoroughly enjoyed this omniscient narrative style as it worked well for the story and flowed much like a movie in which viewers are whisked from continent to continent and are able to see witness the “bad guys” hashing out their plans before they even begin.  While I might have enjoyed a more mysterious take of the situation, I honestly don’t think it would have worked as well had Campbell attempted it.

The characters were real in their own rights and I enjoyed them, but I didn’t connect with them on a very personal level as I never felt they were completely fleshed out.  The story also seemed to speed up a lot towards the end, glossing over months at a time, and I’d really have liked to know more about what happened during that time between the climax and resolution.  But, overall, it’s a good story that I think most MG and YA readers will like due to its fast nature and amusing topic.  Three stars.

3 stars
Gemelli Press LLC and Green Darner Press have been extremely gracious in allowing me to read this novel via Netgalley.
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