Saturday, April 27, 2013

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

Hush - A Lakeview Novel ( Book 1)
  
 
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?
Publisher: Green Darner Press
Publication Date: November 20, 2012
 
 
Kat's Review
 
I have to admit that I'm not big on the whole regular-girl-turns-princess type story.  I was intrigued by this novel because the focus of the story isn't about the transition to beautiful princess, but rather the journey that Max takes to find out if Blakely is in fact the lost princess of the fictional European country Tamura.  I also liked that the story is set at a boarding school in Canada.  This is the second book I've read this week set in Canada, both in British Columbia, and I'm enjoying it. 
 
There is a lot to like in this book.  It's a YA book that is appropriate for even younger teens.  There is a little bit of romance and a few scenes with mild violence, but nothing explicit or too violent.  It's also a story that shows adoption in a positive light.  Blakely has a great relationship with her parents and sister, and is a confident, accomplished young woman who is curious about her past, but not crippled by the lack of knowledge surrounding her birth family.  A really big plus for me. 
 
There are a few storylines at work, and the chapters flip back and forth, which can get confusing if you're not paying attention.  There's Max, who is pretending to be an exchange student in an attempt to verify Blakely's identity as the princess, and Max's professor, helping from behind the scenes.  Then there's the secondary storyline of the vacated throne of Tamura following an explosion that killed the Royal Family during a family reunion.  A faction within the government will do anything to ensure that an heir to the throne isn't found, putting Blakely at risk. 
 
I found the transitions between the storylines to sometimes be abrupt or a bit stilted.  I also sometimes felt the same way about the way the characters inner monologues developed.  Some of the situations were resolved too neatly without much tension or suspense, all wrapping up neatly without the messiness I often enjoy in novels. 
 
Rating: Worth A Look
 
This book will appeal to younger teens, as well as some older ones.  The love story is cute and develops gradually, but doesn't take over the entire story.  The storyline is a bit mystery, a bit puppy love, and a bit teen drama, but it's a good, fun read.
 
I received a complimentary copy of this title from NetGalley and Green Darner Press in return for an honest review.
 

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