Hush by Stacey R. Campbell
Publication date: January 23rd 2013 (first published November 15th 2012)
Publisher: Green Darner Press
Number of pages: 278
Series: Lakeview (1#)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Recevied in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.
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?
Boarding school, princesses, love, drama, danger…when can that ever go wrong?
Certainly not in this book!
I was geniuniely surprised at how much I liked this book. Granted, you should never judge a book by it’s cover but to be honest, it doesn’t really draw me to the book. I mean – I like it but it doesn’t really do the book justice. Although I do like the cover of the secoond book a lot better. Plus I couldn’t remember anything along the lines of what it was about, apart from the name Olivia. Nice name, eh? Not that I’d know…
Yeah, I’m a bit of a sucker for books with boarding schools. What could go wrong in a boarding school? Kids with no parents around…? Not that much of Hush was set in a boarding school compared with the time she spent at home (with her parents), I actually appreciated the thought for some reason.
I absolutely love the idea behind this book – I think the author executed it well too! I mean, sure, I have read books where the girl is actually a princess and doesn’t know it (Princess Diaries, anyone?) but I thought that this was done well. The writing was good, modern, in fact, usually I don’t connect with the characters as much in books told in third person but it appears there is another exception.
And that brings me to, the characters.
I actually cared about the characters so much. I typically care for the characters a little bit but not that much. So yes, I was geniunely concerned and worried about the characters in Hush. Trust me, this is a good sign.
I am a huge fan of the relationship between Blakely and Max! It was cute and totally helped to make this book.
I would happily continue on with this series. I am very curious to see how it will turn out and am looking forward to reading a sequel! I recommend this to pretty much anyone who is looking for a contemporary read and needs a European royal fix.
A tale of secrets of the royal kind, danger and romance. Addicted.
A Meteor shower. A great show.
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Whisper by Stacey R. Campbell
Publication date: March 15th 2014
Publisher: Green Darner Press
Number of pages: 300
Series: Lakeview (2#)
Genre: YA Contemporary/Paranormal
Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.
It’s Halle Henry’s first year at Lakeview Academy . . .
On a snowy January night, just days after a fire that nearly destroyed the school’s library, Elsie Stewart, daughter of the headmaster and founder of Lakeview Academy, dies slipping beneath the ice of frozen Clearwater Lake. Unable to right the wrongs she committed before her tragic death, Elsie’s spirit walks the halls of her father’s school, waiting for someone who can.
One hundred years later, while joining her sister’s friend Leigh to help clean out the school’s administration building before the big remodel, Halle stumbles upon Elsie’s hidden journal.
Obsessed with what she finds, Halle searches the school for clues that may lead to solving a century-old mystery. The only problem is that Halle also talks Calum Stewart, Leigh’s worst nightmare, into helping them.
Once Leigh and Calum are forced work together, sparks fly and no one around them, alive or dead, is left unaffected.
Whisper is a fantastic story of intrigue, mystery, suppressed love and friendship, all in the glorious setting of a boarding school. Talk about an enticing read.
If you know how to time travel, do tell me how. But after you go back in to the past and ask me in advance what I predict I will think about Whisper. I will probably tell you that you that I I think it will be just as good as Hush and ask you how to time travel. Then when you return to the present, I will tell you that I think Whisper is actually better than Hush and that I am really looking forward to the release of the third book.
These Lakeview Novels are cute reads that are not shallow, like a few “cuter” reads that I’ve come across, but instead are very addictive. Using your fabulous time machine, do go back to earlier on in the day and ask me to estimate the amount of time it will take me to read Whisper. Odds are, I would have said two days. But no, it didn’t even take me one.
I love the characters in these books. They’re nice and work as glue for the story. I’d love to meet them in real life. I liked how this book showed us a little more of Halle and Blakely’s friend’s story. All fantastic characters, I might add.
I’m loving this series and can’t wait to continue it!
A Meteor shower. A great show.
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Goodreads author bio:
Stacey R. Campbell lives in the Pacific North West with her husband, three daughters, three dogs, and a pet turtle named Todd. She is a graduate of the University of Washington. At an early age she was told that she would never be the writer because of her dyslexia, but finally found that she could not look her children in the eyes and tell them that they could be what ever they wanted if she did not do the same. Now Stacey can’t stop writing and loves to help children pursue their own dreams. Hush is the first book in the Lakeview Novel series. Look for book two, Whisper, 3/15/2014
Interview with Stacey R. Campbell
1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by! Did the story for Hush come to you immediately or did it come to you over time?
The story of Hush came to me immediately!
I know that sounds insane, but it’s true.
We were sitting around the dinner table talking about where our middle daughter Leigh got her red hair. My husband said from his grandmother, who was a Tudor, and a descendant of the Royal Family in the UK. Our eldest daughter, Blakely, who was twelve at the time, asked if she could be a princess. I said no, because hundreds of people were in line in front of her. Then she responded by saying, “What if there was a big family reunion and they all died?” And the idea for Hush was born.
With Whisper, it was the same thing. I was visiting our daughters at their school and I overheard several students talking about campus ghosts. Figuring out the details with the treasure hunt was a little more challenging, but the plot line came to me instantly.
2. I think it’s fantastic that you proved that people with dyslexia can write (and good books too)! Were there ever any times when you wanted to give up?
It took me over thirty years to work up the courage to start writing, so yes.
Now I just laugh at myself for being ridiculous.
I use three different spell checkers when I write and I can stump every one of them.
But I love being dyslexic. It makes me a more creative person.
Growing up I was often teased and called names, because I processed things differently than other kids.
My third grade teacher actually told me I would never be a writer when I told her that’s what I aspired to be.
Today, all I want to do is make sure kids and adults like myself know that if you are willing to put in the work, anything is possible.
Being dyslexic is also one of the reasons I write short chapters. I think when you struggle with reading short chapters give you a sense of accomplishment and inspire you to keep turning pages.
3. How many books long will your Lakeview series be at this point?
The Lakeview series will consist of four books.
I am almost done writing book three, Scream, the last of the series to take place at Lakeview Academy.
The fourth book, Silence, will bring back several characters from Hush and take place in Europe.
4. What was your favorite thing about Hush to write?
Writing Hush gave me a way to connect with Blakely when she first started going to boarding school. I would send her chapters and she would send me her thoughts on what I had written. Pretty soon her friends were helping and I didn’t feel like she was so far away.
5. If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future? Which era?
Oh wow, how do I answer that question?
Can I say both?
I love history and there is a World War Two twist in Silence.
I took Leigh to England and France last summer and some of things we saw there absolutely blew me away.
Then, being a writer, my brain often bounces into the future. I have a middle grade book in my head; I will probably write soon, that takes place in space, about fifty years from now.
6. What advice would you give to any aspiring Oh wow, how do I answer that question?
Don’t give up!
Know what you are writing.
Nothing about being a writer is easy and your first draft of a manuscript is just that, a first draft. Every manuscript will go through at least ten revisions.
Be open to constructive criticism, but ignore the bullies.
Write because it is in your heart and because you enjoy it.
7. Say the world was coming to an end, alien attack obviously, what five things would you grab (excluding people and animals) before going into hiding?
Well being aliens, I would have to say my laser gun, my time machine, a journal and pen (so I could record it all), and a smashing black leather outfit, which of course would make me look exactly like Lara Croft.
8. What’s your favorite place to visit?
I am a beach, mountain, ocean, forest, dessert, sun, snow, city, small-town, multi continent girl. I love it all. No favorites. It’s all about the people you are with and what you’re doing when you’re there.
9. Do you have a special place to write? Or can you write anywhere?
Fortunately I am one of those people who can write anywhere.
I have been known to whip out napkins, receipts and beg for paper scraps to write scenes on when an idea pops into my head.
Most of Hush was written in my car waiting for kid pick-ups and sport practices to end.
I have some pretty humorous photographs.
10. Do you outline your entire story or are you a “just go with it” sort of girl?
I did not write an outline for my first book. It took me over three years to finish and never got picked up by a publisher.
Then when I started Hush I wrote an outline. The outline kept me on track and I finished my first draft in six months.
Now I always write with one. My outlines will change from time to time, but they give me a good idea of where I want the story to go and keep my writing on track.