This is my stop for the first book in the Lakeview series by Stacey R. Campbell. This is a young adult mystery series. The tour runs August 3-14 with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check back each day this week for my review of the next book in the series, and the tour schedule for all the other good stuff going on.
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?
***** Review *****
Blakely Henry is a normal, happy and athletic teen. She lives in a small-town world where there are no secrets, not even the fact that she’s adopted. She gave up on finding her biological parents. Then Max Ryder transfers to Lakeview Academy, and he shows a unique interest in Blakely.
Max has discovered a royal family’s tragedy might have a sliver of hope: a remaining heir, sent halfway around the world. Max has been sent on a mission to investigate further. He, his university professor and the Lakeview headmaster keep everything confidential as Max transfers from St. Andrews in Europe to Lakeview in Canada.
As Max tries to get closer to Blakely for the sake of his research, he ends up getting closer to Blakely.
A simple email intended for Max’s professor mysteriously disappears, and then a bizaare rash of incidents occur at Lakeview Academy, threatening more than just Blakely’s life.
Blakely Henry – Blakely is a typical teenage girl getting through her senior year at Lakeview Academy, she is an athlete and has a wonderful network of friends and has moved past trying to find her biological parents
North – a handsome, tall dude who is head of the rugby team and best friends with Blakely, he becomes Max’s best mate at Lakeview, referred to as a “big blond bear”
Max Ryder – an exchange student from St. Andrews, he is also very handsome and athletic, he joins the rugby team alongside North
Tyson – Blakely’s roomate and friend
Riley – Blakely’s friend and fellow housemate, has a crush on someone close to Blakely
Professor Greene – Max’s professor from St. Andrews who has sent him on special assignment to Lakeview to further investigate the possible Cosimo heir
Blakeley’s family also is featured prominently in the book. Her parents are wonderful and even allow other students to come home with her during the holidays. Officials, such as the headmaster, Professor Greene and various Tamura officials are also featured throughout the book with snippets.
The most authentic relationships in the book were North and Blakely, and Blakely’s relationship with her parents.
My first thought was how intriguing the plot sounded. I wasn’t sure of the specifics, but I could definitely see why the book was titled Hush.
In the very beginning of the book, Blakely compares Lakeview Academy to Hogwarts from Harry Potter, which I thought was ironic considering some readers might have also drawn their own conclusions comparing the two fictional schools. The set-up of the academy is described well, but I would have liked a map to further envision the rest of the campus and to get a feel for just how large (or small) it was.
Blakely, Tyson and Riley all live in the same house, with North and Max living in the house right next to theirs. They are a very tight-knit group who work hard on their academics, take pride and part in their athletic programs, and enjoy their downtime together relaxing and having fun.
Max is very careful in keeping the circumstances for his arrival at Lakeview under wraps. He doesn’t want to botch this assignment, and he holds Professor Greene in high regard. He does not want to let him down.
The language of the book was exactly what it needed to be and it added so much to the story. The teenagers each have their own distinct voices and interactions with one another, showing well-established relationships that don’t seemed contrived or forced by the writing.
My favorite scenes were the broom hockey scene between the senior girls and senior boys and when Max asked Blakely to the Winterfest dance. It is always a big affair in the way the boys ask the girls, and his was perhaps the best in Lakeview Academy history.
I recommend this book to those who enjoy books set in school settings, and anyone who wants a little adventure and suspense. 🙂
***** About the Author *****
Stacey R. Campbell lives in the San Juan Islands with her husband and three daughters. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and a dyslexic writer that believes there is no such thing as a bad reader. She is the author of the young adult novels Hush, Whisper, Silence & Scream and the highly acclaimed middle grade swashbuckling Pirate book ARRGH!
When not at her desk writing she can be found hiking, sailing, or skiing. She enjoys chocolate in any shape or size, too many cups of coffee and laughing (often too loudly as her daughters say) with her friends and family.
Stacey is available for classroom visits via Skype and loves working with writers and readers of any age; especially those with learning disabilities like her own.
***** Giveaway *****
$20 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
set of ebooks of the Lakeview series (INT)
set of paperbacks of the Lakeview series (US)
Ends Aug. 18th