August 14, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: Hush, Hush by Lucia Franco

HUSH, HUSH is about two best friends living it up in NYC.

Aubrey and Natalie are college roommates, addicted to money and designer clothing, and having the time of their lives. A pretty clear picture of their party life is painted when they go out for Aubrey's 21st birthday.

"It's time to pregame," she says dropping a pill into my hand.

"We're celebrating this birthday in true New York City fashion--with a few shots and some Molly."

"I'm gonna need to find a hot rando tonight if this is what we're doing."

Reese Witherspoon Cringe Gif

Naturally, this lifestyle lends itself to risky behavior -- and lots of it. It also leads Aubrey's path to cross with James Riviera. Thirty years her senior, James is an attractive, incredibly wealthy, and well-known attorney. He also happens to be married.

Pshhh... married, shhhmaried.

As it turns out, James and his wife have an understanding... of sorts. This is great news for Aubrey, as it momentarily soothes her guilty conscience when she can't stay away from him. Unfortunately, the good news stops there and a surprising revelation flips her world upside down. With more than just a broken heart at stake, Aubrey must decide how far she's willing to go to live a double life and keep the first man she's ever truly wanted.


Despite my lack of knowledge about the subject matter, and having never read other work by this author, I requested an ARC from the publisher. Why would I do that? Well... the synopsis and teaser photos intrigued me. They reminded me of Gossip Girl. And, who DOESN'T love Gossip Girl?

Gossip Girl Blair Waldorf Gif

Much to my dismay, it didn't take long to realize HUSH, HUSH was nothing like Gossip Girl. Nevertheless, I really wanted to like this book. I hate writing negative reviews for ARCs (especially when I personally request them from the publisher), which is why I never gave up on this book (even though I wanted to about a million times).

The first half of HUSH HUSH is pretty brutal. Nothing happens. Seriously. N-o-t-h-i-n-g. Aubrey doesn't meet James until CHAPTER 21.

We're Waiting Gif

The first twenty chapters are filled with nothing but page after page of inane, whiny dialogue.

"I could be every man's wet dream."

"Real recognizes real," she says with such a heavy Bronx accent in the back of her throat.
"Say no more. I got you, girl."

"I really don't want to fold clothes tomorrow."
"I really don't want to go to class tomorrow."
"I really don't want to babysit these bratty kids all weekend."

It was very hard to power through these chapters, but things get a little better after Aubrey meets James.


GENRE:   New Adult
TROPE:   Forbidden Romance
POV:       First Person

*** This book contains taboo subject matter ***


PRO: well-written (aside from the whiny dialogue), hot and steamy scenes
CONS: shallow characters, slow moving and repetitive plot, casual drug use

I understand that HUSH, HUSH was written for a younger audience. HOWEVER... there are many authors who have written similar books without glamorizing drug use. I'm not talking about a little pot. I'm talking about MDMA (aka molly, ecstasy), cocaine, and oxy. The opioid problem in this country is bad enough already. Crafting young characters that
 pop prescription pain pills (without consequence) as if it's the answer to every problem is not something we really need right now.

Why? GIf

I was tempted to give this book one star for that reason alone.


HUSH, HUSH will not be for everyone (it certainly wasn't for me), as it's centered around a taboo subject that will turn off some readers. Worst of all, the synopsis doesn't mention the taboo subject matter or provide a trigger warning. Other authors have tackled the same subject more delicately than Franco. It's all about how the subject matter is initially presented, and it was poorly executed here.

*A big thank you goes out to the author for granting me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book. The thoughts expressed in this review are my own personal opinions and have been written in my own words.

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