Brought into the world by: Joanne Macgregor
on March 26th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Amazon UK
* Hushed – a modern romance inspired by the classic tale of The Little Mermaid *
Would you sacrifice your voice for love?
18-year-old Romy Morgan desperately longs to escape the boring future her parents have planned for her, and explore the world.
When she saves her celebrity crush, superstar Logan Rush, from drowning, Romy is offered a job as his personal assistant. She strikes a deal to reinvent herself in exchange for entering the exciting world of the movies, and love sparks between her and this prince of Hollywood. But Romy soon discovers that she has traded her voice and identity for an illusion of freedom.
When she discovers a dreadful secret with the power to destroy Logan,
Romy must choose between love, revenge and finding her own, true element.
If you like contemporary young adult romance with all the feels – and a twist of humor – then you’ll love this refreshingly modern and realistic spin on the classic tale of The Little Mermaid from award-winning YA author, Joanne Macgregor.
Note: this is not a fantasy novel – the only tails, fins and flippers in the story are those on sharks and whales!
Hushed makes great reading for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Jenny Han, Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman.
I don’t get much time to read these days, but I had to make an exception for Joanne Macgregor’s latest novel, Hushed, after enjoying her others. While I think this isn’t as good as Scarred or her Recoil trilogy, I still had fun reading Hushed, drawn back to it repeatedly around my assignments.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I heard it would be a contemporary retelling of The Little Mermaid, but I enjoyed recognising snippets of dialogue and lyrics from the movie in the book. The story is loosely based on the film: a young woman (this time 18) spots Hollywood royalty on a boat, rescues the dreamy guy from drowning, and is given the opportunity to enter into his world thanks to his director, who happens to have a distinctive white streak in her hair and a couple of pet bearded dragons. (Bearded dragons are adorbs, by the way.) This young woman also happens to have a controlling father, head of Poseidon Industries, though she also has a mother this time.
I found Romy very relatable in her 18-year-old view of the world and her future. Her parents had ideas about her future, but she couldn’t decide what she wanted. Hell, I’m still not 100% on what I want, and I’m 25! While clearly smart in some ways, she was also very naive in others, and saw the world in absolutes, as one does at that age.
As for the romance, it was cute and very clean. Even though the couple in question are 18 and 20, their interactions were fairly innocent, making this a rather tame YA/NA crossover.
I may be a little biased about this book because it’s set in and around Cape Town, South Africa. This, ladies and gents, is where my family lives. I’ve driven past the Cape Town film studios many times on my way to my dad’s place, where you’ll see a big ship just sitting out for all those pirate movies. It was incredibly fun for me to read and recognise the places I knew, as well as read snatches of Afrikaans and local phrases, giving me a taste of home.
Readers who aren’t South African can benefit from Logan and other cast and crew members being American, as Romy needs to translate and explain at times. There’s also a little glossary at the back, though you don’t really need it since the explanations are woven into the story. By the way, I adore my mom’s bobotie and melktart.
I did have a couple of iffy things with the story. I felt like some of the characters were more accessories to the plot than fully fleshed out people, particularly GBF Zeb. The “bad guys” were also rather one-dimensional. I also thought that the romance, though not exactly instantaneous, was a little quick for my tastes. You know how you watch The Little Mermaid when you’re older and just shake your head when Ariel claims to be an adult at 16? The same thing happened here for me. But to be fair, Romy is only 18, and young love has a habit of being all-consuming. Finally, I’m sure Macgregor did a tonne of research, as she always does, but I also felt like some of the insight into the movie world was a little cliché.
All in all, though, I enjoyed reading Hushed! I also feel like I’ve learned a lot, which is always a bonus for me since I’m such a nerd.
|Plot||Three and a Half Stars|
|Pacing||Three and a Half Stars|
|Overall:||Three and a Half Stars|