Reviews by Maria.
I would like to thank author Stacey Campbell for giving me the opportunity to read the first three books and novella in her Lakeview series: Hush, Whisper, Scream, and Silence in exchange for honest reviews.
My review of Hush:
The entire royal family of Tamura has tragically died; any hope for a royal heir lost with them. But then Max, a relative of one of the royal princess’s servants, discovers a secret they had all taken to their graves. Seventeen years ago the princess had an affair with the chauffeur’s son, resulting in a secret pregnancy and a forced adoption. Among the papers and pictures Max found, is a name: Blakely Henry. Since Max’s dream is to become an investigative reporter, he gets permission from his school to travel across the country to pose as a transfer student at Blakely’s private boarding school, Lakeview to get proof that she could be the last remaining heir of Tamura. He never expected to develop feelings for Blakely.
Blakely was a likable, athletic, fun main character, and the total opposite of a princess. She’s grown up with nothing but love from her adoptive parents and sister and has given up any real urge at finding out about her birth parents. At times she felt very immature, even for 17, but she goes through tremendous character growth over the course of this book.
Max was the total package; he was funny, sexy, driven, and caring. This love story took its time unfolding but was very cute and romantic. The added tension of knowing something would happen eventually to derail all of Max’s secrets made it even more engrossing. I couldn’t help but root for this character and his love story.
It felt like author Campbell was still figuring out her writing style in this first book. Occasionally she would jump character perspectives in the middle of paragraphs and tense moments with no real warning except the possessive change. That was very hard to get used to and thankfully, she didn’t do it that often.
A huge qualm I had was the amount of texting featured in this novel. I don’t like texting in books in general and feel it adds an impersonal touch. I would have rather all those conversations take place on the phone, in person, or by some other method. The texting does give a modernized aspect to the book, but I could have gone without the emoticons and the like.
Hush was a short, fast moving first novel to the Lakeview series. It was very much akin to The Princess Diaries in an ordinary girl turned royalty. There was also quite a bit of lovely romance. Another enjoyable aspect was the suspense in this book; because the reader was already made aware of the Tamuran assassinations on the royal family and the danger to Blakely before any of the book’s main characters were. These tense moments sped up the story and kicked up the excitement a notch.
My rating: 3.5 /5 stars.
My review of Whisper:
Whisper, the 2nd book in the Lakeview series; deals with one of Blakely’s friends, Leigh, as the main character and her sister Halle as a minor character also living at Lakeview. Some spooky things have been happening at Lakeview academy. Halle is convinced the ghost of long dead Elsie, daughter of founder and headmaster of Lakeview, is haunting her. Halle turns to Leigh and friends for help. Calum offers his help too. As a descendant of Elsie, Calum has an interest in the haunting. He also has interest in annoying Leigh at every chance possible; never imagining that their mutual dislike for one another could turn into more.
Leigh was a forgettable character from book one. She was supposed to be one of Blakely’s friends but I didn’t remember her at all. In the beginning I had hoped it would have been one of the friends that had been featured more, but using an unknown character worked well since I got to know her apart from Blakely’s story. Leigh was a strong and slightly opinionated character and possessed the kind of beauty that she didn’t know she had. The back and forth verbal barbs she exchanged with Calum became a huge, but very fun, focus of this book.
Calum was the fun, interesting, mysterious, bad boy character. Something happened to make Leigh and Calum hate each other but the book kept the reader guessing on what that might have been. This love story was very much the hate turned to love kind, which made it all the more enjoyable and passionate. As a reader I really wanted these two characters to care for each other.
Halle is supposed to be 13 years old in this book but at times felt more mature than Blakely was at 18. I think this was the author feeling more confident and getting better at her writing. Halle continued to be a likeable and enjoyable character even if she was very much the dramatic teenanger at times. But since she was being haunted, the dramatics were justified.
This book also was a very fast read with not many slow passages in this one. I really liked how this book felt more like a gothic mystery book than a romance. The ghostly presence was at times spooky and had me jumping out of my chair while reading it.
My rating: 4 /5 stars.
My review of Silence:
Silence was a very short novella featuring Blakely, Halle, and their parents. It went very fast but was a pleasant addition to the series as it gave glimpses of how the family was coping with Blakely’s royal status.
In this book Blakely travels incognito with her family away from the Tamurian spotlight in search of her biological father.
I would recommend reading this novella in addition to the other books in this series.
My rating: 4 /5 stars.
My review of Scream:
Scream, the 3rd book in the Lakeview series, features Halle, finally as a main character. Halle’s boyfriend Alex witnesses a murder and believes the killer might be their school cook. Halle and her roommate Izzy, Alex’s sister, laugh off his suspicions and don’t believe him. But then things start to happen to Alex, ultimately resulting in his expulsion from school for possessing drugs. Halle will risk everything to uncover the truth and clear his name.
Halle is now 17-years-old and has matured into her character. Her romance with long-time love/crush Alex is very sweet and I wished we could have seen more of it before he got kicked out of Lakeview. Halle is brave, resourceful and sometimes runs foolhardy into danger while working on proving her boyfriend’s innocence.
Alex wasn’t featured in this book too much but he seemed like a loving, sweet boyfriend to Halle and a good brother to Izzy. He was very loyal to his friends and school. He also copes rather well for everything that had happened to him and everyone thinking he had drugs on campus.
Wyatt was the mysterious character with a past. After Alex is forced to leave school, he’s the only person who will help Halle clear his name. Their scenes were often comical and often charged making me believe he could be a potential love interest.
This book was a very fast read as well and seemed again more mystery than romance. It also had some very great scenes with Blakely, Max, and North all making appearances.
My rating: 3.5/5 stars.
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Welcome to my tour stop for 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 out the tour page for the full schedule.
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?
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.
Searching for the answers about the father she never knew, Blakely Henry, now Queen of Tamura, takes her family on a cross-country adventure through the hill towns of Southern France.
It’s Halle Henry’s final year at Lakeview Academy, and she is determined to make it her best year yet. But when drugs are discovered in her boyfriend Alex’s backpack and he is expelled, Halle’s life spins out of control.
Refusing to believe the accusations against him, Halle vows to get to the bottom of what really happened and bring Alex back to campus so they can graduate together.
Now, all Halle has to do is save her boyfriend, solve a murder, graduate from high school, and keep from getting killed in the process.
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.