Title: Hush Money (Talent Chronicles #1)
Author: Susan Bischoff
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Be normal, invisible. Don’t get close to anyone. Kids with psychic abilities tend to mysteriously disappear when they get noticed. Joss has spent years trying to hide. Now she has an unasked-for best friend, who is the victim of an extortion plot by the school bully, who used to like Joss, who is best friends with her long-time crush, who is actually talking to her. Life just got more complicated.
A friend of mine recommended this book to me, and while the description sounded interesting, it didn't really entice me enough to want to read it over the others in my TBR list. But tonight I was looking at my books and thought, "I'll give this one a try." And I am so glad I did! This book was amazing!
Some special kids are gifted (or cursed) with special abilities called "Talents," and those who have Talents tend to disappear to government facilities--and are never seen or heard from again. There are rumors about how horrible the place is, and that the kids are being tortured and put through rigorous training, but no solid evidence. Joss is trying to keep her Talent a secret, because her family doesn't want her to get kidnapped and taken away. As a result, she spends the majority of her time isolated from the rest of the students, thinking a friend means spilling her secret and possibly ending up in one of the government facilities. When a new girl, Kat, comes along and befriends Joss, Joss finds herself opening up more--and risking her safety as a result. After a party at Kat's house goes horribly wrong, and the government comes looking for one of the Talented kids, the others with hidden Talents band together to save him with Kat as their ringleader and Joss as their reluctant mastermind. Then they discover there's a spy amongst them, a Talent, who is telling the government which students possess a Talent. And they need to find out who before they're all sent away for good.
Joss was strong in a self-assured, confident kind of way, not a rude kind of way. She was realistic in her thoughts about high school and while I didn't always agree with her choices, the author does get you right inside of her head and you totally understand why Joss is behaving the way she does.
Dylan (the love interest) is cool: a bit of a slacker-delinquent, laid-back, but secretly wants to be the hero. He goes out of his way to protect Joss and stand up for what he thinks is right, and even though there are times he backs down, you can understand why. And it might pain you, but you can't help agreeing he probably made the right decision. There were several times where I found myself cheering for Dylan.
I love Kat. She was witty and a little dryly sarcastic at times, but she was so friendly and encouraging I couldn't help but love her. I hope she's not the spy. (Please don't let her be the spy!)
I loved the writing in this book. It was simple, easy reading, but didn't undermine the readers intelligence by only using small words. It was conversational and descriptive without being wordy. A very easy read, and I must say, my favorite writing style.
I, personally, cannot wait to read the next book in this series. I can't believe I even paused long enough to write this review of it!