Read Hush Money by Susan Bischoff Online


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 jBe 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.It's bad enough when a girl's got to worry about friends, boys, over-protective dads, and shoes that pinch, but when you throw in blackmail, government agents with guns, and really annoying little sisters...that's just about too much to handle, even for a girl with an ass-kicking superpower....

Title : Hush Money
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781453787540
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Hush Money Reviews

  • Jillian -always aspiring-
    2019-04-29 09:03

    Let it be known that I thought I would really like this book. I was excited when I downloaded it. I rushed to start it and hoped that it would be a great read from an indie author. I was expecting to be wowed and engrossed. . .but, well, my reading experience was far different than I had expected.Sometimes it's hard to form my thoughts about a book into words for a review. My thoughts and feelings can be all over the place with certain books. Such is the case with Hush Money -- a book about Talented kids who find themselves in a bit of a cat-and-mouse predicament when they begin being black-mailed because of their powers. Sounds interesting, right? Well, I'm sad to say that the book didn't possess that much potential -- and what little it did have, it squandered quite quickly.Books with super powers and magical abilities can be hit or miss. Ones I liked include Gone and White Cat. However, this book reminded me of one I could take or leave -- The Candidates. The problem with super power books is that it's really hard not to fall back on comic book standards, a la X-Men, Spider-man, The Hulk, etc. If you're going to write a book about teenagers living in a world where it's a danger to have these abilities, you need to make us feel the danger. What was missing in Hush Money was this: I was told about the danger but not properly shown it. You expect me to feel fear for these characters? Then show me what's so horrible about the Talent Schools and the goverment watchmen. Give us an example beyond simple allusions. Also, please give concrete foundation to the Talents themselves. It was all very foggy and murky as to who could do what at some points, and that shouldn't be an issue in a book like this.Actually, the show, don't tell advice for writers seemed to be mostly ignored here. Whether it be through lengthy paragraphs or info-dump dialogue, I was told everything. Writers, no, you can't do that! Please show us things! Describe emotions, actions, and simple reactions to us so that we can try to figure things out for ourselves! Imagination can work wonders without you having to tell us everything! Basically -- because of that tendency in this book, I really felt no suspense about the plot. I was just the spectator, not the one living inside the main characters' skins as punches were dealt and blows were received. It was all very underwhelming.Another thing that underwhelmed me was the cast of characters. I didn't fully get the reason for the flip-flop POVs between the heroine Joss and the boy she likes, Dylan. Sure, it was nice to get both their sides of the story, but the way it was done was very haphazard and inconsistent. The whole characterization seemed very inconsistent to me. Why are all these characters so hesitant and secretive one moment and then all power-happy the next? Don't give me that crap that it's because of some hokey Talent bond/kinship! If these characters are truly so afraid and wary of the Talent schools, then they would be like Joss: watch everything happen and don't do anything about it. (I also didn't like that these characters weren't described physically to me beyond a few mentions here and there. With so many characters, physical descriptions and attributes are necessary in some scenes!)(I could also go into the pseudo-romance -- but it would just annoy me more since it had potential if it had been given more DEPTH.)The 'villain' (read: power- and money-hungry bully) was laughable to me. Why couldn't these Talented teens have ganged up on him and have been rid of him once and for all? It shouldn't have been such an issue.The ending also annoyed me. (Writers, don't end a book with THE END! Just DON'T!) It was very abrupt, and it made my cranky reading experience end on an even worse note than I had expected. The story as a whole just seemed to be a prequel to something deeper and darker (I hope), so maybe I will read the sequel if I can get it for 99 cents through Amazon again. If not, well. . .I don't know if I'll be reading the sequel.All in all -- I can't help looking at this as anything but a fluff read. Read it. Don't read it. That's up to you and what you can take as a reader. If anything, it is a cheap read (99 cents for the Kindle version). I hope others enjoy it more than I did.

  • Susan Bischoff
    2019-05-08 04:29

    This is my book and I love it. So I gave it lots of stars. Sue me. I hope you'll like it too.

  • Leena
    2019-05-09 03:17

    When I first started reading Hush Money I was wondering what the title was about. As I continued to read everything clicked and began to fully understand the story. I loved the chemistry between Joss and Dylan and all the other characters. I also really liked how it was written in both their point of views. I really enjoyed reading this book because I read a couple chapters a day and at night before I went to sleep I couldn't stop thinking about a book. I would definitely suggest this book to anyone who likes romance and paranormal books with a twist. I can't wait to read the next book in this series.

  • Paige Prince
    2019-04-27 10:05

    I’ve been in kind of a reading slump lately. No, really. I haven’t been able to get into a book and have had to force myself through them for a couple of months now. It’s not the books I’ve been reading, because they’ve all been good, but I just haven’t been yanked into a story and kept there.Until Hush Money.From the very first sentence, I was drawn in and I literally couldn’t put the book down. Even knowing that I had to get up at the crack of dawn the next day, I stayed up until 2am reading this book.Susan Bischoff creates a world where people are afraid to stand out in any way for fear of being carted off to special government schools. There are certain people who were born with special Talents, and the government wants to use them for their own purposes.Joss is one such kid. Ever since she witnessed her best friend being dragged away years before, she’s terrified someone will discover her ability and the same fate will fall on her. So, when the guy she’s been crushing on for ages (Dylan) finally decides to take an interest in her, she’s understandably suspicious.I loved Joss’s internal dialogue. She’s funny and sarcastic, smart, and remarkably grown up for someone who’s still in high school. She takes care of her little sister and helps out her parents with their store, even while she bemoans the fact that she can’t act like a normal kid because her father is too scared that she’ll draw too much attention to herself if she makes friends.So, when someone at school decides to befriend her, it throws her world for a loop. Add in that Dylan is suddenly showing an interest in her, and everything is turned upside down.Because Dylan is suddenly talking to her, his best friend Marco (who happens to be the biggest douchebag I’ve ever seen in my lief) decides to start picking on her. I kept ranting at my Kindle (sorry, Paige!) because I wanted someone to do something about him.I didn’t like how Dylan caved to Marco’s demands or how Joss decided to take care of it the way that she did… but in order for the book to move forward and for the end to happen the way it was supposed to (which I loved), it had to be done. I guess I just wanted the HEA already. What can I say? I’m impatient. :)Hush Money is the first installment of Susan Bischoff’s series The Talent Chronicles. I’m eagerly anticipating the next book in the series, since I’m dying to know what happens with Joss and Dylan, as well as all the other Talents introduced in the book.

  • Miranda
    2019-05-18 10:23


  • Kait Nolan
    2019-05-04 07:22

    You remember the early seasons of Smallville, back when Clark was mooning over Lana, they were all still in high school, and every week was an episode about stopping some isolated problem and the important thing was keeping his secret? If you're like me and really miss those days, Hush Money is absolutely for you. In a market that's positively flooded with stories about teen vampires or fairies, Bischoff provides a refreshing and absolutely believable world about teenagers with superpowers. Chloe Sullivan would have plenty of fodder for her Wall of Weird--in the best possible way!In this debut novel, heroine Joss must come to question the deeply ingrained secret keeping behavior she's always lived by in order to do the right thing and help a friend who's being blackmailed by the class bully. Joss was so three-dimensional, I swear she had a locker next to mine in high school. She shared my disgust of the pink and girly, and she has this great crush on borderline bad-boy Dylan (who is exactly the right mix of rebellious and nice guy). I can't wait to see what Joss and her friends get up to in the next installment!An absolute must read from this up and comer in the YA genre.

  • Stacey Benefiel
    2019-04-29 04:14

    I just finished Hush Money and am totally jonesing for the next book already! Loved this book. The main character, Joss, is snarky, strong, insecure, and protective-all things that make her a realistic heroine. I enjoyed her voice and also reading things from Dylan's (her crush) point of view. The back and forth between the two really kept the story moving. The action sequences were written well-easy to imagine and quite exciting! I can't wait to find out more about all of the characters and how they use their super powers. Great debut!

  • Reena Jacobs
    2019-05-01 08:04

    Read complete review on my blog: one, this book transported me back to grade school and kept me there. Ms. Bischoff captured the details exactly–the insecurities, the joys, the trials. Talk about reminiscing. After a few pages, I didn’t want to put this book down. Only sanity telling me I should sleep at some point before the kids started to wake in 2 hours got me in the bed. Then I forced myself to knock out my daily word count goals before picking it up again. This was the type of book that made me want to write… not just write but come up with a kick ass storyline. Cause Hush Money definitely had one.I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. I absolutely hate knowing there’s information to be had, but for some reason the author chooses to withhold it. Thank you, Ms. Bischoff for not doing that to me. All the information was right there when I needed it. No teasing lines like, “I’ll tell you later”or “we don’t have time to talk right now.” No. When the hero/heroine found out information, I got it too. I loved it. Why do I mention this? Because there was one particular chapter which ending on a cliff hanger. I was sure Ms. Bischoff was going to pull one of those stunts where I’d have to wait 12 chapters before the reveal. But no! I flipped… okay… not really flipped because it’s an eBook, but I hit the next page and everything was unraveled in the next few paragraphs. I didn’t even have time to get irritated. My gosh, you’re good!So what about the characters? Joss, I loved. She reminded me so much of my oldest daughter. Invisible, but not quite. Because really, being the unnoticed one in high school is enough to make you stand out. Odd how that works. That was Joss. That’s my daughter. But there was more to her Joss–hidden, scared, alone… flawed. At one point I remember thinking it was so sad to watch bad things to happen to others and let people do bad things to you because you’re afraid. She had so much room for personal growth. I loved watching her blossom.Dylan, well it took me a while to warm up to him. He spent a lot of time rehashing/examining prior events. Yes, I felt for the predicament he was in, but not really for him. Once he really got into the action and made choices, I really got into the boy. He became a real hero rather than just a secondary character with a few scenes in his POV.Even the villains were great. I don’t know their whole story, but Ms. Bischoff wrote them in a way that had me wondering what got these folks to this point. Sure they were wicked and troublesome (yeah, understatement there), but they had a three dimensional kind of feel to them. Take Marco, for instance. He was villain enough to be a major problem. A real bully as Kat called him. Yet he was also purposeful in his actions.The only thing I found lacking was the matter of character physical descriptions. Other than who was taller than whom and Kat being black (I think), I didn’t know too much about what they all looked like. For instance, I gave Marco a buff build. But he was a teenager, and I doubt he’d have the time to bulk up to be the incredible hulk. I also started off all the guys as tall. But then I remembered, the average height for a female is about 5’4″, so most guys would be taller than the girls even if they’d only hit 5’8″.So plot. There were times in the book, I thought there was no way this work could stay this good. No way she could keep the momentum going. Somewhere it’s going to crash and burn. I didn’t want it to happen, but it was inevitable. And then I hit the end, still running at full speed.With Hush Money, I never knew what would happen next, so I just kept turning the pages. Pretty much each scene ended on an ‘OMG! I can’t believe that just happened’ moment. Then we get to the place where a lot of books have what folks call “the saggy middle.” In the case of Hush Money, this was where all hell broke loose. I didn’t even have time for a breather. This book was super fast pace and so intense, it left me exhausted. The only thing I hated about the plot was not being able to read it fast enough.I really wished someone would make a movie out of this one. Cause really, this book defied The Laws of the Universe. Yeah, I stole that line.So, a few of my favorite lines:“Marco, honey, I’m gonna have to wreck your fantasy and tell you that not only are Joss and I not involved with each other, and not only are we both straight–which you’d think any straight guy would realize–but I would do her and half the guys at this table before I would even let you watch me change my shoes.”I would have loved to choked him with one of his ridiculous Looney Tunes neckties just then.But if she ever found out and felt the need to throw herself at me, I figured I’d catch her. [Definitely one of those aww moments.]One thing that’s not clear to me. Do adults not have Talents?By the way, check out my favorites 2010 reads on the right widget. That’s right, this one made it. I loved this the way I loved Comfort Food (see review here) and the Hunger Games (see review here).

  • Stacia (the 2010 club)
    2019-04-21 06:26

    3.5 stars. I was sort of nervous to read this book. It seems like every single time I go into a story with excitement because the premise seems different from all of the other current offerings, I'm often let down. Thankfully, this did not happen for me - big surprise!Although, I do have a complaint to get out of the way first. The first half of the book seemed like it took forever to get moving. I was waiting to see kids on superpower crack! Instead, I got a lot of : it appears he likes her but isn't saying anything - it appears she likes him but doesn't like to talk to people. Okay. Gotcha. These two kids are going to take a metric crapton of time to figure out that they should let each other in on the news. Can we get moving now? Luckily, the book is short, so my measurement of forever is not as long as you might think.But the second half - so much fun superpower goodness! All of the "talents" are different. You've got the invisible kid, the super-strong kid, the kid who can move things with her mind, etc. There is the potential for a lot of crazy adventures in the future with this group. Another great thing to have in the mix - what appears to be a "real" villain in our midst. One of the kids seems to be pure evil. He's already tried to kill one of the others! I'm all for letting characters redeem themselves, but in this case, I hope this guy stays a baddie. There's too many interesting paths this story could take if this is the case. We also have the dynamic of the kids needing to lean on each other, in order to avoid being captured by the government agency who wants to lock them up in special schools to manipulate their powers. Again...much potential here for great adventures in the future. The love story worked so much better in the second half of the book. I liked that the guy knew he was weaker in many instances than the girl (and the enemy), but still tried to help, even when he was possibly nervous. He came across as brave, yet not entirely sure of himself. With the initial assessment of him being sort of a bad-boy (and he does do bad things), I assumed he'd be stereotyped as ultra-cocky, and he wasn't. Yay for breaking stereotypes! On the flip side, I appreciated that the girl didn't automatically trip all over herself to be with this guy. She held tight to her reasons for shutting him out, until there was no longer an option to do so. I have the feeling that I'll be reading book 2 sooner rather than later. Can't wait!

  • Liz
    2019-05-03 09:19

    4.5/5Hush Money starts off with Joss back in school after the “disappearance” of a classmate, Krista. Everyone knows Krista was taken away because of her Talent, but nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody ever likes to talk about Talents. Joss has been trained to be invisible, to blend in as much as possible. She avoids speaking in general and she doesn’t have any friends. But Kat, another student in Joss’s year, is determined to change this. And once Kat starts talking to Joss, other people begin to as well, like Joss’s long-time crush, Dylan. Joss soon realises she can’t go back to the way her life was before, but the fear she has always had still remains. What would happen if anyone found out she had a Talent?Hush Money is an engrossing, fast-paced read. It’s told from two points of view; Joss’s and Dylan’s, and this dual narration is one reason this is such an engaging book. Hush Money is never boring because the switching of view-points keeps the story on track and moving forwards. I loved reading from both perspectives; I enjoyed Joss’s because it gave me a chance to relate to her, and it also helped build the back-story of the town and Talents. I liked Joss’s awkward first interaction with Kat – it’s easy to see that she’s not used to speaking to people because she’s been avoiding them for so long. I also liked how we got to see Joss become slightly more confident with each chapter and how she began to feel less uncomfortable around people than before. We were also given insight on Joss’s home life, which helped explain why Joss was the way she was and really built up and fleshed out her character. However, I also loved reading Dylan’s point of view, mostly because he’s a boy and it was just so interesting to get into his mind. I think his perspective was portrayed pretty realistically and it was definitely enlightening to see the course of events through his eyes. I liked his constant doubt about Marco, and how he was torn between doing the right thing and staying loyal to his best friend of so many years. One thing that really made me love Dylan though (besides the leather jacket :P) was the way he saw Joss, and the thoughts he had about her. He was protective, even from afar, and caring in a sweet yet dedicated way.Other characters I liked were Kat and Heather. Kat’s very feisty and doesn’t take crap from anyone, and I thought she made a good friend for Joss because they sort of balanced each other out. Heather intrigued me because she has certain rules she abides by which I think make her a very decent person, but also kind of mysterious and almost wise.Plot wise, Hush Money has the right amount of action, conspiracy, humour (four words: Dylan and Joss’s dad :D) and danger, and while there isn’t a lot of romance, I really appreciated the fact that this wasn’t one of those books where the characters fall in love after five minutes and then spend every waking moment together. The only problems I experienced were a few formatting issues and a few grammar errors, plus the use of a lot of ellipses toward the beginning, but I have no complaints about the story itself. The ending was a bit sudden (no cliff-hanger, just ended quite quickly) for me, but now I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series because I’m anxious to find out what happens next.In conclusion, I really enjoyed Hush Money and I’d recommend it to anyone who liked Hex Hall or the Darkest Powers series (though there are no werewolves in this one!).

  • beedee ( astounding dreams )
    2019-05-12 08:18

    Oh, my gosh! Oh, my gosh! Oh, my gosh! O_O I promise I don't have an echolalia. I just couldn't help it! The book was enthralling and never failed to give me palpitations from excitement, the thrill!!! I so loved it. I'm recommending it to people who love mystery, supernatural stuff, romance. Oh, everyone! There.Can I just stop and only say IT'S TOTALLY AMAZING!?!Seriously, it is so amazing my heart's still pounding hard just by thinking about it and looking at the book's cover. It's a book for all ages. :-) I guess I'll stop here before I spill some spoilers and ruining the fun you could have if you read it. And I urge! you to. :-D LOLI'm so rating this book...TWO THUMBS UP!!! (5/5) + more!

  • Glory
    2019-05-05 09:07

    Ну, наверное, даже с плюсом))Проглотила за вечер, объем небольшой. И с одной стороны это хорошо, а с другой... может, потому и не хватило мне чего-то.Достаточно интересно и жизненно описаны взаимоотношения подростков. Дружба из страха, стремление во всем быть середнячком, лишь бы тебя не заметили и не раскрыли твой секрет... Талантов в этом мире боятся, а сами Таланты боятся мира и того, куда их заберут, если узнают о способностях.В общем, все неплохо и достаточно атмосферно.Но несколько скомкано.И под конец количество Талантов на квадратный метр просто зашкалило, а говорили - редкость... Так, может, им пора уже объединиться да вломить нормалам как следует?Продолжение есть, как и небольшая повесть (под номером 0,5), но пока браться почему-то не хочется.

  • Lauralynn Elliott
    2019-04-23 03:10

    I don't read a lot of YA books. They have to be really special to keep my attention. This one was good! I could relate to the characters, even though they were young enough to be my kids. Susan Bischoff did a great job building those characters. And the action scenes...VERY believable. The only complaint I have is that it left me wanting more. :) I would recommend this book to young adults and not so young adults.

  • InkBitten
    2019-05-09 09:19

    Judged by the Cover: Simply StunningHush Money’s cover art seems to be trying to portray the leading lady, Joss. A detailed physical description I don’t think is ever given in the book (of Joss at least), but I did have a picture of her in my mind when I was reading, and she pretty much looked like that (you know, just without the freckles). Although the layout of the book made me think children's book...not young adult. It would have looked a little dull if it hadn’t been for the little paint splotches everywhere in black and white to contradict the normal background. I did dislike the big red line going across the cover it just kind of messes with the flow of the cover. Overall though it’s simple and pretty with the main focus being on the title not the picture. What’s Up?Hush money is a term meaning a bribe given to someone to keep a secret (and also the title). Kind of like black mail, which is pretty much what this book is about. The book takes place modern day (when I read it, it seemed a little dated just because they didn’t use technology as frequently as I normally do) The novel is given to the reader by the perspectives of both the female and male leads, Joss (short for Jocelyn) and Dylan. Joss, I realized was a Talent (A.K.A she could move inanimate objects with her mind). Since this was a young adult novel it seemed obvious this was not a good thing. Joss has to be in hiding from the government, or more specifically, the National Institutes for Ability Control (the NIAC). Scary part for Joss, they send them to the State School, where they torture the people with Talents. But, getting back to the whole hush money thing, when Joss finally finds a friend, Kat, and discovers she’s a talent, Someone decides to Black mail Kat and her other friends, wanting Hush Money.Characters?Joss leaves just a little something to be desired, as a supporting character she would have been great, but as the lead...she is just annoying. I mean she didn't think much...but at the same time she did. For this book, this section has got to be the hardest section to write, I really don't have much to say about Joss she mostly is just kind of there. It seems almost as if all she does with her life is keep her secret and crush on Dylan. But she has ways of redeeming herself in the end and she is a pleasure to read the mind of. So basically she may not be in my opinion the most creative character, she's relatable (to me at least).Romance?Dylan has a bad boy image in my mind, I mean he’s friends with the school bully and they used to spend time planning crimes together (not to mention actually doing the crime). Seeing inside his head kind of killed it, he was completely nice. But his niceness was a little over the top I just couldn’t picture a guy thinking like that. So, I give him a 5…because he tried just a little too hard to, in my opinion, get himself hurt… but he did have his charming moments when he bugs Joss. Bonus Features: Rebellious TeenagersHave you ever read or more so liked a book were the kids didn’t at least say no to their parents, did something illegal or snuck out. Even if it’s only a little glimmer in the dark, books just aren’t fun without them, now are they?Undercover AgentsWell, there aren’t any real spies in this novel but at least they had somebody who was a ‘friend’ working against the leads in small ways that could lead to big problems in future books. Nice Set up for a sequelAlthough it was a little cheesy and I have seen better it, just the lines the characters said made me look up when the next book would come out. The sequel has a Maximum Ride style title of Heroes ‘Til Curfew.Final Thoughts?For having picked this up only because it was 99 cents on the kindle store, I really enjoyed this book. It’s was a really fun book to read and in my point of view the only slow chapter was the first one, and if you’re telling the truth how exciting can the first chapter of a book realistically be! I mean it could have used like a hundred more pages. The book was just too short, it would be totally inexcusable if I had not read in the back of the book that there is a second one coming out (the release date is still TBA). Everything just felt rushed and that gave the novel a more realistic feel as well as a more fiction feel too it (If the events would have taken place over only like a day, it would have fit the mood perfectly). I for one thought that it could have added a little more description to the talents the people had (or just the people in general). Or maybe if they went to any other class then lunch (showed it in the novel that is) That little extra push would have added so much to the book. Hush Money also could have used a little more suspense, nothing is built up in my opinion at all. Basically there was little to no foreshadowing in this book, a huge change from having recently read the Harry Potter series. If I could go back in time knowing what happened in this book and could decide again if I wanted to read it, what would I do? To tell you the truth I would totally want to still read it. I did think twice about finishing the novel when I heard them talk about the Talents for awhile, the way it seemed the only person keeping her Talent a secret was Joss, and every character reacted to talking or hearing about someone being a Talent very nonchalantly (except for like one person), and as I read on it felt like everyone in the entire school was a Talent! It killed the whole special thing just a little bit.

  • Soleil
    2019-05-01 05:09

    While most girls were brought up on Barbies, and My Little Pony, my favorite toy was an old blanket that I’d turned into a cape and took on many of my imaginative escapades. I’ve always loved the Superhero mythos, and while I would never EVER want the comic book industry to go under, I do wish that some of it lent itself more to novels.Luckily it seems some authors feel the same way I do and that, on top of Lynn Viehl’s fantastic Kyndred series for adults, we also have an exciting new series for Teens thanks to Susan Bischoff.To be honest, it was the title of the second book ‘Heroes ‘Till Curfew’ that made me take notice of the first. While the cover is lovely, ‘Hush Money’ didn’t make me think ‘Book = Superheroes + Romance’.Except, having now read the book in it’s entirety, I have to acknowledge the subtle brilliance behind the title. Acknowledge it quietly that is because my no spoiler policy hasn’t changed any.I was amazed at how so much of the book reminded me of Highschool. In the very first few pages, Susan describes a character trying so hard to get her teacher’s attention that she has to rest her raised arm in her other palm and I just laughed out loud. How many times have I done that? Little tidbits like this really made the book come to life for me. I found myself hella amused in the appropriate moments. I laughed a lot. And yet this is not a light-hearted tale. I think that says a lot for Susan’s own “Talent”.I liked the fact that she didn’t try to tone down the language. The characters are put in some high stress situations and well, sometimes, F-Bombs are totally called for. Besides, any parent who claims they weren’t using the same language when they were that age is either suffering from an early on set of Alzheimer or a pathological liar.Joss, our reluctant heroine, seemed very three dimensional to me. I adored her snark-especially when it was directed at herself. I’m hoping we will get more insight to her family’s back story in future books. The whole ‘military precision’ vibe is just too juicy to have no further explanation and then there’s the whole sub plot about her Father being just a tad unhinged. I’m dying to find out how it all factors in. I wouldn’t say Joss is kick-ass (which I don’t think is a bad thing either way), mainly because she spends most of the novel trying not to use her powers or draw attention to herself in anyway, but she certainly steps up to the plate when she has to. And she’s more inclined to handling her own shit then expecting other people to do it for her, so she’s definitely on my ‘Awesome Heroines’ list.Dylan Maxwell is recalcitrant nice guy/adorably quirky. I roared with laughter every time his brain went for a walk around Joss and his imagination took hold-I thought only girls suffered those sorts of delusions of grandeur. No? Just me? *Sigh*. Dylan had some great dialogue (and I cracked up every time he thought about Joss’ Dad). I like that Dylan’s not exactly Mr. Heroic himself. None of the Characters are Boy/Girl Scouts. Mainly because they can’t afford to be. Still, like his love interest, Dylan too steps up to the plate when called.The romance was sinfully sweet. I felt myself going ‘awww’ far more than I am usually wont to do. I felt it developed at a realistic pace given what stood between them. No spoilers, but yikes almighty, and I thought *I* knew that peer pressure was bitch.I’m pretty interested in the development of the side characters: The feisty yet charming Kat, the quiet but courageous Heather, lovable scoundrel/speed demon Eric, geeky but snarky Rob (Thank you so much for not making him a stereotype and giving him a backbone), and The Twins. There are so many possibilities here and I’m so looking forward to seeing which direction Susan takes them in.I have to admit I am hoping for a little more action in the sequels. I love me some epic super-powered fight scenes. While I enjoyed the one offered, I felt like it only whet my appetite a bit, so to speak.Really enjoyable read, and I figure if I’m salivating for Book 2 that can only be a good sign. Definitely recommended if you’re inclined to Superheros, YA, and if you like your YA with a little Superhero para-rom.

  • A.M.
    2019-05-21 08:29

    Hush Money is the very promising debut of Susan Bischoff‘s Talent Chronicles series, a YA urban fantasy series that — rather refreshingly — avoids any mention of vampires or sparkling (because teens are interested in more than just blood-sucking).High school girl Joss has done everything in her power to go unnoticed. She eats alone, carefully controls her grades, and doesn’t even think about talking to her crush. Because Joss has a terrible secret: she’s has a Talent… and kids with psychic abilities tend to mysteriously disappear. Then new girl Kat joins the school, and puts herself into harm’s way whilst rescuing Joss from the school bully. In a world in which psychic abilities are punishable by imprisonment, Joss must choose between keeping her secret and doing what’s right to save a friend.Susan Bischoff has played her cards right: she has managed to write a captivating, engaging tale perfect for teens as well as all of us who… errr… aren’t quite teens any more. In a YA market over-saturated with the same old stories, Hush Money is a breath of fresh air and more besides: it is a fast-paced, engaging introduction to the Talent Chronicles series which will leave you hungry for the sequel.What truly sets Hush Money apart from its contemporaries are the characters. You’ve got the high school loneliness and angst of early Smallville, the large crew of cool X-men like-powers, but most importantly you have teenagers who are three-dimensional believable people. Joss and her crush Dylan are the protagonists, with the story alternating between their points of view, but the strong character depth extends beyond the main players, creating a fully-fleshed setting which you’ll enjoy sinking into. Furthermore, there is none of this “we were destined to be together” malarkey — in true awkward teen style, the romance is light-hearted, bumbling, and achingly sweet.The plot had a good mixture of high school drama and larger overpowering (governmental) threat, and while the issue is partially resolved, Susan Bischoff has planted many small seeds which will lead to a gripping, addictive series. After all, while Hush Money is dedicated to introducing the characters, world and dangers, the novel hints that there will be far more at stake in times to come.My only nitpick? While I enjoyed the alternating points of view — particularly because they were so distinct, and true to each character — the initial few pages felt a little forced. Joss’ use of ‘like’ felt a little contrived, a little “trying too hard to be a teenager”… but either the voice improved, or the story sucked me in soon after, because it didn’t bother me throughout the rest of the novel.Overall, Hush Money is just the tip of what might become a very huge iceberg. Be careful if you skim past this novel, because even with the smallest scratch you might find yourself sinking right in. That’s where you’ll find me, waiting for the sequel.

  • Mei
    2019-05-05 09:27

    Hush Money (Talent Chronicles)SynopsisThere are things that are never spoken about in Joss's town, and when Krista disappears, she is just one more missing face that will never return. Joss knows how easy it is to disappear, her childhood friend was taken when they were five after a mysterious house fire. Since then, she has taken ever precaution to avoid attention of let anyone close enough to discover her secrets. If it comes to light that she has a Talent, she is as good as dead.ReviewI found this story to be entertaining, though definitely written for the teenage crowd. It has a great pace, and held my attention long after I was supposed to be asleep. While the characters were occasionally put into adult situations, they were only lightly touched upon and were not explored in any depth or provided any real consequences to the characters. The chapters alternated between the views of Joss and Dylan, providing some insight into the characters, but also making them come off a bit stereotypical and flat. However, I thought that they did show potential for growth as the series continues. The developing romantic relationship between Joss and Dylan was great and really made me want to keep reading.My RecommendationThis was a fun read, and is great for teenage fans of urban fantasy. I give it a 4/5 - Wait for a sale/coupon. (though since it is $0.99 I think it's worth full price :) )***FTC Disclosure:  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review, no other compensation was given, all opinions are my own***

  • Nan
    2019-04-27 08:09

    I received this book for free via a coupon from Susan Bischoff. The one condition of the coupon was that I agreed to review the book.I don't think I'm a part of this book's target audience. What I mean by that is this--Hush Money will be popular with its target audience. However, the book didn't work for me. I'm a 34 year-old doctoral student working on a dissertation on 19th-century British Gothic fiction, so my standards are a little different from most of the people who will read this book.Hush Money alternates between two first person narrators, Joss and Dylan. The story is set in an alternate modern country--unnamed, but probably the U.S. Things are different in this society because a portion of the population has been identified as having "Talents," similar to those of the mutants in the X-Men comics. The government has declared that it has the right to police and train these Talents so that they don't endanger others, creating a state of fear in the population. When teenagers disappear, everyone knows they've been taken by the NIAC, the secretive Talent police.Joss is much like other YA heroines. She's quiet and friendless, trying not to get noticed. She's got a Talent of her own, and she doesn't want to get caught. However, she's had a crush on Dylan for ages, even though he hangs with the despicable Marco. Marco has been bullying Joss for years, all because she refused to date him. As these kids try to navigate the usual minefield of adolescent relationships, their Talents and their fears make their lives even more difficult.This book is the first in a projected series, published as low-cost ebooks. The low cost will be attractive to teens and preteens, the presumed audience of this book, but their limited access to ebook readers may cause problems. The book was extraordinarily short, roughly 150 pages. Since the book itself is only $.99, that doesn't seem like a big problem. This reminds me of the sort of series books that I read as an early teen, so I can easily see it finding an audience.Bishoff's world of Talents is fairly unique, although it does have a strong connection to the X-Men, as I noted above. Her writing is solid, and the plight of the characters seemed real. They were justifiably afraid, and Bischoff does a good job of creating tension. What she does next with the series will determine just how good it's going to be. It's off to a decent start here.If you like this sort of book, I'd also recommend Holly Black's The White Cat Curse Workers 1.

  • Katja
    2019-04-27 04:11

    Think about Heroes goes high school and you got a pretty good image what the book is like.The story shifts telling the story from both Joss’s and Dylan’s point of view.Jocelyn, Joss, is a young girl trying to live her life not getting noticed, since if someone would discover she has a Talent, she would be transfered to a prison like state school – it’s made pretty clear, that it’s anything but pleasant there.Making the loneliness a life style choice Joss tries to stay out of trouble, but it sure seems to find her. She also become friends with Kat – another Talent – when the girl pushes herself into Joss’s life. Most of the kids seem to be Talents, so the reactions described in the beginning seems a bit odd. It’s told to us though, that Fairview does have more Talent kids than other places, but it’s not referred to after that, and you’re left wondering what’s behind it.Dylan is about to get himself in a lot of trouble, mainly because of his friend, Marco – the story’s bad guy, the one already over the edge. He and his friends are using their Talents to enhance their criminal career. The relationship between Dylan and Marco was quite believable and it was well developed during the book.Some things in the book were all but subtle, and it leaves the taste, that the students might not really be the brightest ones out there. For example the thing with the counselor didn’t really come as a surprise, when it was revealed.I loved the way Bischoff made some of her secondary characters, them being more than just props, and especially the way she wrote the main antagonist, him being much more than your ordinary bully. That said, other characters would’ve needed more work with how they came off in the story, one being the counselor.The book starts promising, weaving several plots and you just can’t wait to find the answer to some of them. That’s why it’s such a disappointment, that you don’t really get any, the most interesting plot twists never get opened up or followed more. The end of the book felt more like it should be the middle of it. I guess the fact, that the book is part of series makes it so, but even when that’s the case the book left a bit of an unfinished feeling. Wouldn’t annoy too much, if the next book was out yet, but there’s not even a release date for it.Bischoff is a talented storyteller though and I enjoyed reading Hush Money, and I do think it’s well worth it’s price. Some people may want to wait until the next part of the series is out also.

  • Zoe
    2019-05-01 04:04

    Hush Money starts out with an interesting premise for a world setting, and then promptly kills my interest with constant character stereotyping and inconsistent character behavior.Joss is a girl with a secret, a Talent. As the story opens the government has taken someone else from their school. The government should do this kind of pick up every week at Fairview, because Joss' school is Talent Freakin Central. Everybody Joss knows has a Talent, which is funny, because in spite of all the Talent on hand, there's almost no talent in the story-telling.My problems started right after Joss sits and watches another girl being raped. (Another girl comes to the rescue before it's too late.) Her defense for doing nothing? "Well she didn't do anything about it either." Uh...what? And it doesn't get better from there.Not one character didn't come off as a walking stereotype, and every conversation made me want to know these people less, not more. Marco and his crew are pathetic. Dylan is a doormat, and Joss is a coward. And these are the mains. Once you move down to the second string characters, the stereotyping gets even worse. The bit characters don't stand a chance in a world like this. Their whole development revolves around descriptions like "the quiet one," or "the brash girl." They get no physical descriptions either, but the descriptions that are given for the mains are all pretty much what you'd expect. (All hot chicks and hot guys, cause no ugly characters ever attend public school in YA land, unless they're rolling with the heavies.)I expect weak character development from the supporting cast in YA books, but the mains are the worst offenders here. By the conclusion of Chapter 8, I had grown so frustrated by weak dialogue, a weak plot, and weaker character development, I decided to put down the book 70 pages in. I can't make myself care if Marco's petty crime plans are foiled, nor do I care if Dylan and Joss will go to Kat's party as a couple. I don't care if the government swoops in and kidnaps the whole group to kill them for medical science. And when I can't be made to care after 70 pages, you're doing something wrong.I give this book 1 star, and don't care to find out more about the Talent series. This is a bad start to what could have been a promising world.

  • Samantha Young
    2019-05-16 10:05

    I read a review somewhere that Hush Money was Roswell meets Smallville. I think that’s such an apt description; and as a massive Roswell fan I got really excited about reading this book.It TOTALLY lived up to my expectations. Susan Bischoff is an excellent YA writer, and I’m pretty surprised this novel hasn’t been picked up by a traditional publisher. The characters are so well developed, their voices realistic and likeable, and the development of the relationships between them is nicely-paced. Hush Money is told from Joss and Dylan’s perspectives. Unbeknownst to one another they have a crush on each other - Bischoff pulls this off with great panache. There’s nothing cheesy or cliché about their attraction to each other, and I loved how they actually grew to like each other over the course of the novel rather than having this instant connection I call the ‘soul mate phenomenon’ that’s so popular in this genre. I don’t mind the phenomenon, I just like a break from it sometimes, and Hush Money gave me that.I particularly love Joss. She’s my kind of heroine. She’s a bit of a cool loner, with too much responsibility weighing on her shoulder. I loved that she wasn’t perfect, that she didn’t always make the heroic decisions, and that it took her a while to come out of her shell in that respect. It made her authentic - like a confused, scared teen would be. Also, for someone who's kind of introverted and has a massive crush, she reacted perfectly to Dylan whenever he spoke to her. It was great reading.The plot itself is really different. Marco’s character is truly nasty, and all through the book I waited for him to get his comeuppance. I can’t wait to read the next novel to see what happens there.There’s plenty of action in Hush Money; it’s a fast-paced plot - quick reading - with a modern prose that sucks you in until you’re addicted. If you’re looking for something refreshing from your YA Paranormal books then Hush Money is definitely the one to pick up. Bargain download. It’s now on my favourites shelf!Five Massive Stars!

  • Liz
    2019-05-13 04:04

    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.In her first novel, Susan Bischoff brings us this original beauty about common kids with terrifying Talents, and what becomes of them when they get caught out. She’s managed to write a used idea in a way that could quickly make superpowers the new vampirism. While there are typical teenage girls and boys written into the story, the main characters have qualities which many teens (and older) can associate with. Realistic attitude, not too attractive and awkward teenage emotions carry the relationships into a zone that’s easily understandable and a little bittersweet, given the circumstances. The dialogue has a nice zing to it, with the perfect amount of young sarcasm and nerve. The narration of more than one character allows a better insight to the complications of supernatural teenage love. It’s a great way to watch the relationship between characters develop throughout the story.One thing that bugged me was the focus on a fellow student as the main antagonist. Of course, there was the government agency that was threatening the lives of all those with Talents, but there wasn’t enough focus on that. Instead, we see quite a bit of Marco, the blackmailing, abusive jock, menacing people into getting his way. This kind of character may seem like a huge problem in a teenage world, but I think that the higher power of the government should’ve had a more dominant and foreboding role in the story.Having said this, Hush Money is an excellent and easy read. The writing was clear and in no way convoluted. I’d recommend this to fans of Cassandra Clare and Claudia Gray. Hot stuff!

  • Justine
    2019-05-12 05:16

    This book is about Joss, a high school student, who has to keep a secret, she has a Talent. The people with Talents, once exposed are usually turned into the National institutes for ability control or NIAC for short. Is is a government agency that supposedly helps kids control their Talents. But there are lots of horror stories going around that is it like a prison where they experiment and torture the children to find out what makes them tick.Joss usually keeps to herself for fear of letting it slip that she has a Talent. Suddenly a girl from school Kat wants to be her friend. Also a boy from school Dylan starts talking to her and visiting Joss at her parents store. Kat brings to light that she has a Talent while saving Joss and another girl from school from these creepy bully boys. The head bully Marco try's to blackmail Kat saying that if she doesn't pay him he will turn her in to the NIAC.Kat has a huge party for her birthday and invites everyone. A boy from school who is wanted by the cops for having laser vision is there. There is a raid at Kat's house and needless to say the Talents stick together and get themselves out, but not without causing some issues.After that Marco finds out the Jill, Joss's sister has a Talent. He threatens Joss saying that she has to pay him also or he will turn in her sister and spill the beans about her dad being crazy and spending time in the hospital.Kat and Joss come up with an idea to get Marco off their backs. They catch him in the actor being a Talent and film it. He freaks out and try's to kill them, but Dylan comes and saves the day. And they book ends.I liked this book but from some reviews I got that it was a dystopian novel, I didn't get that at all. I found that I really have no information on the NIAC. I want to know what happens there and with them and all the Talents they took. So hopefully the second book will give all the information I am craving.

  • Shannon
    2019-05-11 07:22

    *** Before I begin this review, let me just insist that you jump over to Amazon and purchase this e-book. It is currently on special for .89 and was one of the more delicious finds of the year. *** I'm giving this gal five stars because I think she's got a great little novel here.From what I can deduce, it seems Bischoff has published HUSH MONEY herself. This knowledge is a bit surprising when you consider the gorgeous cover and the very engaging voice she tells her story in. I sincerely hope her efforts catch the attention of a traditional publisher because this novel of hers has promise. The great stuff - Voice, voice, voice. I love her voice. Bischoff tells her story from two alternating perspectives and she does so with a grace that shows she belongs on the YA shelves. Her protagonist, Joss, is engaging and the story--while lacking a bit in detail--moves very quickly. I finished this novel over the course of a day. One of my absolute favorite things about a YA author is when she can pull you into a youthful romance without overdoing it, and Bischoff does just that. Joss's crush, Dylan, is a very sympathetic character and one, I suspect, YA readers will fall in love with again and again.A couple things that jumped out at me - The ending, while not disappointing, is abrupt. HUSH MONEY would benefit from a slightly longer concluding chapter or an Epilogue that pulls the reader into the second book, because, I guarantee, readers are going to want to see these characters again. And, I mentioned it in passing, but the phenomenon of the "Talents" could use a bit of exposition. I appreciate that Bischoff doesn't kill us with back story, but she weaves an interesting tale and, as a reader, I would have liked to know more. Still, fabulous debut effort. Looking forward to the next in the series. To be honest, I'd love to sit and brainstorm with this gal. Her premise opens the door to lots and lots of possibilities.Read it. Love it.

  • Jessica (Just So Jessica)
    2019-05-02 04:25

    Welcome to the world of "Talents". In this story, just like real life, being different in high school is not a good thing. But these kids are not different in the same way as real life high school kids that are singled out because of their clothes or car. These kids have powers. And if the wrong people find out about their power they get hauled off to a government institute where they are never heard from again. Well, that is until some of these "Talents" don't want to take it anymore. Just think if X-Men and Heroes (the first season of course, which was the best) met and had a story baby, this is what it would probably be.It's a good start to the chronicles. You get a sound introduction to the characters and their talents, who's possibly a bad guy and who's good. And there is an excellent cliffhanger at the end.Now, even though I am looking forward to the next book, I did have some problems with this one. I know average teenagers aren't very articulate or may not have a firm grasp on the English language, but I think some of the "likes" and "totallys" could have been left out. It started to annoy me. And it might be my more conservative side, but the foul language started to get under my skin, as well. One reason I read YA fiction is so that I don't have to deal with all the foul mouths that go along with a lot of more "adult" type books. And this one takes the cake on swearing so far on most of the YA books I've read. I hope that it is toned down more in the next book. And hopefully the next one will deliver as good of story as this one did.

  • Zoe and the Edge
    2019-05-02 08:29

    3.5 Stars Kids with powers get taken away by the government. Joss is telekinetic. Her sweet father is very strict because he's scared to death she'll be found out. He teaches Joss to not get close to people to keep her secret safe. But he also trains her in her ability so she can protect herself. Dad’s whole life was about protecting me.In an attempt to follow her father's instructions at laying low, she allows everyone to step on her and push her around so as not to cause a scene or draw attention to herself. I wasn't really loving the story until all hell breaks loose. I really liked that the classmates bands together to protect one of their own. All the secret Talents just pop out of the woodwork and it's beautiful chaos. Dolls are attacking people, tables are flying, walls turn invisible, now that's my kind of fun. The amazing thing is that even after this huge showdown, nobody knows that Joss is a telekinetic. They all just assume it was somebody else. Kat is a go-getter who forces Joss to be besties. Kat's not afraid of anything or anyone and sometimes that makes her reckless, but she's a lot of fun too. Dylan and Joss are both crushing on each other but are way too intimidated by their respective status. Dylan's in an unhealthy relationship with his supposed best friend Marco the bully. It's not long before Dylan's only with Marco because Marco threatens Joss' happiness. I hate hate hate Marco. I wanted to ground him into pulp. I'm upset he's going to be in the sequel.

  • Liliana
    2019-05-18 09:12

    Jocelyn (Joss) is a Talent. That means she has supernatural abilities. But having these powers has become illegal. That's why all of those who have been discovered are taken away by force to some government-run research facility. Yeah, its as fun as it sounds. The Talents there are treated like lab rats, and not too nicely. That is why it is important for Joss and her family to keep her (and her sisters) powers a secret.That is also why its important to her to not stand out in a crowd. She does everything she can to get through high school unnoticed. She is always quiet and doesn't have any all.But all of a sudden she has acquired a best friend (Kat) she did not want or expect, and the sudden interest of her long time crush Dylan. But Joss cant trust Dylan; not when he's Marco's best friend. Marco, the guy who has picked on Joss ever since she turned him down. Yeah, real mature, Marco -_-Not only is Joss dealing with this new found attention, but also, Talents are being blackmailed and government agents coming and taking them away! Its up to Joss to save her friends and put a stop to all the blackmailing.I really enjoyed this book. It had a pretty good plot, and it was a very easy and quick read. Less than 200 pages and I finished it in one sitting :D It had very diverse characters...some which I wasn't very fond of (*cough* Marco *cough*). Overall, it was a very good book! Cant wait for book 2!http://lili-lost-in-a-book.blogspot.c...

  • The BookWhisperer
    2019-05-01 03:01

    Hush Money is the introduction of a very original new series about teenage superhumans. While in a world where talents are know; our characters are still not accepted and in many cases feared leaving these them in hiding. When unexpected events bring several of our characters together they find theirselves having to use their abilities to survive. This is a story of surprise and unveiling that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Bischoff has created a strong cast for this book that includes a variety of unique talents and personalities. With so many characters authors run the risk of readers disliking particular characters; Bischoff overcome this obstacle superbly. The nature of this story wrapping the various characters and abilities reminded me a lot of the Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong. Having been rarely used the superhuman ability/talents are very interesting aspect for this debuting novel. Bischoff will mark her place in the reading circles with her first novel, and I look for much more to come. My first impression of this author is nothing short of awesome. She appears to be a bit of a risk taker in her writing, and it has proven successful in making a new bestseller in my book. As a self published novel I enter stories lightly not knowing what I am going to find, and this is nothing short of a diamond in the ruff. On further inspection it looks as though there are already plans for a second book in the chronicles. Be on the lookout for Hereos 'til Curfew that unfortunately at this time does not appear to have a release date available.

  • Jennifer Martin
    2019-05-20 07:16

    Taking into consideration its target audience, i think that Hush Money was a really enjoyable read. Unlike most YA Fiction authors i have read recently, Susan Bischoff doesn't seem to have felt the need to fill her pages with vastly overstated description or thersaurus bashing purple prose (*cough* Twilight *cough*). Her writing style is neat, her characters are all developed appropriately (the development doesn't just end at the protaganist it extends to her family, her friends and, in this book's case, a second protaganist and his friends) and it's obvious that attention has been paid to background and history. The story line isn't the most original, however it's very interesting and definitely not riding on the vampire/werewolf fixation that most YA Fantasy seems to be riding on at the moment - which when it isn't done 100% can fall flat on its face. The only advice i would offer to this author for improvement, in my opinion, is to tone down the romance slightly, as it could start to come off a bit stereotypical teenager (which would annoy teens and adults alike) and to focus more on the mystery and action, which i think comes off as her natural style. I look forward to the sequel and would recommend this book to anyone looking for a light, entertaining read.

  • Kait Nolan
    2019-04-22 03:27

    You remember the early seasons of Smallville, back when Clark was mooning over Lana, they were all still in high school, and every week was an episode about stopping some isolated problem and the important thing was keeping his secret? If you're like me and really miss those days, Hush Money is absolutely for you. In a market that's positively flooded with stories about teen vampires or fairies, Bischoff provides a refreshing and absolutely believable world about teenagers with superpowers. Chloe Sullivan would have plenty of fodder for her Wall of Weird--in the best possible way!In this debut novel, heroine Joss must come to question the deeply ingrained secret keeping behavior she's always lived by in order to do the right thing and help a friend who's being blackmailed by the class bully. Joss was so three-dimensional, I swear she had a locker next to mine in high school. She shared my disgust of the pink and girly, and she has this great crush on borderline bad-boy Dylan (who is exactly the right mix of rebellious and nice guy). I can't wait to see what Joss and her friends get up to in the next installment!An absolute must read from this up and comer in the YA genre.