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Hush: A Novel (The Hush Series, 1) por Dylan…
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Hush: A Novel (The Hush Series, 1) (edição 2020)

por Dylan Farrow (Autor)

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Título:Hush: A Novel (The Hush Series, 1)
Autores:Dylan Farrow (Autor)
Informação:Wednesday Books (2020), Edition: Illustrated, 384 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca, Para ler

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Hush por Dylan Farrow

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Hush is the first novel in the Hush series by Dylan Farrow.

Shae lives at the edge of a small village with her mother. They are just about tolerated in town since Shae’s brother died of the Blot, a highly contagious illness transmitted by ink which is why reading and writing are outlawed. The only people who don’t seem to fear that Shae might still be carrying the Blot are her best friend Fiona and Mads, the neighbor boy who may be more. But not even with them Shae has shared the fact that something is wrong with her, that her dreams and her embroidery are bleeding into reality. When the Bards come to town, Shae hopes to receive their blessing and healing, just like the entire town. While the town receives rain from them, Shae isn’t so lucky. And after they are gone, Shae’s mother is murdered, leaving her without hope and with very few options. So she risks it all and travels to the High House, where the Bards live, hoping to get help from them.

Hush is a pretty good read, albeit not deviating far from young adult fantasy standards. As it is being touted as a feminist book, I was expecting a little more from it in that regard, but I did like reading it overall.

Read more on my blog: https://kalafudra.com/2021/07/14/hush-dylan-farrow/ ( )
  kalafudra | Jul 14, 2021 |
Literary Merit: Good
Characterization: Good
Recommended: Yes
Level: High School

I honestly didn’t know much about this book before starting it, only that it had a cool cover and looked intriguing. Hush is Dylan Farrow’s debut fantasy novel, and has a surprising amount of real-world context. In her Author’s Note, Farrow describes a time in which her family was being blackmailed and made to look terrible, and that this book is her way of showcasing what gaslighting and manipulation looks like. While I didn’t necessarily see this at first, after reading about the author’s experience, I suddenly realized just how much manipulation I had missed. The writing is by no means perfect, but this was a highly engaging and suspenseful fantasy story that I’d love to read more of in the future.

Hush follows the story of 17-year-old Shae, who has spent her entire life being ostracized by the other inhabitants of the small town of Aster. When Shae was young, a vicious plague known as the Blot wiped out countless numbers of people, including her younger brother. Because of this, Shae’s mother has taken a vow of silence, and the rest of the town avoids the two as if they might be infected simply through association. Her only solace is her mother; her childhood friend Fiona; and Mads, a boy desperately seeking her affection. Everything changes for Shae when the Bards - powerful sorcerers with the ability to help those in need - come to her town, and her mother winds up dead. Devastated, Shae desperately seeks the truth, but is dismissed as crazy by everyone she turns to. Undeterred, Shae travels to the High House (the legendary home of the Bards) to seek the truth that nobody else dares question.

This book felt particularly poignant in today’s climate simply because it is centered around a deadly plague. Unlike our own plague, however, this one centers around ink, paper, and forbidden words, which immediately gives it a really cool premise. It feels a lot like Fahrenheit 451 or other such dystopian works, as the people of this world are forbidden from speaking certain words and learning how to read and write. In a world filled with fake news available to us at the touch of a button, this story has the potential to really resonate with young audiences, especially when we learn that the Blot may not come from paper and ink at all, but from the very ruler entrusted to protect everyone.

Another poignant subject this book deals with is gaslighting and emotional manipulation. From the very beginning, Shae encounters a number of characters who either refuse to believe her, or downright lie to her to make her question her own reality. This is textbook gaslighting, and I only wish there had been actual mention of this term in the book, as it’s crucially important for young people to recognize when someone is gaslighting them. This theme continues when Shae encounters Cathal, the enigmatic ruler who initially treats her with kindness and later turns out to be a master manipulator. Though I saw this coming a mile away, I imagine a teenager unused to this sort of manipulation might be blind-sided by the twist, and I think that’s an important lesson for young readers.

This book also handles the idea of prevalent sexism. In this universe, women are rarely gifted with the abilities of a Bard, and are seen to succeed less often because they are “simply too emotional” to handle the job and eventually go crazy. I liked that Shae and Kennan flipped this idea onto its head, as both are incredibly powerful and strong-willed, representing strong female characters in different ways. Where Shae is open and vulnerable, Kennan is closed off and cold, and yet both combat the notion that women are fragile and easily broken by their own emotions. I’m really hoping they team up and become friends in later books, as I am a huge fan of female friendships and think they’d make a pretty kick-ass duo.

My only real gripe is that the romance felt very forced to me. While it has not yet been reciprocated (I sense Farrow is trying for a slow burn), Shae seems entirely too infatuated with Ravod from the very beginning. She initially comes to High House demanding answers for her mother’s murder, but keeps getting distracted by Ravod, nearly swooning every time she sees him. For a strong character who initially rejected the proposal of her first love because he wasn’t being supportive enough, this just felt out of place. While I hope this romance develops more in the future, I just wasn’t quite sold on it in this particular book, especially since Ravod seems very much like the stereotypical brooding YA love interest. It’d be much more interesting if Shae had a thing for Kennan, but I won’t hold my breath on that one.

Despite my issues with the romance, I actually genuinely enjoyed this book, especially for a debut fantasy novel. It seems as though almost everything has been done to death at this point, but this concept and world still felt very refreshing to me. I liked the strong female heroine fighting for her mother, and I especially liked the messages about gaslighting and a system designed to keep the lower classes in poverty. There’s a lot of good stuff happening in a relatively short book, and I found myself saying “Just one more chapter,” each time I was left on a cliffhanger. Based on the loose ends left during the Epilogue, I sense that this is going to be a series, and I’m definitely intrigued enough to give the second book a chance whenever it releases. I would recommend this to teen fans of fantasy, as I think it has a lot of potential to be a great series. ( )
  SWONroyal | Feb 15, 2021 |


3 May 2020 - I got an ARC!!! OH MY WORD. I am not worthy.

Thank you so much to the publishers, I am very grateful. Review to come.

6 Feb 2020

How do you speak up in a world where propaganda is a twisted form of magic?


COUNT ME IN FOR ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING BY DYLAN FARROW. If her writing is as good as her brother's (the perfection that is Ronan Farrow), this is going to blow my mind. AND IT'S DYSTOPIAN TOO LIKE YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS GIRL.

  rjcrunden | Feb 2, 2021 |
Annoyed because I did not know this was the start of a series and I did NOT want to begin yet another series where I wait a year or longer for book two. I’d appreciate if publishers marked BOOK 1 on the jackets so would be readers would know.
Decent fantasy but obviously leaves you hanging to set you up for book 2. I’m not going to bother going into details. I hate that I’ll forget most of the world building by the time book 2 is released. Dang. ( )
  JRlibrary | Jan 18, 2021 |
Thank you to Wednesday Books for the free advanced copy, which was won through a Goodreads giveaway.

"Papers...quills... books... ink... Everything I've ever been taught to fear and revile..."

I wanted to love this book. The cover is gorgeous - the shiny golden title against that starry background had me intrigued from the start. The premise, too, gave me such high hopes for the story within - a plague stemming from the ink on pages leads to all written word forbidden, where injustices are felt throughout the villages. Peasants serve up offerings to a revered class of gifted citizens for the chance at a blessing (called a "Telling") on their drought-ridden lands.

Unfortunately, the author's ideas never came across as fully developed. While the intention could've been simply to hold the intrigue strong onto book two, it left me, as a reader, in the dark about what should have been core concepts of the story. The magic that our Bards (gifted citizens) are able to wield is never fully described or understood, even though our main character spends a good deal of time being trained to use it. While the banning of books and written word is explained away as the cause of the plague, their habit of being mindful of their utterances is never given more reason than superstition (as how would spoken word effect a plague that they literally all believe is sourced from tangible ink?).

"I want to trust him. I want it more than anything."

I also wish that Shae, our main character, had come across as less naive, though I'm sure that was by design. Instead of putting her faith in the people she has every reason to trust, she looked for acceptance and friendship from someone whose loyalty should have been questioned from the start. Even as she learned to second-guess the narrative around her, she remained woefully ignorant to what I'm sure most readers saw coming from a mile away.

I found there to be an overall similarity to another YA fantasy - Red Queen, which I feel is an extremely overrated series - though more development in the magical system she set the groundwork for would have easily set it apart.

I enjoyed the book, but I didn't love it. Whether or not I'll seek out the the second book remains to be seen. ( )
  Sam.Everard | Jan 3, 2021 |
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