High White Sound by Hannah Herchenbach

A girl runs away from post-9/11 New York to live with a tribe of kids on an island at the end of the world

Most people were shocked when Wall Street collapsed, but not Addison Banks – her friends were responsible for it. At nineteen, she had more than most kids ever dream. She escaped the Midwest and set out for a new life in New York City. But the Ivy League held only doctors, bankers and lawyers – not because they wanted to be, but rather because they were too scared to try anything different.

Addison flees in a panic and ends up on a faraway island, where she discovers a band of twenty-something kids carousing on a beach under the watchful eye of a charming rogue named Jack Anodyne. Jack quickly takes Addison under his wing and leads her to their backwards hedonistic paradise in the underground of an abandoned city. But as Addison spends more time with them, she wonders one thing: if these kids are as happy as one could ever be, what happens when you have to leave?

A blend of comedy, social commentary and based on a true story, High White Sound is what would have happened if Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby ran away to an island with Neal Cassady.

  • Classification: Moderate
  • Work is: Fully available on Authonomy
  • First submitted Oct. 17, 2011
  • Last updated Oct. 17, 2011
High White Sound
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  • Retired user
    AndrewStevens [Retired] wrote 3 years, 5 months ago
    I don't read a lot of teen fiction, Hannah but I have to say i enjoyed the opening to HWS. The prose is direct and uncluttered but never dull. Addison's voice feels real and consistent and, even after a couple of chapters, I'm already at ease in her company. There was a hint of her being slightly 'wise beyond her years' but I'm not sure at this stage whether this is a genuine part of her psychological make-up or evidence ...
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  • Retired user
    CrazyLadySmall [Retired] wrote 3 years, 6 months ago
    Hi Hannah, I really enjoyed reading this. Your characters are very believable and resonate well with this Literature graduate. I agree with a lot of the previous comments that your dialogue and scenes are very slick, but that it could do with a little editing. I found myself skimming over the paragraphs of author commentary about "what uni kids are like". If you're doing your job well, which I think you are, everything you say in those sections should already ...
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  • Bea.B.Adams's avatar
    Bea.B.Adams wrote 3 years, 6 months ago
    a BHCG review... Hello Hannah, I enjoyed the chunk of "High White Noise" I've read tonight. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. What I lIked best about it is the breezy derision and poignant sentimentality of Addison, the eyes of your novel. Her voice stays wonderfully constant, and becomes something to trust as we navigate the wild changes in her life. You have a lot of unspoken dialogue: words which are referred to and not actually described. ...
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  • Jonie M. Julan's avatar
    Jonie M. Julan wrote 3 years, 6 months ago
    This is a BHCG review I also like your writing style, but agree with Carlie that beginning with chapter one might be more beneficial. There's already a lot going on for your MC in your first chapter, and your description is powerful. Plus, the prologue seems so far removed from her current situation. I think Addison's personality difference and struggle to find identity are interesting. She is obviously very different from the world she is in. She's innocent, imaginative, and ...
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  • Carlie's avatar
    Carlie wrote 3 years, 6 months ago
    BHCG Hello! I liked your writing, and I enjoyed reading Ch 1. I like particularly the phrasing you use, and the way you play with ideas (like viewing through the champagne). However, I very nearly didn't read at all. I chose your book because the title appealed to me, but then my brain wouldn't understand your blurb properly, and then your Prologue felt showy and self conscious. Something though, made me flick the screen down and then I saw you ...
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  • Sharahzade's avatar
    Sharahzade wrote 3 years, 6 months ago
    BHCG REVIEW HIGH WHITE SOUND Hannah Herchenbach Chapter One reminds me of the party scene in The Great Gatsby where people like your characters are discussing Jay Gatsby, speculating on him in a similar gossipy way. Methinks you write a bit like F. Scott Fitzgerald. For example: I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby's house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited--they went there." - F. Scott ...
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  • GCleare's avatar
    GCleare wrote 3 years, 6 months ago
    A BHCG (Brutal Honesty Crit Group) Review - Hannah, you have Big Talent and can turn a phrase inside out and back again better than anyone else I've read on this website. To attain this kind of expertise at your age is a true gift and I predict you'll have a great career as a novelist. I am jealous and so will be most of the other writers who read your work. Your voice is fresh and creative. You seem ...
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  • Cariad's avatar
    Cariad wrote 3 years, 6 months ago
    I'm here from the YARG group. You were wondering if it was YA enough? Well, I'm not someone who really likes categories, so I say, why not? There are plenty of YA readers who would like this as well as any adult, though perhaps in complexity and the richness of ideas and reference, it may not be exactly on target. I like this a great deal in some ways - I love the language and the images created, and the ...
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  • schild's avatar
    schild wrote 3 years, 6 months ago
    Hannah, First of all, I couldn't let it go either. I was an idealistic liberal back in my youth. I taught school on the Pagago Indian Reservation outside Tucson, Arizona. My college was surround by mountains locals called happy valley. I never wanted to leave. I never wanted the business world. But here I am: raising a family, working long hours in the business world. Your story reminds me so much of what I was. Your narrative prose are great. ...
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  • Scott Toney's avatar
    Scott Toney wrote 3 years, 6 months ago
    Hannah, I'm honored to be the first to comment on your work. I've read the first chapter and your pitches and I'm impressed. I love description and when you use it you are right on with amazing imagery. Probably my favorite visual was when you wrote "The smoke slithered between the iron spires of the stairwell..." but there are many instances that were fantastic to read. I like this work because it's timely (with the problems in wallstreet today) and ...
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