“Speak up for yourself–we want to know what you have to say.” From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson’s powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.
Hey everyone, happy Monday!
It has been a while since I’ve written a review to you all; this past week has been really crazy for me (the start of my cross country season and back to school shenanigans).
I was able to read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson two weeks ago, and I am just now being able to gush on my love of such a WONDERFUL book.
This book has made it to the top of my all time favorites. This may be the first time I have felt so connected to a novel. I felt as though I was standing next to Melinda as she conquered things no other teen should face.
Laurie Halse Anderson’s writing is crisp, precise, yet complex. Melinda spoke so few words, and behind every word she spoke there lie 1000 more.
I just want to give Melinda a big hug. She is such a smart girl, and I constantly found myself wanting to throw this book at the wall because of how Melinda is completely unaware of her intelligence and importance in the world.
Melinda is able to find friendship with her lab partner, David Petrakis. Melinda and David were the perfect pair, and I am really glad that Melinda had David from biology to keep her going through life.
Walking into this book, I thought Laurie would grasp Melinda’s struggles following being sexually assaulted. Which she did; however, Laurie also is able to teach the reader about mental illness (depression), social isolation, and problems at home with her parents. I was able to learn so much from this book, and I cannot thank Laurie enough for this.
This book is 198 pages. In 198 pages, Laurie Halse Anderson is able to complete the impossible: create such a wonderfully perfect story.
Melinda is very funny. The way she describes high school is completely authentic, yet she explains her experiences with such humor.
Oh my goodness, I could keep going on and on about this story forever. But I am not going to do that, because I think you all understand how much I LOVE THIS BOOK.
CAUTION: TISSUES ARE NEEDED TO READ THIS BOOK.
But trust me, it is worth it! I have no complaints about this book. Not one complaint.
I hope you all listen to me and RUN to your local bookstore to pick up this wonderful novel. You won’t regret it!
Thanks for listening (more reviews to come soon!).