Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak

Summary:

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

What I Liked

I loved how Laurie made me so connected to Melinda – I was able to empathize with her struggles, and understand that it was not entirely a ‘choice’ to stop talking. She feels forced into it, like no one will truly hear her if she decided to speak – despite the fact that she would definitely speak the truth.  I have to put out there that while this was an easy read, in terms of word length, I would definitely put a trigger warning with this novel. Laurie goes really in depth with Melinda’s thoughts, and clearly displays Melinda’s depression due to a truly horrible incident.

I love shock endings – anything unexpected is absolutely brilliant. I could just be a little slow, but the reasoning for Melinda’s silence is revealed in the final chapters of the book and I was just sorta like

image

ohmygod. And that was a great feeling. It totally explained and justified Melinda’s actions, while still empathizing with her parents – who become very frustrated with her lack of speech.

What I Didn’t Like

Admittedly, there were moments when the storyline could have moved much quicker – which is saying something for a novel with only 208 pages. I felt like Laurie needed a bit of a shove to get to the end, and when it eventually finished, the final chapter came and went very quickly.

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