*In Honor of banned books week*
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Source: Personal Copy
Melinda Sordino is a typical high school teenager. She's entered the 9th grade and she harbors a huge secret, one that is tearing her apart. Her first summer high school party ended with Melinda calling the police and she is labelled as an outcast. She can't speak to her friends, they're not talking to her, they consider her a snitch and tease her every chance she gets. She can't speak to her parents, they're never home and Melinda is left alone, money left on the table to order food. She has no one to turn to, she trusts no one. Melinda said nothing when students threw food at her, she said nothing when her best friend turned on her and told her she 'hated' her, she said nothing when she was abandoned by all. While everyone else seems to go on with their lives, Melinda is stuck. She's stuck with her secret, she is stuck in her life. Melinda said nothing...
I first heard about this book during 'Banned Books' week in 2010. I thought I really should read this one for myself, and then form an opinion on it. Honestly, this is a must read. High School for many teenagers is a bully's playground. In this novel we really understand that Melinda is facing depression, anxiety, angst, and fear. While she wants to say something, she feels that she has no one to say it to. She is alone is a world that is out to get her. I loved how the novel really gets into Melinda's mind. The reader really sees the complex emotions she is dealing with. Written in the first-person view point, readers will feel Melinda's isolation and immerse themselves into her world. Speak is a realistic and relatable book. This is a very unique coming-of-age story. One that I'm sure will help teenagers in similar situations. Speak tackles a very difficult subject that should not be ignored. When I hear about young teenagers and pre-teens committing suicide because of bullying, it breaks my heart. Bullying is on a much wider scale, teenagers are more easily accessible and parents are not around as much as before. I highly recommend this one.