Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson




*In Honor of banned books week*

Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Pages: 230
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. 

12 comments:

  1. I agree with you that this is a must read. It blew me away when I read it.

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  2. This book made me so mad! I couldn't believe Melinda's parents didn't know something was wrong. I felt so bad for her; it was heartbreaking. Anderson made me feel like I was in high school again; it felt that real to me.

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  3. I have not yet read this one, but I have heard from many that it is a very powerful and thought-provoking read. It does indeed sound like something I really need to read and discuss with my daughter, who has already read it. I enjoyed your very heartfelt review. You did a great job with it!

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  4. I haven't read this book but I definitely want to. I did watch the movie and it totally looks like a book that needs to be read. Thanks for the review.

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  5. Aww, this one sounds so amazing! :) I'm really big against bullying too, and sometimes I feel like the subject doesn't get as much attention as it deserves. Melinda sounds like such an awesome character and this sounds like an awesome book! I'm definitely adding it to my TBR list!

    Awesome review, Mrs. Q! I'm so glad you liked this one & that you're as anti-bullying as I am. :)

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  6. I liked this much more than I thought I would. That writing style doesn't always work. Thanks for the review!

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  7. This one had a powerful story to tell but the writing style fell flat for me. I realize I am in the minority though!

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  8. This book was so heartbreaking. I wanted to shake Melinda at times and tell her, "SAY SOMETHING!" But I hope it is able to give the words to other girls who might go through the same thing.

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  9. I loved how this book was written. The bare bones harsh style emphasized Melinda's depression and isolation. It was pretty depressing to read, but I really respected it.

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  10. We have a copy of this in our home since my youngest two had to read this for school. Funny some schools banned it while others incorporated it into the curriculum.

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  11. i tried to read this book a while ago, but it was a little too bland, and i was into more, um, exciting reads, so i put it back on my shelf. i really need to get back to it, if your review's any indication! i even won it during the whole Speak Loudly controversary last year--and now's the perfect time to read it. :)

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  12. You have a nice review! Here's mine: http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/07/speak-by-laurie-halse-anderson.html Have a nice day!

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