Wednesday, June 23, 2010


by Laurie Halse Anderson
240 pages
Summary: Melinda is entering her first year of high school as a complete outsider. She is branded as a high school untouchable by not only the entire school but by her best friends as well – all because she called the cops on an end of summer senior party. What no one knows is that she called the cops because she was raped. Melinda’s grades drop and loneliness sets in as she finds it increasingly difficult to speak – why bother anyways right? Ultimately Melinda will face a decision, continue down the spiral she’s on, or speak the truth.

Review: Speak is a story of teenage loneliness and depression, one that is relatable to more than those who are carrying the weight of a secret like Melinda. For many it is the perfect depiction of high school: struggling to fit in, parents and teachers who don’t understand and complete and utter loneliness. The other characters of the novel also add considerable depth and dimension to Speak. Heather, the new girl in school, struggles to fit into new cliques, and the art teacher, Mr Freeman, struggles through his own oppression and demons. What also makes this story stand out against the plethora of other high school narratives is Laurie Halse Anderson’s astonishing ability to verbalize the inner sanctum of the teenage psyche. Her dialogue and narrative is not only dead-on, in some aspects it is poetic. This book comes highly recommended for teenagers and adults alike. The story of Speak is very relevant to today’s young adults, and the style it is written in makes it a fun and easy read. This would be a great addition to a library.

Other books by Laurie Halse Anderson: Chains, and Fever 1793,


Blog designed by Dreamy Blog Designs using Cré@Bisontines Everyday Blessings kit