Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Speak” as Want to Read:
Speak
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Speak

by
3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  348,567 Ratings  ·  17,383 Reviews
The first ten lies they tell you in high school.

"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, le
...more
Hardcover, 198 pages
Published October 22nd 1999 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Speak, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Uma Therman
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Kylie George This is so tough! They are a little bit similar but so entirely different! In my opinion, I liked Speak better than Perks just because it resonated…moreThis is so tough! They are a little bit similar but so entirely different! In my opinion, I liked Speak better than Perks just because it resonated with me more. I felt a deeper connection and it touched me more emotionally. So I'd go with Speak, but they are both beautiful books.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Madeline
"THE FIRST TEN LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL
1. We are here to help you.
2. You will have enough time to get to your class before the bell rings.
3. The dress code will be enforced.
4. No smoking is allowed on school grounds.
5. Our football team will win the championship this year.
6. We expect more of you here.
7. Guidance counselors are always available to listen.
8. Your schedule was created with your needs in mind.
9. Your locker combination is private.
10. These will be the years you will look b
...more
Veronica Roth
Much has been said about how important this book is for teens, particularly those who have experienced what Melinda experiences, and I agree with that. But what I was surprised to discover as I read it was that I really enjoyed it, apart from its "message". It did not beat me over the head with its depressing-ness--it was understated, not unbearable. Likewise, even the message wasn't heavy-handed. Melinda's voice is rich, authentic, and often funny. Despite its tendency toward description and ...more
Cara
Jul 14, 2014 Cara rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cara by: Ash
Once I finished reading the last word I knew I was going to reread it. Yes that profound.

Honest. Authentic. Real. Use all those words and their synonyms and you have this book. I literally wanted to hop into the sea of words and tell Melinda Sordino " I'll be your friend! Don't despair !" Alas I couldn't do that though. I had to see her struggle. It's painful but since I watched the movie (which was done well by the way) first before reading the book I knew where she was coming from. Melinda's
...more
Maddie
Jul 12, 2016 Maddie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ALL AGES - Can read this Gem!

According to me a Prologue or the 1st Chapter of a book is THE reflection

Be Tougher Than Your Life Is - 2016 Motivation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyDlB...


Herewith my review!

description

Type of Characters and my choices according to pictures! :

Eminem - Not Afraid
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5-yK...


description
Relationship development
description

Chapter Development

This book made me cry, and laugh and cry!!

I had WTF moments, laughing moments then sobbing like a baby moments.

I did not know
...more
Maureen
Sep 04, 2015 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5
This is such an important book for the content and message it presents. The writing was fantastic and Melinda was such an interesting character to read. I didn't totally LOVE everything about it, but overall it was a fantastic book.
Jessica Abarquez
Nov 29, 2016 Jessica Abarquez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laurie
Jan 07, 2014 Laurie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily May
Nov 30, 2016 Emily May rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teens
Shelves: young-adult, 2011

I didn't think I'd be so gripped by this book but the author captures the pains and troubles of everyday high school life with such honesty and emotion that I couldn't help recognise half the characters from my own high school days. There's Rachel, the ex best friend who's had a personality transplant over the summer... Heather, the temporary friend who's only waiting to be snapped up my a cooler clique... and, of course, the protagonist who doesn't quite fit in anywhere.

The beauty of this novel
...more
Mary
Nov 29, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Get me a Delorean! I'm giving this book to myself and every girl I knew ten years ago!
Shelves: ya
Wow. I started reading this to entertain myself on a long subway ride home at 2 am, thinking I'd skim a bit and start reading it the next day. The next time I looked at the clock it was five in the morning and I was devouring the last lines of the novel. It is dangerously, fantastically gripping, not necessarily because the plot is so amazing, but because Anderson gets Melinda's voice so very, very right. Melinda is such a thoughtfully rendered portrait of a smart, funny, terribly depressed ...more
Thomas
"Speak" is about Melinda Sordino, an angst-filled freshman who is hated by all of her "best friends" because she called the cops during the end of the summer senior party. Everyone got busted. Her parents aren't much help either, always fighting about what's best for Melinda and communicating through post-it notes on the refrigerator wall. These are only a few of the things that have Melinda depressed. When what really happened at the senior party is revealed, it will be easy, although painful, ...more
April (Aprilius Maximus)
*3.5 STARS*
Hmmmm I can definitely see how important this book is and would have been at the time of its publication, but the thing is, I was bored until the last 30 pages. I felt really disconnected to the story and I don't know why. I am so glad that books like this exist in the YA genre though, and that this one was around a long time ago because these things happen and really do need to be discussed. Such an important message.
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I know. A ton of people liked this book. I'm giving this crap a one star though.


I never did connect with this books main character. I finally was to the point where I didn't give a shit anymore when the big reveal came about why she was having so many problems. I felt somewhat sorry for her then but it still just didn't pull through enough for me.
Kat (Lost in Neverland)


I liked Speak. For the most part.
Mostly the end.
The majority of the book was pretty bland. I had a voice in my head pestering me and saying; "Oh my god, who the fuck cares?!"

Thankfully, it paid off in the end. The ending really made the book for me.

Though I wish Melinda had given Andy (aka IT) a good kick in the balls.

description

Indeed.


www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaXd2AmWtPI&a...

I'm sorry, I'm having WAY too much fun with this!

But when you watch it, it's actually quite close to a situation in the boo
...more
Louize
Nov 29, 2016 Louize rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, especially parents
Recommended to Louize by: Apokripos
"When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time."

Silence dominates Melinda Sordino’s freshman year in Merryweather High School. A recent traumatic experience that led to a very complicated misunderstanding sent a sudden collapse on her being. Aside from being completely mute in public, Melinda’s private and social life is in ruins. Slowly, she began to lose interest in everything, including her family and school. If possible, she also wants to lose the memory of that trauma
...more
karen
Nov 29, 2016 karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mark-harmon
bleg. greg loooooved this book and said it made him wish he had written his own angst-books in high school, but i was a teenage girl and he wasnt, and this just didnt do it for me. its not poorly written at all, i just have never liked books that were about clique-y high schools because i couldnt relate to them at all. maybe i just went to a smaller, or a nicer, high school. but i can definitely see the value of this for a teen reader, and i really liked the authors note on censorship at the ...more
Ariel
Oct 25, 2014 Ariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very powerful book: it deals with rape and depression in one of the most realistic and poignant ways I've read. I rated it 4.5.

The only reason I didn't give it a 5 was because I could not see myself in Melinda. I am very self-aware and I know that I would not have responded in any of the same ways that she did. This does not devalue any of the book though. I could still absolutely empathize with Melinda, I completely understood and appreciated her.

One of the things that I most enjoyed
...more
Tamora Pierce
Dec 12, 2013 Tamora Pierce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-yr, contemporary
I just re-read SPEAK for the first time since it came out, so you know I'd forgotten the details of the story. I remembered it being a harder read this time than it was the first time. I'm not sure if knowledge of the big reveal made the tension bigger for me this time, but I still have to say this is a smashing read.

Melinda called the cops on a wild end-of-summer party before she started ninth grade, and now she doesn't have a friend in the world except new girl Heather, who has plans for getti
...more
Hailey (HaileyInBookland)
Updating to add a trigger warning which I really should've before
*TRIGGER WARNING FOR RAPE*
I debated for a long time what to rate this and decided on 4 stars because this book honestly perfectly captures the thoughts and feelings that run through your head when you go through a situation like Melinda's. This book was extremely hard for me to read as it hit very, very close to home and for that reason, I just couldn't give it 5 stars.
Mon
Maybe I'm being too cynical, and that the protagonist (I forgot her name already, so I'm just going to call her Jane) did go through something worth lamenting for 200 pages. But for God's sake just because your character is a silent withdrawn introvert doesn't mean your plot has to be the same, it's 150 pages of nothing then BAM! she speaks up! finds courage! The end!!!! LOOK MY HEART IS BLEEDING AND YOU CAN HEAR MY SCREAMS BECAUSE IM LITERALLY TALKING LIKE THIS!!!!! This has to be the worst ...more
Elizabeth
Dec 05, 2011 Elizabeth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bleak YA novel that tries to be a cautionary tale. Worse, it was assigned reading for our #1 in her Language Arts class. Students were asked to read this book for a bullying unit.

?

Um, this is not a story about bullying. It is about the injustice of RAPE (though it never addresses the particular damage of rape). Instead it is the story of a young girl who is so disconnected from everyone that she is unable to speak after being assaulted until her rapist targets her ex best friend. She tells no on
...more
Aj the Ravenous Reader
More like a synopsis than a review. Lol. ^^

The title of this book intrigued me and somehow demanded me to read the book. My intuition that I will not regret reading this book did not fail me because this book tells of an inspiring and touching story of a young girl, Melinda who lost herself, her confidence and her ability to speak after she was raped by the most popular senior a year ago.

Because of her inability to speak, Melinda loses her best friend who thought that she was betrayed by Meli
...more
Priscilla
Jan 12, 2014 Priscilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing, and inspiring read!

Initial thoughts:
1. Melinda's voice is snarky, sarcastic, and cynical. I loved it! (I was conflicted about liking her voice because I didn't know if this was innate to Melinda's personality, or transformed after the party).
2. I really liked reading the day to day aspects of Melinda's school year. Great and different moments, from the sad and frustrating, to the fun and inspiring. Not overly dramatic.
3. Beautifully written. Heartfelt and emotional.
4. Loved the symbo
...more
Scarlet
Page 78:
Maybe I’ll be an artist if I grow up.

The first time I read this line, I knew there was something wrong with it, but I couldn’t put a finger on it. I read it again, it bugged me more, and it was quite a while before I figured out why.

Melinda says she’ll be an artist if she grows up, and not when she grows up.

*goosebumps*

And it’s exactly things like these – small evasive things with chilling implications – that make Speak such an incredibly powerful book.

Speak is the story of high schoole
...more
Vitor Martins
Apesar do livro criar um mistério sobre o assunto, acredito que não seja spoiler deixar claro o seguinte: Fale! é um livro sobre estupro.

Vamos acompanhar a vida de Melinda depois de ter sido abusada. Como ela lida com isso na escola, como ela guarda seus sentimentos pra si e como isso faz mal pra ela.



Apesar do tema pesado, a protagonista tem um senso de humor muito único. Dei várias risadinhas durante a leitura e me apeguei muito a ela.
Gostei muito do respeito da autora ao tratar desse tema, a
...more
Kwesi 章英狮
Nov 29, 2016 Kwesi 章英狮 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kwesi 章英狮 by: Iyah
Before everything else, I don't have any idea that this award winning book really exist in the realm of books and another reason, is that I am a big fan of reading award winning literature for children and young adult that I never heard of Speak or Lauri Halse Anderson. But after I met a group of YA fanatic and a not-really-a-hater reader of this book, they discussed it while I'm listening to their reactions, good and bad comments and different interpretation of the book while I'm trying to focu ...more
Melissa Marr
Feb 21, 2009 Melissa Marr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is, quite simply, one of the best YA books ever written.
Greg
I really liked this book. Karen may disagree, and say that I didn't grow up as a teenage girl so I can't judge the accuracy of how this book is, but I can counter with this girl would never be judged Prom Queen, so Karen might be coming at a view of High School from a slightly different angle.

Now, as someone who went through roughly 27 months (this would be from November 1989 to January 1992) completely friendless (I am not exaggerating, I had no friends during this time, not even other loser f
...more
Stephanie
Sep 18, 2016 Stephanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished-2015, ya
“When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time.”

Speak tells the story of Melinda, a high school freshman, coming to grips with an unreported assault. Melinda has told no one of this assault -- not even her family or friends. In addition, Melinda's unexplained actions (of calling the police to report the party where the event occurred), have turned all of the kids in school against her -- so she has no friends at this point in time.

Melinda turns completely inward and won't
...more
Ömer
Dec 23, 2015 Ömer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5/5

Onlarca erkeğin tecavüzüne uğrayan çocuk için "rızası varmış" kararı verilen, okuldan eve dönerken iğrenç bir şekilde katledilen kız için "o saatte dışarıda ne işi varmış" denen bir ülkede yaşıyorsanız bu kitabı okumak boynunuzun borcu. Kitap yorumu için:

http://kronikokur.blogspot.com.tr/201...
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Future Teachers, ...: Review #6 Julia Borchers 1 1 Nov 19, 2016 07:15AM  
Future Teachers, ...: Review 6 1 2 Nov 10, 2016 03:33AM  
the lifetime movie 55 304 Oct 29, 2016 08:16PM  
Melinda's Parents 3 15 Oct 29, 2016 08:11PM  
  • Stuck in Neutral
  • A Step from Heaven
  • True Believer (Make Lemonade, #2)
  • The First Part Last (Heaven, #2)
  • Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes
  • Sold
  • Repossessed
  • The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things
  • Fat Kid Rules the World
  • Punkzilla
  • Keesha's House
  • The Kingdom on the Waves (The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, #2)
  • Postcards from No Man's Land
  • What I Saw and How I Lied
  • Crank (Crank, #1)
  • Marcelo in the Real World
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
  • America
10003

Ask box is open, my friends! What do you want to know?

UPDATE!

The final book in my thrilling historical trilogy about the American Revolution, ASHES, will be published October 4, 2016!


I recently answered all kinds of great questions over at Reddit. Check it out for loads about my writing process and my books:https://www.reddit.com/r/books/commen...

For bio stuff: Laurie Halse Anderson is the New Yor
...more
More about Laurie Halse Anderson...

Share This Book



113 trivia questions
1 quiz
More quizzes & trivia...
“THE FIRST TEN LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL

1. We are here to help you.
2. You will have time to get to your class before the bell rings.
3. The dress code will be enforced.
4. No smoking is allowed on school grounds.
5. Our football team will win the championship this year.
6. We expect more of you here.
7. Guidance counselors are always available to listen.
8. Your schedule was created with you in mind.
9. Your locker combination is private.
10. These will be the years you look back on fondly.

TEN MORE LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL

1. You will use algebra in your adult lives.
2. Driving to school is a privilege that can be taken away.
3. Students must stay on campus during lunch.
4. The new text books will arrive any day now.
5. Colleges care more about you than your SAT scores.
6. We are enforcing the dress code.
7. We will figure out how to turn off the heat soon.
8. Our bus drivers are highly trained professionals.
9. There is nothing wrong with summer school.
10. We want to hear what you have to say.”
7680 likes
“You have to know what you stand for, not just what you stand against.” 3233 likes
More quotes…