jess's Reviews > Speak

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
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Sep 06, 11

bookshelves: 2011, audiobook-d, yaf, ladyish
Read in August, 2011

I went through that "goodreads recommends" feature where they tell you the most popular book amongst your friends - and this was on there. So, I read it. My experience of this book might have been biased because it was the third in an unintentional series of books I read about young women (teen girls, really) being sexually assaulted. I was feeling a little emotionally raw.

This is a typical, albeit well-written story about a teenage girl who is just going through the motions of high school while carrying a tremendous burden of a secret. Her friends stopped speaking to her after she called the cops at a party over the summer. Melinda is selectively silent as she moves through her day, refusing to speak in class, to her parents, to certain ex-friends and high school administrators. The book has a lot of internal processing, which wore me down over the course of the book. I would say it was a pedantic Two Star rating until the last few chapters when Melinda "finds her voice" and "breaks her silence" (note: deliberate inappropriate use of quotation marks because I felt like the metaphors were so heavy). The story became actually pretty empowering for a sexual assault survivor in those last few triumphant pages, though, so I felt like this was a solid three star read. This could be useful for a teen to read... maybe not necessarily as an outlet for processing and healing from your own experiences but more to help develop empathy / sympathy, to learn to be a better listener or a better friend to someone who is going thru it.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Laura (new)

Laura You haven't read Speak?? Read it, read it, read it!


jess Laura wrote: "You haven't read Speak?? Read it, read it, read it!"

Ha. I went through that "goodreads recommends" feature where they tell you the most popular book amongst your friends - and this was on there. I was like, "hmm?" So. I will read it in a month or two.


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