Colleen's Reviews > Speak

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
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Nov 20, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: a-great-book-and-a-great-movie, young-adult-books
Read in November, 2011

I know they're about different subjects, but Speak succeeds in many ways that Thirteen Reason Why does not. First of all, and most importantly--yeah!--Speak is narrated by 14-year-old Melinda in a BELIEVABLE teenage girl's voice. Secondly, while I was never quite sure what happened to Hannah that was so bad in Thirteen Reasons Why, it certainly becomes clear in Speak why Melinda has retreated within herself and become an Outcast at her high school. She is blamed for making a phone call to police that resulted in the break-up of a wild party, inadvertently causing a lot of trouble for many of her classmates. But the call was made for a reason so different than anyone thinks. And Melinda has buried it deep within herself. But as the story unfolds that reason begins to bubble to the surface. Spiteful classmates and uninvolved parents may stomp Melinda down, but her art teacher sees ways to bring her out of her shell, both artistically and emotionally. Belief in her artistic abilities allows her to become emotionally stronger and able to confront the evil she has experienced. And speaking of evil, one classmate is particularly so. But he is portrayed so one-dimensional that his about-face at the end isn't very believable. Unfortunately, the author seemed to go for a TV-movie ending (as if she knew that was coming) rather than a truthful one. That's the only reason I didn't give this 5 stars. I'd highly recommend that any teen, even EVERY teen, read this.
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11/29/2016 marked as: read

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