Blake's Reviews > Speak

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
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Feb 19, 12

bookshelves: fiction, young-adult
Read in February, 2012

There is always a danger in books that deal with "social issues" that the author will fall into commonly didactic phrasing and drain the blood of a book, rather than infuse it. This is probably even more common in books aimed at younger readers where such a practice is less likely to be picked up on or criticised, but Halse Anderson's Speak is a good example of how to let the material breathe a bit and "speak" for itself.

The themes are common ones and some readers may even think they're objectionably so, but a reflection on the area of life picked out by the writer ought to suggest otherwise. She manages to bring a lot of colour to a presentation more obviously suggesting grey, achieving this by giving her protagonist (also the narrator) a justifiably sardonic sense of humour, and substituting subtle characterisation and understated warmth for the typical overindulgence of sensational effects.
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Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Kristen (new)

Kristen There is no U in color. This is America, damn it!


Blake No, this is Spart...you know what, I'm not even going to finish that joke. These popular cultural references are killing my creativity and I refuse to be an accessory to that murder. It's time to shrug off the oppression of everyone's latest meme and contribute to the world in a constructive way.

Hi Kristen.


message 3: by Kristen (new)

Kristen [image error]


Blake No, you may not have a cheeseburger: you are a cat, and eating said burger might hurry the onset of health problems relating to digestion.

You may have canned tuna or salmon.


message 5: by Chris (new)

Chris Byron I find cats love high doses or mercury


Blake You scare me more and more each day: you're like Britney's career choices.


message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris Byron I mean if you give them a can of tuna....


Blake I'm sure you do. *wink wink* *nudge nudge*

Kristen, where are you? Shouldn't you have popped up with a book about the mating habits of cats by now?


message 9: by Kristen (new)

Kristen I was on vacation, remember I sent you that photo?

And man do I ever have cat books to recommend! Oh, wait, did you actually want to list them, that sounds like a lot of work.


Blake Recommendations will be fine, but what's important is the follow-through. Do you know what happens to people who don't follow through? They get accused of lacking follow-through.


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