Rating: 4.5 stars
Clichés in YA are annoying to read about.
Hannah Harrington is an amazing author and can make the most overused clichés work.
Speechless is a unique blend of commonly-used themes, such as high school and bullying, and a very refreshing, new idea: a vow of silence.
The high school environment in Speechless is a huge cliché: the popular kids rule and there's a gorgeous queen bee that can make your life miserable if she chooses. Seriously though, whose high school is actually like that?! I know mine's not. This is a cliché used time and time again in YA, and while I wasn't crazy about it in this book, Harrington still managed to win me over with her magnificent characters.
Chelsea Knot starts off as the typical popular mean girl--the gossiper, the follower. In the beginning, she's the type of character you love to hate. However, as the novel progressed, I fell more and more in love with Chelsea's character. This girl is funny, sassy, and tough as nails. Yes, she made a bad decision, but she chose to do the right thing, despite what it would cost her, and in the face of all the bullying she endured, she kept her head high and she never let it break her.
Despite the fact that she doesn't actually talk to anyone for most of the novel--vow of silence, remember?--I loved her voice. It's so distinct and utterly relatable and very realistic. Chelsea underwent so much character growth throughout the novel and I loved seeing the inner Chelsea overcome the years of social conforming she did to please her so-called best friend.
The side characters were also fantastic. Chelsea's new friends were super cool people that I wished I could meet in real life and while the romance was a bit slow, I liked the development between Chelsea and Sam.
But guys. More importantly... HARPER AND JAKE MAKE A CAMEO APPEARANCE!!
That one little excerpt literally made my day as I read this. :D
All in all:This is a powerful and emotional book and even inspirational book, with interspersed moments of utter hilariousness and garnished with sparkling wit. Hannah Harrington had such a strong debut novel that I worried Speechless wouldn't be able to live up to, but she did it. She's crafted an another spectacular must-read novel that I can't wait to add to my shelf!
*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review