Sella Malin's Reviews > Speak

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
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Sep 13, 09


This is pretty good. The writing style is great, and Anderson leaves a very stunning and unnerving affect on the reader throughout the book. The main character's reaction to the horrible trauma that happened to her is realistic, and I could really sympathize with her.

But it definitely wasn't as good as Wintergirls. And there were a few things I found trouble with ... the main character was quite flat, along with most of the other characters; the chapter and paragraph formatting was strange and hard to get used to; and the story was uneventful, plotless, and a bit boring. It was all about the emotion, not the plot. Nothing really happened; Anderson just showed Melinda's depression through a drawn-out 198 pages.

Also, the ending was really abrupt and unsatisfactory; when I was reading the book, I was hoping for a much more powerful and definite ending, not the indefinite one Anderson wrote. (One thing that really bothered me about the ending: I was waiting the whole book for Andy to get thrown in jail or something, but at the end he never got the punishment he deserves for all his crimes).

All in all, this book was a good read with some setbacks.

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**EDIT: I just saw the movie. Wow! I'm really impressed! It was amazing. I think that's one of the three closest and most accurate movie adaptations to a book that I have ever seen! (The other two are The Thief Lord and Of Mice and Men). They did a really good job on it! I'm really happy. And Kristen Stewart acted pretty well in it - much better than she did in Twilight. :D
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Quotes Sella Liked

Laurie Halse Anderson
“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.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“It's easier to floss with barbed wire than admit you like someone in middle school.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“CONJUGATE THIS:
I cut class, you cut class, he, she, it cuts class. We cut class, they cut class. We all cut class. I cannot say this in Spanish because I did not go to Spanish today. Gracias a dios. Hasta luego.
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“Gym should be illegal. It's humiliating.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“You have to know what you stand for, not just what you stand against.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“It's easier not to say anything. Shut your trap, button your lip, can it. All that crap you hear on TV about communication and expressing feelings is a lie. Nobody really wants to hear what you have to say.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“This is where you can find your soul if you dare. Where you can touch that part of you that you've never dared look at before. Do not come here and ask me to show you how to draw a face. Ask me to help you find the wind.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“If I ever form a clan, we'll be the anti-cheerleaders and walk under the bleacher forming mild acts of mayhem.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“I wonder how long it would take for anyone to notice if I just stopped talking.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“Art without emotion its like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak
tags: art

Laurie Halse Anderson
“I have never heard a more eloquent silence.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“I have survived. I am here. Confused, screwed up, but here. So, how can I find my way? Is there a chain saw of the soul, an ax I can take to my memories or fears?”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“I need a new friend. I need a friend, period. Not a true friend, nothing close or share clothes or sleepover giggle giggle yak yak. Just a pseudo-friend, disposable friend. Friend as accessory. Just so I don't feel or look so stupid.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“Principal Principal: Where's your late pass, mister?
Errant Student: I'm on my way to get one now.
PP: But you can't be in the hall without a pass.
ES: I know, I'm so upset. That's why I need to hurry, so I can get a pass.
Principal Principal pauses with a look on his face like Daffy Duck's when Bugs is pulling a fast one.
PP: Well, hurry up, then, and get that pass.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“Homework is not an option. My bed is sending out serious nap rays. I can't help myself. The fluffy pillows and warm comforter are more powerful than I am. I have no choice but to snuggle under the covers.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“It's Nathaniel Hawthorne Month in English. Poor Nathaniel. Does he know what they've done to him? We're reading The Scarlet Letter one sentence at a time, tearing it up and chewing on its bones.
It's all about SYMBOLISM, says Hairwoman. Every word chosen by Nathaniel, every comma, every paragraph break -- these were all done on purpose. To get a decent grade in her class, we have to figure out what he was really trying to say. Why couldn't he just say what he meant? Would they pin scarlet letters on his chest? B for blunt, S for straightforward?”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“A little kid asks my dad why that man is chopping down the tree.

Dad: He's not chopping it down. He's saving it. Those branches were long dead from disease. All plants are like that. By cutting off the damage you make it possible for the tree to grow again. You watch - by the end of summer, this tree will be the strongest on the block.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak
tags: life

Laurie Halse Anderson
“I am getting better at smiling when people expect it.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“I know my head isn't screwed on straight. I want to leave, transfer, warp myself to another galaxy. I want to confess everything, hand over the guilt and mistake and anger to someone else. There is a beast in my gut, I can hear it scraping away at the inside of my ribs. Even if I dump the memory, it will stay with me, staining me. My closest is a good thing, a quiet place that helps me hold these thoughts inside my head where no one can hear them.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“Do they choose to be so dense? Were they born that way? I have no friends. I have nothing. I say nothing. I am nothing. ”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“I want to be in fifth grade again. Now, that is a deep dark secret, almost as big as the other one. Fifth grade was easy -- old enough to play outside without Mom, too young to go off the block. The perfect leash length.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“Sometimes I think high school is one long hazy activity: if you are tough enough to survive this, they'll let you become an adult. I hope it's worth it.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“My English teacher has no face. She has uncombed stringy hair that droops on her shoulders. The hair is black from her part to her ears and then neon orange to the frizzy ends. I can't decide if she had pissed off her hairdresser or is morphing into a monarch butterfly. I call her Hairwoman.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“It is my first morning of high school. I have seven new notebooks, a skirt I hate, and a stomachache.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak
tags: speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“My face becomes a Picasso sketch, my body slicing into pieces.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak
tags: etc

Laurie Halse Anderson
“There is something about Christmas that requires a rug rat. Little kids make Christmas fun. I wonder if could rent one for the holidays. When I was tiny we would by a real tree and stay up late drinking hot chocolate and finding just the right place for the special decorations. It seems like my parents gave up the magic when I figured out the Santa lie. Maybe I shouldn't have told them I knew where the presents really came from. It broke their hearts.

I bet they'd be divorced by now if I hadn't been born. I'm sure I was a huge disappointment. I'm not pretty or smart or athletic. I'm just like them- an ordinary drone dressed in secrets and lies. I can't believe we have to keep playacting till I graduate. It's a shame we just can't admit that we have failed at family living, sell the house, split up the money, and get on with our lives. Merry Christmas.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“Who cares what the color means? How do you know what he meant to say? I mean, did he leave another book called "Symbolism in My Books?" If he didn't, then you could just be making all of this up. Does anyone really think this guy sat down and stuck all kinds of hidden meanings into his story? It's just a story.... But I think you are making all of this symbolism stuff up. I don't believe any of it.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“Mr. Freeman sighs. "No imagination. What are you thirteen? Fourteen? You've already let them beat your creativity out of you!”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“I want to make a memorial for our turkey. Never has a bird been so tortured to provide such a lousy dinner.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“be aggressive, BE-BE Aggressive! B-E
A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“I see IT in the hallway. IT goes to Merryweather. IT is walking with Aubrey cheerleader. IT is my nightmare and I can't wake up.IT sees me. IT smiles and winks. Good thing my lips are stitched together or I'd throw up.”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson
“This is wonderful, wonderful! Be the bird. You are the bird. Sacrifice yourself to abandoned family values....”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak


Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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♫Krista♫ I've heard that it's really good. I'm about to pick it up and start reading it, as soon as my teacher approves of me reading it.


Sella Malin Haha awesome. It's pretty good ... wait, why do you need your teacher to approve you of reading it?


♫Krista♫ It's for this whole Honors contract thing that my teacher decided to do. She wants to know what we're reading.


Sella Malin Ooh okay. haha.


Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* Speak ... I liked it, sorta. But I agree, it was kinda boring/predictable. Wintergirls was better. :)


Sella Malin ♥ Brigid ♥ wrote: "Speak ... I liked it, sorta. But I agree, it was kinda boring/predictable. Wintergirls was better. :)"

Yup, it was good but boring and Wintergirls was way better, haha. Hey have you seen the movie Speak? It's really good!


Seth I loved the movie! :) and the book too :) But I have yet to read Wintergirls, but like a milion ppl told me to. I blame my local library


Sella Malin Yeah the movie was amazing! :D OMG you MUST read Wintergirls NOW. Before I kill you. Wintergirls is AMAZING!! It's even better than Speak!! GO READ IT NOW!!!!!!


Bonita kirsten stewart was so awesome in speak! soooo much better than she was in twilight. and so much prettier. i think kirsten stewart's the kind of person who acts as gloomy characters because of her not smiling face and low voice.


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