CaliGirlRae's Reviews > Speak

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
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I first became acquainted with Speak via the 2004 movie starring Kristin Stewart (in her pre-Twilight fame), Elizabeth Perkins and Steve Zahn. All gave excellent performances in a wonderful film. I was fascinated by the portrayal of Melinda, a girl who couldn't find her voice or her place in the world after losing her friends when she called the cops at a party last year. As the story goes on, Melinda lives in mostly in her head, narrating and giving commentary that feels very real amidst a fake world. But there is something deeper going on with Melinda and the moment she is able to voice it, she finally finds her voice again.

This was a wonderful novel not only for Young Adults but for Adult readers as well. I found myself chuckling at Melinda's commentary and agreeing with her. There were a few quotes she mentioned that really stuck with me. Things such as:

"Sometimes I think high school is one long hazing activity: if you are tough enough to survive this, they'll let you become an adult. I hope it's worth it."

makes the narrative feel very fresh with a setting and atmospherethat folks of any age can relate to. Laurie Halse Anderson writes in a way that doesn't feel like an adult trying to be a teenager. I sympathized with Melinda and even though I knew what happened to her at the beginning, it was still grappling especially in the end when Melinda is confronted by her attacker.

I listened to this on audio format narrated by Mandy Siegfried who did an amazing job with the voices of the teenagers and the adults. Each character jumps off the page to color Melinda's world. Melinda has an inner strength that is always there despite what happened to her and it was a joy seeing her work toward finding her outer strength.

Speak is going on my keeper shelf. I highly recommend checking this out if you enjoy Young Adult fiction that really colors the life of high school, being an outcast and peer abuse.
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Quotes CaliGirlRae Liked

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
“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
“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
“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


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