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Speak: The Graphic Novel

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The modern classic Speak is now a graphic novel.

"Speak up for yourself—we want to know what you have to say."

From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless—an outcast—because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. Through her work on an art project, she is finally able to face what really happened that night: She was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her.

372 pages, Hardcover

First published February 6, 2018

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About the author

Laurie Halse Anderson

72 books16.3k followers

UPDATE! SHOUT, my memoir in verse, is out, has received 9 starred reviews, and was longlisted for the National Book Award!


For bio stuff: Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author whose writing spans young readers, teens, and adults. Combined, her books have sold more than 8 million copies. Her new book, SHOUT, a memoir-in-verse about surviving sexual assault at the age of thirteen and a manifesta for the #MeToo era, has received widespread critical acclaim and appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for seven consecutive weeks.

Laurie has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award four times. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists, and Chains was short-listed for the prestigious Carnegie medal. Two more books, Shout and The Impossible Knife of Memory, were long-listed for the National Book Award. Laurie was selected by the American Library Association for the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award and has been honored for her battles for intellectual freedom by the National Coalition Against Censorship and the National Council of Teachers of English.

In addition to combating censorship, Laurie regularly speaks about the need for diversity in publishing and is a member of RAINN’s National Leadership Council. She lives in Philadelphia, where she enjoys cheesesteaks while she writes. Find out more about Laurie by following her on Twitter at @halseanderson, Instagram at halseanderson, and Facebook at lauriehalseanderson, or by visiting her website, madwomanintheforest.com.

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5 stars
9,167 (56%)
4 stars
4,982 (30%)
3 stars
1,512 (9%)
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225 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,594 reviews
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,609 reviews4,999 followers
March 5, 2020
Content warnings: sexual assault, self-harm, depression, anxiety, PTSD, victim-shaming

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

I first picked up a copy of Speak at the library some time in the very early 2000s, when I wish I’d been too young to know how the world worked, the ways in which it chewed children up and spat them back out. Sadly, I was one of many children who learned these things early, and Speak made me feel acknowledged. I remember thinking, for the first time, that someone understood me, and I will never, ever let go of the special place that feeling carved out in my heart for this famous little story. When I found out that one of my favorite graphic novel artists was taking it on for a new spin, I had to have it, and I literally sat down to devour it the moment I opened the package.

“I wonder how long it would take for anyone to notice if I just stopped talking.”

Unfortunately, Laurie Halse Anderson speaks from a place of understanding and experience on this topic, but it shines through in how authentic the events of Speak feel. The story not only discusses the ramifications of rape and how Melinda views her attacker now – especially in a scenario when a victim is forced to continue interacting with their abuser – but it also touches on the depression that can come along with the event, and the ways those feelings manifest themselves for many victims: isolation, silence, anger, self-harm, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, and apathy for anything in life that isn’t crucial to survival.

“I have never heard a more eloquent silence.”

While the story itself is as wonderful and haunting as it always has been, Emily Carroll’s artwork genuinely takes things to a new level. She manages to depict small things that don’t come across as so important in the text – like Melinda’s nervous tics, or the way she views herself as an endangered rabbit when the vicious wolf (her attacker) is near. When it comes to the heaviest and darkest scenes, Emily manages to convey the hurt and fear without going overboard on graphic depictions. There is one panel, in fact, that is so subtle, but left me breathless because it so perfectly portrays the helpless claustrophobia that comes with facing one’s attacker.

“It happened. There is no avoiding it, no forgetting. No running away, or flying, or burying, or hiding.”

I could tell you, for those of you who haven’t experienced Speak before, that there’s a silver lining, or a lightly humorous subplot to cut through the grime, or a perfectly happy ending, but none of that would be true. Laurie Halse Anderson is too authentic for that. This isn’t a story about a girl who happens to have been raped; this is a book about rape, and the tragic things it can do to a survivor’s psyche. I recommend the utmost caution when proceeding with this story, in its original format or this new graphic novel style, but I also have to say that I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.2k followers
November 8, 2018
"I said no."--Melinda

11/8/18: Three times read in one year??! But this is how you can build up your Goodreads numbers, kids. . . :) In my Fall YA class we read the original 1999 by Anderson and in our discussion of the book we drew some of Emily Carroll's images and talked about how that felt, and what we thought illustrator Emily Carroll was trying to accomplish by adding images to the story. A couple of my students preferred the original book (with no pictures). This might be a typical English major perspective, where people usually prefer books to movies or comics versions, but I like this a lot. The art adds a layer of real life horror to it that the book implies but leaves unsaid. The images "speak" it, which works for me because sometimes trauma can be really un-speakable, at least in words. Psychologist Robert Coles wrote a book, Children of Crisis, about his work with African American children who had been traumatized by racist treatment when they were integrating schools in the American South. The children wouldn't talk, but they drew.

7/12/18: Just re-read this for my summer 2018 Graphic novels/comics class focused on kick-ass girls. Everyone in my class loved it and it sparked some great talk about the rarity of talking about real life issues in English classrooms. Some are future teachers and can't wait to teach it.

3/27/18: Ooh, I just finished this and can't wait to tell you about it! As I said in my review of Speak, (the version without illustrations, the YA book that was published in 1999 by Anderson), it was a landmark moment in the history of YA, a book about (teen) rape, and it changed YA and the teaching of literature in school forever. (Yes, sexual violence had been part of literature before, but bringing to the English classroom YA on sexual violence--and to suggest it might be a daily occurrence for teens--was new). Speak is now in the canon of YA and is (still) taught everywhere. The book is surprisingly bright and funny and witty and caustic when it needs to be, and scary all the way through. It tells us some important things about the culture of schooling and sexual harassment/abuse in the hallways (especially) for girls. Trigger warnings on rape and self abuse are relevant, I'll admit that, but I hope if you can read it, you will be able to get some comfort and inspiration from it. I have kids in this house in middle school, and I hope they will all read it.

This graphic novel, in this #metoo moment in history, is also a publishing landmark. We didn't maybe "need" it in graphic novel fashion, but this project joins forces of 1) a woman already lauded for her lifetime contributions to YA, who has written many celebrated novels (though none in my opinion as powerful or as personal as this one), and 2) an up-and-coming and also to-be-rock-star cartoonist and illustrator Emily Carroll (who is already an Eisner Award winner). This brings Anderson's important story back into the spotlight and/or introduces it to a new generation of girls. No, it doesn't "replace" the original, but is a very good version.

The graphic novel format is right for this book because 1) for much of the book, Melinda is essentially silent, so Carroll's/Melinda's visual images speak for her in the absence of words, and 2) Melinda's salvation happens through Mr. Freeman's art class, and 3) Carroll knows horror, and the real-life, inexpressible horror that Melinda experiences and struggles to articulate is assisted so well by a horror-maven to tell her story.

I love how an earlier raped and silenced "caged bird" Maya Angelou serves in this work as muse to Melinda. Powerful!

I just finished it, and I was moved again (in spite of having taught the book without pictures many many times) as I finished it. Was it perfect? No. I felt throughout that this was often more illustrated story than graphic novel (Anderson kept maybe too many of her good words in it; I think Carroll should have had an even greater hand in telling this story through the images, since Melinda was silent so long, but still, the words and images we have are great and will reach some girls and women (and boys and men, necessarily) and maybe help them to consider the original, fuller, text. But even if this is all anyone reads, it may be enough. A work of graphic art by an emerging master.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,709 reviews31.6k followers
July 19, 2019
“It happened. There is no avoiding it, no forgetting. No running away, or flying, or burying, or hiding.”

The graphic novel of Speak was equal parts beautiful and devastating. The art work was wonderful, but the story hurt my heart. I haven’t actually read the book, so it was new to me. This is by no means an easy read, but I think it’s one that needs to be read.
Profile Image for Mara YA Mood Reader.
332 reviews262 followers
March 17, 2020
TW: Illustrations of self-harm, rape, depression

This graphic novel version of Speak is absolutely incredible. The graphics are triggering and jarring, I felt it was quite bold to illustrate scenes of rape and self harm and it rather shocked me to see that, especially in a YA novel.

But it was also moving. I felt a lot while reading this. More so than when I had watched the film adaptation years ago. The depictions of Melinda’s wrists being held down and mouth covered were jarring and brought tears to my eyes.

I felt, even in graphic form, the content was handled very well. Where one can learn from Melinda’s story, and awareness of consent, dubious consent and coercion is experienced through a realistic situation.


Profile Image for emilie.❤.
85 reviews10 followers
February 17, 2018
If you're a fan of the original novel, you are going to adore the graphic novel.

The art is flawless. Every setting, character and emotion looks just how I pictured them. Kristen Stewart was great in the movie, though the Melinda depicted here is more accurate to how she briefly described herself in the book. I enjoyed the little background details, like Melinda's tree sketches on her bedroom walls and the TV in the living room during Christmas.

While I have never experienced assault myself and cannot begin to imagine what that's like, I feel the art captured depression very well. The long, quiet days that always feel like winter. Only being able to see a smudge, or an empty shell of a person in the mirror. The voices in your head. The feeling of constantly wanting to crawl in bed and not come out. Seeing those emotions expressed in the book and then vividly brought to life through pictures made me tear up...more than once. Emily Carroll did a wonderful job and I'll be checking out more of her work in the future.

Since Speak was published in 1999, making it almost 20 years old, expect to find a few up-to-date references. They're brief and definitely not obnoxious. There are references to Instagram, Nutella, and the inclusion of smart phones. The book doesn't feel dated at all to me, though a lot of teens today might find the lack of internet a little jarring. I'm glad the graphic novel gave it just a touch of modernization without feeling awkward or too "fellow kids."

All this to say, this version is amazing and I'm very happy with how everything turned out. The story is important, timeless, and its message needs to be spread. I'd highly recommend this for school libraries and anyone who was touched by Melinda's story. You won't be disappointed!

Profile Image for Rachel Reads Ravenously.
1,788 reviews2,131 followers
September 3, 2018
4 stars!

I read this based on a recommendation from a coworker and I really enjoyed it. Speak was a book that came out when I was in middle school and I remember reading and loving it at the time. So much so I even have the movie with Kristen Stewart on DVD. Hardcore, I know LOL.

So 15ish years later and reading the graphic novel reminded me of why I love this story and the character of Melinda and her struggle. I feel she represents a lot of girls and women, too many sadly. But she's empathic and relatable and what happened to her shouldn't happen to anyone.

I also really like how the graphic novel subtly modernized the novel, adding in cell phones and making this story up to date without being too obvious.

A solid read, I recommend it to everyone who enjoyed the original book.


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Profile Image for Kelli.
844 reviews389 followers
May 28, 2019
5 stars for the simple fact that this exists. It is desperately needed and in graphic novel form, it presents a different, deeper story than the original by illustrating what the silent victim-turned-survivor is feeling. Any and all resources are sorely needed to help our children navigate trauma. This book will help others heal the broken parts of themselves and feel less alone.
Profile Image for Prabhjot Kaur (Away).
1,030 reviews134 followers
August 13, 2021
CW- rape, depression, self-harm, toxic friends, bullying, isolation.

Nobody really wants to hear what you have to say.

Melinda is an outcast at her high school. She has no friends until she meets the new girl from Ohio, Heather, and they sort of become friends. Melinda doesn't really speak to anyone including her parents. She's the only child. Her grades are deteriorating except for art. She likes art and is trying to draw the perfect tree.

Perfect trees don't exist. Nothing is perfect, and flaws are interesting.
Be the tree.


She gets detention and she sees this guy (she thinks of him as IT) in the detention and then she starts improving her grades as she doesn't want to be around the guy. It is revealed that that guy had raped her at a party and the reason she's an outcast is because she called the cops to that party and all the kids blame her for shutting down the party.

It has to go away eventually.

Heather wants to be in a popular group so she leaves Melinda. When her ex-best friend, Rachel starts to date IT, she sends her an anonymous note but Rachel still keeps seeing the guy. Slowly Melinda starts to pick up her own pieces and starts to understand that it's not her fault.

What does it feel like to walk in a new skin?

I feel like my skin has been burned off.

I haven't read the original book and I haven't watched the movie based on this. I picked this up for my YA week and I didn't know anything about this going in. I don't know if my review is going to do any justice to how much this graphic novel moved me because wow! this was such a powerful read. I cried so much and kudos to the writer for sharing this as it is based on her own story. I wish there were more books like these as these are much much needed.

I ride like I have wings.

And art in this was anything beyond. It is all black and white and I felt the illustrations told an equally impressive and moving story as the words did. A must read for anyone and everyone.

I survived.

5 stars
Profile Image for PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps .
2,260 reviews214 followers
October 14, 2018
SPEAK is one of the most important books ever written for young adults. It was a first dealing with date rape, years before #MeToo . Laurie Halse Anderson captured Melinda’s quiet vulnerability and burgeoning voice with enough sarcasm to feel authentic, making Melinda’s pain even more poignant.

Because of Melinda’s artwork and art as a metaphor, SPEAK transfers seamlessly to a graphic novel. Emily Carroll’s illustrations brought the characters to life. I’ve seen the movie, listened to the audio and read the book countless times, so Carroll’s drawings could have felt “wrong” if she hadn’t imagined the people as Anderson depicted them. Carroll’s Melinda looked different than Kristen Steward in the movie and seemed different than the reader in the audio version, but she **was** just as much Melinda.

SPEAK is only the second graphic novel I’ve read, so while I’m not an expert, I can say that I LOVED it. My only complaint was that the formatting on my kindle was a bit tricky*. Viewing was landscape, which was fine, but I would have liked to be able to enlarge some of the pages with greater ease. Even my aging eyes could read all the words, but I had to strain a bit.

*i reread on my kindle app for iPad and the book was much easier in maneuver.
Profile Image for Katie Colson.
603 reviews5,226 followers
January 11, 2022
reading vlog: https://youtu.be/AXpfik6Q72g

Um, the illustration is ✨STUNNING✨ Emily Carroll does not MISS.

The story, while important, it slow and meandering. It creeps along and gets confusing and contradicts itself at times.
Profile Image for Patricia Bejarano.
434 reviews5,292 followers
November 5, 2018
Cuéntalo es una novela gráfica que me ha encantando de principio a fin.
Aviso que es una historia muy dura, pero aún así muy necesaria y que me ha apasionado de principio a fin. Es difícil ya de por sí plasmar este tipo de historias, y más en una novela gráfica, pero tanto la autora ha adaptado su libro a la perfección a guión de novela gráfica y los dibujos son increíbles, y ha sido apasionante leerlo así, ya que el arte en sí es muy importante para nuestra protagonista, que después de un altercado durante el verano, todos sus compañeros la odian y la han convertido en una marginada. Ir descubriendo qué pasó y cómo eso afectó a Melinda es indescriptible.
Yo ya sabía de qué iba la historia, vi la película hace muchísimos años (protagonizada por una jovencísima Kristen Stewart) y aún así, la novela gráfica me ha sorprendido. Sin duda es MUY NECESARIA y trata temas complejos de una manera directa y sin tapujos, pero que cala muy hondo en el lector.
Sin duda os la recomiendo muchísimo. No es solo una de las mejores novelas gráficas que he leído, sino también uno de los mejores libros que he podido leer. IMPRESIONANTE.
Profile Image for Schizanthus Nerd.
1,117 reviews226 followers
June 20, 2019
If ever a story seemed destined to become a graphic novel, it’s Speak, which I finally read for the first time less than two months ago, and it was everything! I feared I’d Humpty Dumpty while reading Speak, which is why it took so long for me to gather the courage to finally begin reading it. I wish I’d had a Speak to tell me I wasn’t alone when I was Melinda’s age.

I asked my library to buy this graphic novel for me and they did! I love my library! I was under the delusion that I’d read this once and then move on. Hah! As if I wasn’t going to then buy a copy for myself immediately so I could reread it to my heart’s content!

Much like my experience with the novel I kept the graphic novel near me, planning to read it all month, but once again I was afraid of Humpty Dumptying. It’s due tomorrow and someone else has reserved it so I could avoid it no longer. But like Speak before it, it was AMAZING!!!

I’m left with a cacophony of exclamations fighting to be the loudest in my head:

”Where has this graphic novel been my whole life?!”

“Everyone need to read this!”

“How different could my life have been if this had been published when I was Melinda’s age?!”

“This graphic novel is going to introduce Laurie’s story to a whole new audience!”

“The illustrations portray the aftermath of sexual assault perfectly!”


Everything I said in my Speak review stands but Emily Carroll’s illustrations have brought Melinda’s story to life in a way that, while maintaining Laurie’s sensitive portrayal, provides a whole new dimension to it, showing what life after sexual assault can look like.

You get to watch Melinda’s expressions as she attempts to navigate high school, the same high school where It walks the halls. You can’t help but see how the trauma is affecting her throughout the story. You witness her growing from a scared rabbit to someone who not only has a voice but uses it! I got to see her turkey-bone sculpture outside of my imagination and it was perfect! (Apologies for the dodgy image. I took a photo of this page in my library book.)
description
I got to see what Melinda’s final tree looks like and I loved it. The only thing that could have made that image even better for me would be if a splash of colour had been added. Greyscale works perfectly for this book but a hint of colour (probably green for symbolism) would have delighted me.

I’ve never done this before but I’m going to add a couple of Post-it’s before I return this book to the library. While I’d never actually deface a library book I want to add the phone number of my state’s Rape Crisis Centre to the list of resources and a little something to let future borrowers know that they’re not alone.

Content warnings include sexual and physical assaults, depression, emotional neglect, self harm, isolation, bullying and a whole bunch of high school crap that seems vitally important at the time you’re living it.
Profile Image for Mackenzie Lane.
235 reviews2,121 followers
June 7, 2018
I want to wrap Melinda in a big, fresh out of the dryer blanket & spoon feed her chocolate ice cream while we watch The Princess Bride because she needs a friend who would do that for her!!

This story is important and strong. It's heartbreaking, but it brings to light a struggle that I personally, have never had to endure, and it's a struggle that should never leave the victim feeling powerless or ashamed or isolated.

I liked that the graphic novel didn't focus solely on what happened to Melinda at the party. It brought up normal high school issues, like cliques and rumors, and didn't try to romanticize the high school experience. I'm not going to lie, I went to a small private school my freshman and sophomore year of high school, so I was never subject to the kind of harsh insults that were hurled at Melinda. But girls can be downright cruel at that age (I know I had my moments of jealousy) & guys can be just as big of jerks, and I wanted to throw Heather down a trash chute !!!!! Sorry had to mention that 💁🏼

Only thing that I would have liked to have seen was Melinda's parents working out their issues, or talking with Melinda after finding out about what happened to her. (this may have been wrapped up in the actual novel but I wouldn't know because I haven't read it)
It ended quite abruptly for me, but at least it ended on a hopeful note.

It's moving and sad, but worth the read. And the art is superb. 🤙🏼

Profile Image for Jodi.
337 reviews69 followers
April 12, 2022
This was my first graphic novel. It was fairly good, but most definitely targets teens. It contains some pretty good, empowering messages, such as, Nothing can hurt you if you don't let it. Just speak up. Speak your truth. You'll get the held you need.

The End.
Profile Image for Beth.
657 reviews568 followers
April 6, 2021
Wow.

I remember reading the book many many years ago, and it was kind of vague but I remember the basis of it. I don’t think I’ve ever in my life read a Graphic Novel the just exudes emotion like this.

I think the art style really highlighted so many emotions and the storytelling throughout was beautifully done. Highly highly recommend to people.

Trigger Warning for Sexual Assault, Rape, PTSD, Depression and Self Harm
Profile Image for Rida Imran .
217 reviews143 followers
March 16, 2020
I said No

A few years back my friend lent me her copy of Speak and I read it and loved it and believed it should be taught in schools.

A few months back a saw a copy Speak the graphic novel it was beautiful I knew I had to get it. I'm so glad I did. I loved this. The art in this book spoke volumes and just added a whole new layer of even more feelings to the story. I want to applaud Emily Carroll for this.

I have never been raped or close to that situation. But I have been harassed. And during the #metoo movement I decided to ask every woman I talked to if they'd ever been touched my someone without their consent; have they ever been harassed. All of them said yes. Not one said no. For some it was a stranger; a relative; a friend. But the fact it like IT in this book it does not matter who they are all that matters is that their a monster but seemingly fit into society and can put a mask of a good person; which makes it harder for people to believe you. So I just want to say to people you need to teach your children about consent and you need to believe anyone who comes forward to you. It's hard to always have proof; it's hard to talk about; so when someone takes a big brave step to talk about it and trusts you with it you listen and you believe them!

This book needs to be taught in schools all around the world.

Here's a look at that beautiful art:

description

___________________________


I just saw the movie Speak it came out in 2004 and Kristen Stewart did a beautiful job in it. Her acting moved me. It's surprisingly very accurate to the source material and absolutely great. If you haven't already watched it you definitely should now.
Profile Image for Scott.
1,676 reviews119 followers
March 7, 2018
"Sometimes I think high school is one long hazing activity. If you're tough enough to survive this, they'll let you become an adult . . . I hope it's worth it." - Melinda Sordino

Powerfully succinct graphic novel adaptation of the popular young adult best-seller, illustrated in a sparse black / white / gray format that seemed appropriate for the dark story, that is more timely than ever during the on-going issues in the entertainment industry.
Profile Image for ArizuX.
44 reviews5 followers
December 3, 2020
"I said no."

wow, I am just wowed. this is really beautifully written and illustrated. consent is everything folks.

trigger warnings - sexual assault, PTSD, depression, victim-shaming, illustrations of self harm
Profile Image for James DeSantis.
Author 17 books1,118 followers
July 31, 2018
My wife was reading the actual novel and it looked good so figured I'd borrow from the Library the graphic novel.

This is a tale of a girl going through her first year at high school. Beyond friends betraying friends, weird social issues, fitting in, and more you get a darker and deeper story here. Melinda is raped the summer before high school and she keeps it all in because it's hard to talk about the events. Physically, emotionally and honestly a survival tale, this is Melinda story of how to survive through it all.

Good: The art is great. Not to overly detail, and just enough emotions to get the bigger moments across on faces. I thought the dialog was pretty solid, a bit outdated at parts, but that's all high school lingo. I thought the ending was very powerful and gave hope in a otherwise dark story.

Bad: I thought the pacing was a bit odd. Sometimes scenes thrown in make it hard to keep interested and unneeded at times.

Overall a great story about a girl's survival through probably the worst part of her life. A 4 out of 5.
Profile Image for — nova.
434 reviews309 followers
September 20, 2018
The art really took this from a 4 to a 5. Laurie Halse Anderson is coming to my library in two weeks so I’m definitely going to have to buy a copy of this and have her sign it.

RTC
Profile Image for kayla (kitay’s version).
256 reviews134 followers
September 30, 2018
HERE ME OUT NOTHING IS WRONG WITH THIS BOOK, IT WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING BUT I HAD TO RETURN IT TO THE LIBRARY SO I DIDN'T GET TO FINISH IT 😭 and there's no way of getting another copy anytime soon so I have to stop half through :/
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
4,950 reviews162 followers
April 2, 2018
I enjoyed this adaptation more than the original book. (I read the two back-to-back.) The adaptation flows along more quickly and Emily Carroll's art enhances the story considerably.
Profile Image for Courtney.
26 reviews21 followers
February 10, 2018
I read this for the first time when I was 14 or 15. It was really great to read it again in graphic novel-form.
Profile Image for Amelia's Fantastical Bookends.
57 reviews45 followers
July 22, 2019
Just as heart-wrenching and harrowing as the first time I read it.
Anderson' prose combined with Emily Carroll's illustrations bring this book to life in an intensely gripping and creative way; the story itself holds up as the reader is transported into Melinda's world.

This book explores the topic of rape and how it changes the entire world of one girl's life; from the truly dark to the growth that can come from being a survivor from a traumatic situation.

Laurie Halse Anderson wrote a short prologue for the book, too, describing her own emotional turmoil when deciding to write the original book back in the 90s, and how thankful she is for all the people who have continued to support her and other survivors on the long road to recovery and self-love.

This novel has been and always will be poignant and special. It ranges from a whole smattering of topics: depression, self-hate, and becoming an outcast in a social environment, but it also teaches about the beauty and hope that people can find in art, friendship, and inevitably in themselves.
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