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Goodreads Choice Award
Winner for Best Poetry (2019)
A searing poetic memoir and call to action from the bestselling and award-winning author of Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson!

Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she's never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society's failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #metoo and #timesup, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts. SHOUT speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice—and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.

296 pages, Hardcover

First published March 12, 2019

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About the author

Laurie Halse Anderson

73 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
8,992 (47%)
4 stars
6,735 (35%)
3 stars
2,544 (13%)
2 stars
467 (2%)
1 star
140 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,260 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,921 reviews290k followers
March 22, 2019
“the overlap of my stories and my life
is a garden courtyard, sky-strung with stars”

The first half of this book was a 4-star read for me, but the second half was a full shimmering 5 stars. So it gets 4½ stars, rounded up.

It's been a long time since I read Speak, but I still recall how deeply that book affected me. In a time of #MeToo, it is easy to forget how powerful and important little books like that were for readers. Every day, survivors are finding their voices and learning how they, too, can speak up, without shame, about what happened to them. Now, twenty years later, Anderson is back with a voice that is louder, stronger, and attuned with the current era. It is still much-needed.

Her voice is wiser now, too; more mature. It speaks of twenty years of talking with survivors, sharing their pain and, most of all, listening.

The first half of this book is a memoir of Anderson's upbringing, including how she was raped at thirteen and her struggle in the aftermath. Through verse, she talks about how the toxic misogynistic environment of the 1970s set women up to say nothing, be good, be quiet, don't ask questions, definitely no questions about sex or menstruation. You can see how her experiences both within her family, and within society at large, would later silence her voice when she needed it most.

It is the second half where her writing is strongest, however. This is complete speculation, but it felt to me like the author wrote the hard-hitting poems of the second part first, and then proceeded to tell the first part of her story in verse to fit with the rest. The later poems all work as powerful standalones and read like they were written as such, but I think the first half could have been stronger as prose.
“Censorship is the child of fear
the father of ignorance
and the desperate weapon of fascists

The second half made me absolutely furious. The poems are about rape, consent and censorship, using a lot of grotesque metaphors and imagery that fit the subject matter well, but are disturbing. I think the most upsetting aspect of all was, surprisingly, the censorship; the constant barriers faced by those trying to teach kids about their bodies and sex and consent. It made me so angry to see teachers cancelling Anderson's talks, or banning her books, because she talked honestly about young girls and sex.

Kids of all genders need these talks. They are essential if we are to stop what happened to Anderson, and Speak's Melinda, from happening to others. So, read this book. And let your kids read this book, too.

CW: Rape (graphic), PTSD, abuse, alcoholism, substance abuse.

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Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,372 reviews9,447 followers
August 17, 2019
I love this author. Speak is one of my favorite movies. I love books written in verse. I'm going to add some random quotes from the book. Hold on to your bootstraps. You know I don't like to write big reviews any more.....SPOILERS AHEAD

this book smells like me
honey and strawberries
sunscreen, libraries
failures and sweat
green nights in the mountains
cold dawns by the sea

this book reeks
of my fear
of depression's black dogs howling
and the ancient shames riding
my back, their claws
buried deep

this book is yesterday's mud
dried on the dance floor
the step patterns
cautiously submitted
for your curious investigation
of what I feel like
on the inside

creator on pic

And then green August, melting-hot
days running out the bottom of the hour-
glass, school time marching
relentlessly toward the children of
summer so intent on capturing
every free minute, like flowers
to be pressed between the pages
of a book. We walked down
the hill to the creek, far away from the heat,
the trees our shade companions, the babble
of water overrunning my need to speak
we tossed pebbles into the water
everything was calm that's what I
remember the calm cuz I was safe
and happy tossing pebbles in the water
next to this tobacco-smelling boy
so when he turned to kiss
my mouth was wet with delight, I was new
to this kind of kiss and happy to play
by the creek with this boy whose handsthen
wandered fast, too fast, too far
like a flash flood overwhelming the startled
backs of a creek that never once thought
of defense, of damming or the need for a bridge
to escape
his hands, arms shoulders back
muscle sinew bone
an avalanche of force
the course predetermined one hand on my mouth
his body covering mine
I took my eyes off the rage
in his face and looked up to the green peace
of leaves fluttering above, trees witnessing
pain shame I crawled into the farthest corner
of my mind biding my time hiding surviving
by outsiding

and when he was done
using my body
he stood and zipped his jeans
lit a cigarette
and walked away.

Creators on pic

I didn't speak up
when that boy raped me, instead I scalded
myself in the shower and turned
me into the ghost of the girl
I once was, my biggest fear
being that my father,
no stranger to gaming
with the devil,
would kill that boy

and it would be my fault.

But that boy who raped me
on the rocks by the creek
got drunk and lay down
on a dark night to play
chicken with the devil
and he lost

I didn't have real friends because a friend is
someone you trust and trust never came easy after that boy
raped me. But I had people to get high with, to share sandwiches
with. Sometimes I had people to walk with in the halls. Being
mocked doesn't hurt as much when someone walks next
to you. I was grateful for my almost-friends.

creators on pic

my I'm fine! mask fit snugly
I only took it off at home,
but when I shared peanut butter chews
with those friends
sometimes I forgot I was wearing it
I studied hard to keep up with them, we listened
to each other and to the same music
we ate a lot of peanut butter chews
the slant of light in the cafeteria
illuminated possibilities

My home in Denmark taught me how to speak
again, how to reinterpret darkness and light,
strength and softness
it offered me the chance to reorient my compass
redefine my true north
and start over
(she was a foreign exchange student)

tens of thousands speak
words ruffling the surface of the sea
into whitecaps, they whisper
into the shoulder of my sweater
they mail
tweet, cry
hand me notes
folded into shards
when no one is watching

sharing memories and befuddlement
broken dreams and sorrow
they struggle in the middle
of the ocean, storms battering
grabbing for sliced life jackets
flotsam and jetsam from downed
unfound planes, sunken ships
and other disasters

We're all born to fight
but few are ever trained,
instead they tell us
"Be nice."

Danuta's mother survived
a Nazi concentration camp
alive but scarred,
so when the Nazis marched
through her Swedish town in 1985,
Danuta hauled back
and smacked a Nazi
in the head with her purse.

It was a big purse.

She snapped, they said
couldn't take it any more
reached her breaking point

We should teach our girls
that snapping is OK,
instead of waiting
for someone else to break them

the names of the charred survivors
who don't know how fucking tough
they are
in the fifth chamber
of my heart.

Their courage warms
me from the inside,
stubborn candles
this scorched


Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
692 reviews3,242 followers
September 16, 2019
Part One (roughly the first half of the book) drones on, but Part Two and Three bring thunder and rage and unapologetic ferocity to the issue of sexual abuse, rape, and the unforgivable way society treats women (and men) who find the courage to come forward and speak the truth.
the question is born out of true confusion
no one ever told him the rules of intimacy
or the law, his dad only talks about condoms
with a "don't get her pregnant" warning
his mom says "talk to your father"
so he watches a lot of porn
to get off
to be schooled
porn says her body is territory
begging to be conquered
no conversation required
you take what you want*

* Note: Quote taken from an Advanced Readers' Edition.
Profile Image for Julie Ehlers.
1,111 reviews1,373 followers
May 3, 2019
I didn't speak up
when that boy raped me, instead I scalded
myself in the shower and turned
me into the ghost of the girl
I once was, my biggest fear
being that my father,
no stranger to gaming
with the devil,
would kill that boy

and it would be my fault.

I was impressed by Laurie Halse Anderson's first novel, Speak, and several years later what I remember most about the 10th anniversary edition I read was the poem Halse Anderson included at the beginning, about all the young women and girls who have reached out to let her know what a difference she and her book made in their lives. That poem may have been the seed for Shout, a memoir-in-verse where Halse Anderson tells her own life story, including her turbulent family life, her own rape at age 14, how she came to write Speak, and the impact it had, among other things.

This book is astoundingly effective. The writing is mostly amazing. Halse Anderson's story is poignant and tragic and, above all, inspirational. All I could think when I read it was, she has done so much good in the world already, and with Shout she is about to do even more. One of the sad things about reading a book like this is that you imagine tweens and young teens reading it and you think, they're too young to be reading stuff like this, and then you remember that they are the ones stuff like this is happening to. They need books like this, and we are lucky we have Halse Anderson to provide them. This is my second of her books but won't be my last. I want to be inside her head again.

too many grown-ups tell kids to follow
their dreams
like that's going to get them somewhere
Auntie Laurie says to follow your nightmares instead
cuz when you figure out what's eating you alive
you can slay it
Profile Image for Schizanthus Nerd.
1,120 reviews228 followers
February 3, 2019
Content warnings include sexual assault, PTSD, war, physical abuse, fat shaming, alcohol and other drug use.
This is the story of a girl who lost her voice and wrote herself a new one.
I expect I’m one of the only ones reading SHOUT before they’ve read Speak. I’ve had Speak on my ‘I absolutely have to read this book’ list for as long as I can remember but still haven’t read it. I searched my local library for it but they don’t own it. I tried for several years to buy it on Kindle but it wasn’t available to purchase in my country (I just checked and it’s still not an option). I finally bit the bullet and added it to my Book Depository order last year and it’s been looking at me ever since from my shelf, quietly asking me why I haven’t opened its pages.

Honestly? It’s intimidated me. It’s the book about sexual assault and while I’ve read so many others, I think I’ve worried about what it will bring up for me when I do finally read it. So, long story slightly shorter, my plan is to SHOUT, then Speak, and then SHOUT again. I’m interested to see if my perspective on SHOUT changes after I’ve read Speak. I guess time will tell.

The first section of this book is essentially memoir in free verse. Laurie takes the reader on a journey through a series of childhood memories; a father haunted by war when alcohol isn’t numbing his memories, a mother silenced, her own experiences of school, work and surviving sexual assault. I really loved reading about Laurie’s experience as an exchange student in Denmark and would happily devour as much information as I could about those 13 months; what I’ve read has sparked an interest in Danish culture.

The second section, which begins almost two thirds of the way through the book, broke my heart as Laurie shared just a handful of stories about her interactions with other survivors, whose young bodies have been invaded and lives changed, most often by those they know and should have been able to trust. Although this section made me cry one of the things that got to me the most was something hopeful - the colourful ribbons tied to fences in Ballarat, Australia in support of the abused, which ultimately created Loud Fence. The images of those ribbons of support broke me.
This section includes responses from readers, students who have heard Laurie speak, teachers and librarians; those who need to share their story, those who don’t understand what was so bad about Melinda’s experience in Speak, those who want to censor “inappropriate” reading material.

I’m not sure how to sum up the third section other than to say that it was the shortest section but also the one in which I shed most tears. Laurie’s final poems about her parents simply gutted me.

Although it’s clearly stated in the blurb I still hadn’t thought there’d be as much memoir as there was in this book. I’d expected a greater percentage of poems to be directly addressing sexual assault, even though there are plenty that do. When my expectations didn’t line up with reality I thought I’d be disappointed but I wasn’t and I’m already ready for a reread. I expect that I will revisit this book each time I read one of Laurie’s books that are mentioned here, to search out her favourite scenes and glimpses of the story behind the story.

There’s a vulnerability here and it’s entwined with strength, determination, courage, resilience and so much compassion. While I finished this book with a contented sigh I’m still yearning for more. Luckily for me, as this is the first of Laurie’s books that I’ve read (shame on me!), I still have plenty to explore.

Thank you, Laurie Halse Anderson, for sharing some of your life in this book, for breaking my heart, growing my empathy, giving me so many amazing passages to highlight and inspiring me. I will see you on Ultima Thule.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, for the opportunity to read this book.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,379 reviews11.7k followers
March 13, 2019
If you, like me, read YA looking for excellence, Shout is the book not to be missed. If you get an audio version read by the author, even better. (The best if you listen to it at 1.25 speed).

Half memoir, half a work of advocacy for sexual assault survivors, it grew on me the more I listened to it. It is written in verse, and I personally didn't think it was always effective, especially in the memoir part. In fact, I thought verse short changed Anderson's auto-biographical narrative that would have been served better by a different (longer) form. It gave an insight into the author's inspirations and why Speak had captured now generations of readers, but left a lot of her personal story out. (On a side note, I am kind of crushed Anderson never wrote a novel based on her year of school exchange in Denmark!)

Poems in the second part of the book worked MUCH better. A lot of them were well contained and powerful, full of rage and kindness and appeal for compassion. I had approached the feminist part with trepidation, because of how on the nose these things are often written in YA. All-men-are-garbage feminist treatises (a la Blood Water Paint) don’t do it for me. Shout ended up surpassing my expectations. It was amazing to see Anderson grow and heal and be enraged through her writing of and processing the responses to Speak.

Marking it as a Printz contender, first in 2019.
Profile Image for Calista.
3,792 reviews31.2k followers
June 10, 2020
Powerful! This is Laurie Halse Anderson's autobiography and she delivers it in a direct way through poetry and verse. It comes across as simply telling her tale with no emotion and for me, it had a huge emotional impact for me, the reader. I find that works well, if the author is just giving facts and let the reader feel the emotions.

The last half of the book, Laurie discusses her book "Speak" which came out 20 years ago and has started a movement of women speaking up about their experiences. In our treatment rooms, we are told that 60+ percent of every women walking in our door has been raped of sexually abused at some point in their life. We are told we don't need to dig it up, but assume that something happened. It's obvious that women have to deal with so much. We need to do a better job in teaching men in how to interact with women regarding sex.

Laurie gets to the point and she doesn't shy away from the stories thousands of girls tell her and what is happening and how teen boys don't understand. In every high school she visit, boys ask her why girls are upset and they are genuine and not being an ass. They don't understand, it seems, that no really means stop, no. She wrote about for men about this called 'Twisted' and I want to read that now. It was written after all these guys wanted to understand the outrage.

Many people have been through a tough childhood and Laurie is among them. She has a strong voice now and it seems to have empowered her.

She also talks about school boards wanting to keep books like Speak out of their libraries because they want to shield their kids from the subject, but what Laurie sees is that all that stuff still happens. Kids need information to know how to deal with situations and how to get help is something does happen.

This was a great book and I have to say that Laurie has gone up on my Author's of respect page and I will be reading more by her.
Profile Image for Ashleigh Rose.
319 reviews9 followers
September 1, 2022
“too many grown-ups tell kids to follow their dreams / like that’s going to get them somewhere / Auntie Laurie says follow your nightmares instead / cuz when you figure out what’s eating you / you can slay it” || Thank you for having the courage to lead the way in this work, @halseanderson. Your bravery and words are an eternal gift to us all; I am thankful to have your torch blazing a path for us and igniting the sparks within us. 🔥 💛3.12.19 #SHOUT
Profile Image for Eliza.
592 reviews1,378 followers
September 19, 2019
This is an important book. I can’t stress that enough. I commend Laurie Anderson for writing this story, her story, and for writing it so well through poetry format. So well, in fact, that someone like myself who isn’t a fan of poetry found this “novel” so incredibly moving that I’ll have to venture out to read more poems.

Many of you know of Anderson’s bestseller Speak. If not, I recommend you read it as its message is incredibly important. Both that novel and this one surround the topic of sexual abuse; only whereas Speak is a fiction novel, Shout is Anderson’s autobiography (for lack of a better word). Both novels are written with lyrical undertones and flow-y writing, which I enjoy, though some of you may not. More importantly, both books will make you step back and think — and I think that’s important to mention since these stories Anderson brings to life will stay with you.

I’m definitely going to read more of Anderson, especially since her other novels tackle difficult subjects such as this one. There need to be more authors like her that will unapologetically speak up — or, rather, shout out about struggles people are going through. People should not feel the need to remain silent, especially not under the sorts of circumstances that Anderson writes about.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
852 reviews3,760 followers
May 11, 2019
I'm intentionally not giving a star rating because it doesn't seem fair to me to assign ratings to personal memoirs. That said, I'd recommend this book to just about anyone.

To people who have experienced sexual assault, harassment, and rape - this book is inclusive and I think would provide healing and a mirror.

To people who haven't - You likely know someone who has experienced assault. Many can't, or don't want to talk about it. If you want to gain some understanding, here is an account that is freely given.

To parents - I think this is a must read for parents. It gives some advice on talking to your children and teens about consent, how to help them if they experience assault, and things to look out for. It's not a guide, but you can glean this information. It is yet another building block that I will utilize with my son when he is old enough.

Audiobook review: Narrated by the author. This is a poetry collection, so the format and flow is lost on audio. I believe she mentioned some artwork in her acknowledgements, and that is also lost in the audio version. However, I feel that hearing the author voice her own story was impactful.

tw: rape, harassment, accounts of rapists going unpunished. Drug & alcohol abuse. War PTSD. Mention of suicides. Abusive relationships -spouse/spouse, parent/child.
Profile Image for Alyse Liebovich.
621 reviews68 followers
March 25, 2019
Speak is one of the first books I had to read in grad school for my YA lit class. I remember feeling thinking, wow, this is not what I expected YA lit to be. YA lit was not really a thing when I was actually considered a YA, so this was news to me. I was encouraged that authors were broaching these type of devastating but important subjects and that students had access to these kinds of stories.

When I first saw Shout was being released, I added it to the virtual cart to purchase for the library assuming--based on the title and tree illustration--it was a sequel or companion to Speak. Really, knowing LHA had a new book out was reason enough to purchase without further investigation. Then I went to a booktalk at Anderson's, which is where I learned this was a memoir in verse about being the survivor of rape and sexual assault. I felt like an idiot for not knowing this and subsequently wanted to read it immediately. Because ordering books for the library is more complicated than you'd think, I didn't want to wait, bought a copy there, and dove right in.

This book is a powerful punch to the patriarchy. I hope, like Speak, this book helps the voiceless be heard. Though I have not personally been a victim of physical assault, this got me thinking (yet again) about specific moments where men have said things to me that I knew were inappropriate--sometimes in the moment, sometimes in hindsight--but felt powerless to call them out. I can't even imagine the courage it takes to share these raw memories and emotions but am so glad she did. She writes not just about girls, but boys too who have been prey, in many cases due to the hush-hush of the Catholic church. Keep holding them accountable!

I loved the poems about her time living in Denmark and how that kind of cultural shift experience overseas can completely open one's world. I hope that inspires young readers to consider doing something similar. And in regards to "librarian on the cusp of courage," "inappropriate dictators," and "innocence," we school librarians are just as fired up about the those who try to censor, be it admin, school boards, or parents. Proud to put several copies of this book on our library shelves and will defend its place should the issue ever arise.

Raise your hand if you want to send copies of this to Brock Turner and Brett Kavanaugh....
Profile Image for Sahitya.
1,004 reviews200 followers
September 30, 2019
CW: rape, sexual assault, harassment, drug and alcohol abuse, physical abuse, effects of war and ptsd, depression, gaslighting of survivors, rapists not facing consequences

Like everyone else who has read any literature on sexual assault, I’ve known about this author’s pioneering book Speak but have been scared to read it because I didn’t think I was prepared to handle the content. But when I saw that this book was nominated for the National Book Award this year and it’s also written in verse, I decided to give it a try.

This book is essentially a memoir - the author’s honest and raw exploration of her life experiences through poetry - which made me sad, angry, hopeful and angry all over again. We get to know her family very intimately, a father ravaged by his wartime experiences, a mother who is the strength of the family but also someone who remains silent despite everything and the author herself, a bright young woman who’s trajectory of life changes in an instant when she is raped. The first half of the book is mostly about growing up in her family and the myriad struggles she faced in trying to deal with her trauma. It’s a story of distress and helplessness, but also resilience and hope and I was in awe of the way she took control of her life and decided to make something out of her trauma.

But it’s the second half of the book that really broke me. From the accounts of many school administrators and librarians who refused to let her speak or censored her book, to the numerous youngsters who decided to share their own traumatic experiences with her - it’s a harrowing read showing us the truth that is all around us but which we blind ourselves to, and a realistic picture of how things have hardly changed for the survivors after all these years. I was sobbing and raging while reading many of these poems.

There is a lot to learn from this book. I think the author makes a great case for the perils of censorship, how suppressing content only leads to more ignorance and violence, and survivors are left without any safe spaces to explore their feelings. The author also calls for everyone, especially older victims of trauma to listen to young survivors who are brave enough to tell the truth instead of gaslighting them - insisting that just because they were silenced during their time doesn’t mean we get to do the same to the ones after us. And ultimately it’s a story of survival and the hope is that anyone who is reading it might find a piece of themselves in it, or maybe a tool to help them.

To conclude, I will just say that this book is a very important read and I implore everyone to pick it up. The content might be hard to read and you might want to shield kids from such harsh material, but it’s the truth of the world around us and all youngsters deserve to know it and maybe even be prepared. I think this is also a must read for all adults, especially parents so that we can all better understand and support any survivors we may know in our lives. Just make sure you are in the right frame of mind when you pick it up and experience the pain and rage and hope. And thank you so much to the author for putting her story out there for all of us to learn from and reflect upon. Let me end with these powerful words from the author herself....

”too many grown-ups tell kids to follow their dreams like that’s going to get them somewhere Auntie Laurie says follow your nightmares instead cuz when you figure out what’s eating you alive you can slay it”
Profile Image for Christy.
3,711 reviews31.6k followers
July 26, 2019
3.5 stars
“This note about anatomy
from me to you
is for the remembering that
after you speak
after you shout
your open mouth
will breathe in the light
for which you've hungered
and your backbone will unfurl,
until you can again dance to the beat
of your steadfast heart.”

This was a powerful read and I love Laurie Halse Anderson's voice. She narrated the audio book herself. The first half was really slow for me and I struggled to get through it, but the end finished strong.
Profile Image for Maria.
283 reviews8 followers
July 24, 2019
I think I have an unpopular opinion on this one: I actually really enjoyed Part 1, which focuses on Anderson's childhood and young adulthood. The insight into what it was like to live with a father with PTSD and a mother who struggled to speak up for herself was heartbreaking and viscerally told. I was fascinated by what her community and social life was like, and how she was able to keep her life from spiraling out of control in her teenage years.

I found Parts 2 and 3 to be more disjointed; the stories are very outward-facing, and she writes a lot about the people she's met on her book tours, and the lasting impact Speak has had on survivors. Personally, I much preferred the more memoir-like poetry in the first half.
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 7 books1,204 followers
November 29, 2018
This searing, timely, timeless memoir in verse will sweep every "best of" in 2019.

This is Laurie's story, about being a survivor, about being a woman, about being an advocate who is passionate about young people, about intellectual freedom, and about being the best people we can all possibly be. It's angry and it's hopeful. It's sad and it's powerful. It's real and raw.

The verse is flawless. It adds movement and clarity. It is exactly what it wants to be: a shout, not a whisper.

Put it on your to-read lists. This is a masterclass in feminism, in storytelling, and in the power of words to draw action that changes the world.
Profile Image for Kim.
1,106 reviews22 followers
January 23, 2019
2019's first superstar. LHA has long been known as a rockstar of consent, a revealer of truths for teens, and in Shout, she gets very personal with her own story--her childhood, her own sexual assault and recovery, and her journey to the writing life. I was left with the tiniest sense of the weight she must carry, as holder of all those secrets of her readers, and the dynamo of her power.

Profile Image for Ilana.
598 reviews158 followers
April 26, 2019
So powerful. Essential reading actually. I felt the urge to read this book when it was announced as up and coming. Borrowed an ebook version from the library and the loan expires in less than 24 hours and when I finished it in the small hours yesterday I was already thinking I should get my own copy, either in print or as an ebook or in the audio format which is narrated by Laurie Halse Anderson herself, which must make for an... lump in my throat, having trouble typing... quite an experience, to say the least.

Just earlier tonight I was reading excerpts of her free verse from it to my boyfriend, and in the chapter, or poem called “Collective”, about giving talks all over the world to teenagers and always some boy wondering why it’s so terrible, why Speak talks about what happens to the protagonist Melinda as rape, when all that happened was she had sex with a boy she danced with and kissed before, it’s not like he was a bad guy with a gun who dragged her down an alley (not an exact quote I don’t think, which is why no quote marks) and the first time this shocked her and then she realized this was how we educated, or the lack of education we give boys. Go speak to your dad and then dad says use a condom and whatever you do don’t get her pregnant and then the boys watch porn and think the women really want to be treated like that...

Well that’s just a small part. If you’re a victim of abuse of any kind, which let’s face it, a whole heck of a lot of people of both sexes and any number of genders are, well yes, there’s plenty of potentially triggering material here but this is a woman who speaks from a place of compassion and of wanting to give a voice to us all, and tools to let us know we are not alone and resources at the end of the book we can lean on.

But first of all, first and foremost, a story told in verse, a story straight from the heart, to share about a journey, her journey, the struggles she was born to carry for her parents, the poverty and alienation that led her to make the wrong sorts of friends, who were interested in flirting with danger just to pass the time and because there was no internet yet, and the sexual violations that led her to complete despair to eventually find a voice to write about it, and then the road beyond, leading us up to today, when the time has come to have it out in the open, when we are beyond pretending nothing ever happened, and boys have joined girls in saying they want to feel safe.

And shouldn’t that just be an inalienable right? And why is it something we even have to fight for? But until that becomes a reality, we need books like this. And really there’s only just the one. Well two, but the two making a whole. I do strongly recommend you read Speak first, since Shout is a follow up to that novel, and it will make a lot more sense to you that way since Anderson refers to Speak both directly and indirectly in Shout. It isn’t a sequel because the is nonfictional and autobiographical and written in free verse, but she wrote it as a follow up to it out of a frustration that so little had changed since she had written her first book that now a louder voice was needed.

I didn’t think I’d be writing all this. I’m tired and sleep deprived. But this book... well it certainly spoke to me and had I the energy right now, I’d be doing some shouting of my own.
Profile Image for PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps .
2,264 reviews215 followers
March 16, 2019
**I listened to the audio and later read the book. I preferred the audio.

Laurie Halse Anderson didn’t just write a memoir in verse, she a poet, whose voice drips the poetry of youthful innocence and pain.

Childhood set her up to be victimized by It, the boy who raped her, the way girls and women were subservient to boys and men. I know this because I was born in 1964, two or three years after Anderson. As I listened to her narrating the gem she titled SHOUT, tears pricked my eyes, because her experiences echoed mine so closely I nodded at her memories, thinking #MeToo whether she spoke of listening to the Watergate hearings on the radio (my memories are watching on TV) or the tragic embarrassment of being chosen last in gym class by popular, athletic classmate captains.

I listened to the audio of SHOUT and also purchased the Kindle version, which I’ll read later this week, after I’ve recovered from the book hangover that I might last forever.

SHOUT made me want to write a poetic version of my memoir, to express myself in verse that could never be as elegant as Anderson’s.

SHOUT made me feel lucky that Laurie Halse Anderson exists and that she writes for teens in words that resonate for adults as well.

SHOUT made me feel tears from my childhood still unshed.

SHOUT made me hope for the years of pain her young readers can avoid by knowing that they can and should SPEAK if they are victims.

SHOUT made me feel.
Profile Image for Sarah.
19 reviews
April 18, 2019
Thank you for this book. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Profile Image for KC.
2,379 reviews
March 8, 2019
With her follow up to SPEAK, Laurie Halse Anderson once again puts forth a powerful piece of literature filled with compelling prose along with fierce dialog. Anderson successfully pulls back the tragic layers to the continual occurrences of rape, sexual assault, misogyny and all too often "turning a blind eye" and "victim blaming". As our country begins to heal and educate itself through the ME TOO movement, we are witness to protests, demonstrations and conversation with the hopes of no longer being silent.
Profile Image for Karen.
471 reviews1 follower
June 7, 2019

This book not only discusses the incident, but the before. The after. The healing. The learning. The leaning on each other. This book shares and gives and lifts up. This book was beautiful and heartbreaking and glorious and I'm going to recommend it to everyone because everyone needs it.
Profile Image for Amy.
499 reviews78 followers
April 9, 2019
I read Speak nearly 20 years ago. Back then, Speak was my favorite book. It stuck with me for years afterwards. It’s one of the few books that I really remember even after all these years.

At some point, after you’ve read 1000 or so books, they can start to blur.

I was hesitant to start Shout. How do you follow up a book like Speak? And with a book of poems? They aren’t really my thing.

As with most hyped things I think, “No, not for me. I have a million things to read, I’m not going to give in and read something I’m not super excited about. Not this time.”

But then I give in and do it anyway.

And this time, I was very glad that I did (and very glad that audio books exist).

The first half of the book explores Laurie Halse Anderson’s early life post-rape, dealing with the emotional trauma while living an emotionally closed off family and an abusive, alcoholic father suffering from PTSD.

This part can be slow at times but still emotionally wrought. I really enjoyed the first part of the book. Its unflinching in the face of a young girl’s pain and frustration and hurt. You see this girl dealing with something no one should have to deal with in the best (albeit self-destructive) way she can.

If the first part breaks your heart, the second part will get you strapping on your armor getting ready to go to battle.

Battle for those who can’t defend themselves.
Battle for those who are told to be quiet about their pain.
Battle for those who have been taken advantage of by people in power.
Battle for people deprived opportunities because they didn’t give into that power.
Battle for those who said “no”, but the other person decided “they were playing hard to get” or “they didn’t really mean it” or “they were asking for it because of the way they dressed/what they drank/how they acted.”
Battle for students deprived books and materials deemed inappropriate.
Battle for students deprived information about sex and their bodies because it makes some people

I’m getting mad again just thinking about it.

It’s not an easy read. These things never are, but that’s why they’re important.

Triggers: Rape, PTSD, Abuse, Alcoholism, and Substance Abuse.
November 19, 2019
Me to be stronger
you to stand taller
we to shout louder than they thought
we could


I have no words.

The playground was a war of girls versus boys and now I feel shame cuz some kids must have wanted to stand with the other team, and some must have wanted new teams entirely, but the world was drawn for us binary in clumsy chalk lines, and we'd try to do better when we were in charge.

What a powerful, beautifully written, topic-tackling book.

untreated pain
is a cancer of the soul
that can kill you

I loved reading about her experiences talking about Speak and the ridiculous reasons people banned it, or refused for her to talk about it.

Just. So wonderful. So essential. So true.

Halse rhymes with waltz
watch me dance
and don't forget it
Profile Image for Karen.
439 reviews
October 20, 2018
Empowering memoir in verse. Releases 3/12/2019 and when it does, I’m buying my own copy so I can write in the margins and underline quotes. I was lucky enough to read an ARC. I highly recommend it for all high school collections and it also has incredibly strong adult appeal. Every word matters - stories matter - life stories matter. Get this book into as many hands as you can. This is more than a call-to-action. This is a battle cry.
Profile Image for Myra.
105 reviews1 follower
September 1, 2022
Will not rate this book because I had mixed feelings but don't believe it is fair to criticize when you really didn't give the book a fair read. This is book made of cutting and short stories similar to all the Chicken Soul books. Although, many of them were very well written, I would of loved for some of these short stories to be developed into full novels. I got invested into some of the characters to merely turn the page and say goodbye to a character and start a new venture/heart break. I may have found the format somewhat difficult because I wasn't able to digest one storyline before proceeding to the next because I was listening via audiobook instead of a hard copy. I will attempt to read the written work in order to offer a realistic rating. Not the author's fault that I chose the wrong medium to explore her masterpiece.
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