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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  515,241 ratings  ·  24,942 reviews
"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, 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. As time passes, she becom ...more
Paperback, 202 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Puffin (first published October 22nd 1999)
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Dylan Because all persons who rape deserve to be called IT. They are no longer human, having stolen the humanity from their victims.
Kylie This is so tough! They are a little bit similar but so entirely different! In my opinion, I liked Speak better than Perks just because it resonated wi…moreThis is so tough! They are a little bit similar but so entirely different! In my opinion, I liked Speak better than Perks just because it resonated with me more. I felt a deeper connection and it touched me more emotionally. So I'd go with Speak, but they are both beautiful books.(less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  515,241 ratings  ·  24,942 reviews

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Apr 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
1. We are here to help you.
2. You will have enough 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 your needs in mind.
9. Your locker combination is private.
10. These will be the years you will look b
Emma Giordano
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars! I think this is a really powerful novel that should be read by so many, especially teens.
Speak is a fascinating tale of learning to use your voice when you previously believed it did not matter. The message is one I think all can benefit from and I’m so glad I finally read it.

Trigger warning: rape

Laurie Halse Anderson is a fabulous writer. She has a very distinctive writing style; It’s an unfiltered stream of consciousness that feels so real. I previously read Wintergirls and found t
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
2017 Reread: I read this for my young adult literature class along with scholastic articles about the book, which added a great new layer to my interpretation of the novel.

Original Review: I've owned this book for years and never got around to reading it until yesterday. I'm happy I did because this was one of the best books that I have read lately. Speak was very well paced and I never found the story to be dragging or boring. I loved the character development and Melinda's voice throughout th
Emily May
Feb 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teens
Shelves: young-adult, 2011
I didn't think I'd be so gripped by this book but the author captures the pains and troubles of everyday high school life with such honesty and raw emotion that I couldn't help recognising half the characters from my own high school days. There's Rachel, the ex best friend who's had a personality transplant over the summer... Heather, the temporary friend who's just waiting to be snapped up by a cooler clique... and, of course, the protagonist who doesn't quite fit in anywhere.

The beauty of this
Jul 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cara by: Ash
Once I finished reading the last word I knew I was going to reread it. Yes that profound.

Honest. Authentic. Real. Use all those words and their synonyms and you have this book. I literally wanted to hop into the sea of words and tell Melinda Sordino " I'll be your friend! Don't despair !" Alas I couldn't do that though. I had to see her struggle. It's painful but since I watched the movie (which was done well by the way) first before reading the book I knew where she was coming from. Melinda's
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
It is 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.

Speak, to me, is taken more as a lesson than just a book. A lesson worth reading and worth analyzing every little detail, no matter how the writing is and no matter how repetitive it can get. It's a short novel where the life of an individual is so much more, and worth so much mor
Mar 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
V. A Court of Wings and Ruin is NEW ADULT/EROTICA but Goodreads editors won't tell you to include it in the choice awards

The following review will touch upon serious topics and under the spoiler section I might hide TMI (too much information) tags. If you don't want to know about my own personal journey don't read because it might be umconfortable and triggering. I'll use strong language.

I also want to point out that I read this book long ago and that I won't re-read for this review. I just want to discuss the following question(s) which I found in the review of one of my favorite Goodreads reviewers ever: my dea
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
oh goodness me. i dont even want to begin this review because, even though im sticking to my rating, i feel super guilty for rating this so low. but its been awhile since ive read this and i finally feel like i can articulate why this book just isnt for me.

firstly, i want to say that the topic of this story is extremely important and deserves the representation it gets in this. melindas high school experience is vastly different than my own, but i can empathise that sexual assault is something
Susanne  Strong
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
4 Stars.

Speaking. Sometimes it’s absolutely impossible, isn’t it? Sometimes you are so filled with anxiety and fear, you can’t even think of the words, let alone spit them out. And sometimes, life itself is crippling. You will undergo something that overtakes you, that consumes every waking thought, that fills you with fear and changes every aspect of your life and still you cannot talk about it. To anyone, whether you have someone to confide in or not.

Melinda is that girl. She is a misfit. A p
Elyse  Walters
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Library - Overdrive-ebook!

I’m very late to this reading this really wonderful young adult book.....but oh,I’m sooooo glad I read it!

Melinda Sordino, sarcastically witty, bright, and courageous, is very memorable character. A freshman in High School, .... most of the time Melinda’s goal in life is to go home and take a nap.
We emphasized with she is misunderstood- and shunned by friends. Melinda doesn’t understand her own situation clearly enough to speak out for herself.
She’s an av
4.5 stars

*This is another book which I would not have picked up had it not been for a book challenge. So happy I did. This serves as a nice reminder that stepping outside of what we would normally choose can, and in this case, did pay off.

High School. Some remember it as the happiest time of their lives while others are so happy when it is over that they never want to look back. Where do you stand?

Melinda is an outcast, a pariah, she has no friends. She is lonely, depressed, anxious and carrying
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is such an important book for the content and message it presents. The writing was fantastic and Melinda was such an interesting character to read. I didn't totally LOVE everything about it, but overall it was a fantastic book.
Jessica Abarquez
Apr 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Mar 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2014
I know. A ton of people liked this book. I'm giving this crap a one star though.

I never did connect with this books main character. I finally was to the point where I didn't give a shit anymore when the big reveal came about why she was having so many problems. I felt somewhat sorry for her then but it still just didn't pull through enough for me.
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Hmmmm I can definitely see how important this book is and would have been at the time of its publication, but the thing is, I was bored until the last 30 pages. I felt really disconnected to the story and I don't know why. I am so glad that books like this exist in the YA genre though, and that this one was around a long time ago because these things happen and really do need to be discussed. Such an important message. ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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When I was a freshman, the girl behind me in one of my classes tapped me on the shoulder and told me that I reminded her of the girl in SPEAK. I don't even remember what the context for this revelation was. It was right before class was about to start and I was just minding my own business. I was extremely socially phobic and carried around a drawing notebook and did the same sort of nervous lip-chewing thing and I was like, huh this sou
"Speak" is about Melinda Sordino, an angst-filled freshman who is hated by all of her "best friends" because she called the cops during the end of the summer senior party. Everyone got busted. Her parents aren't much help either, always fighting about what's best for Melinda and communicating through post-it notes on the refrigerator wall. These are only a few of the things that have Melinda depressed. When what really happened at the senior party is revealed, it will be easy, although painful, ...more
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Updating to add a trigger warning which I really should've before
I debated for a long time what to rate this and decided on 4 stars because this book honestly perfectly captures the thoughts and feelings that run through your head when you go through a situation like Melinda's. This book was extremely hard for me to read as it hit very, very close to home and for that reason, I just couldn't give it 5 stars.
Ruby Granger
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did really enjoy this book, even though the writing style was pretty simple... the plot more than made up for it. It's such an important topic and I love that the reader only gradually grows to understand what has happened (mirroring Melinda's memory).

I would recommend to high school students. Even though some of the content is disturbing, it's an important book for teenagers to read -- and the writing style means it's really accessible.
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those struggling with depression
A powerful story! I don't think a 5 star book has to be perfect. No story is perfect. This story tells an amazing story, but the end has problems for me and I still love this book. When a book makes me feel so much and I simply can't put it down, that's a 5 star review.

There isn't any way to review this without spoilers:

Spoiler Warning:

Melinda was at a senior party and called the cops and everyone knows and so she is now the 9th grade pariah and outcast. The reason she really called the cops was
Jul 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Get me a Delorean! I'm giving this book to myself and every girl I knew ten years ago!
Shelves: ya
Wow. I started reading this to entertain myself on a long subway ride home at 2 am, thinking I'd skim a bit and start reading it the next day. The next time I looked at the clock it was five in the morning and I was devouring the last lines of the novel. It is dangerously, fantastically gripping, not necessarily because the plot is so amazing, but because Anderson gets Melinda's voice so very, very right. Melinda is such a thoughtfully rendered portrait of a smart, funny, terribly depressed teen ...more
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very powerful book: it deals with rape and depression in one of the most realistic and poignant ways I've read. I rated it 4.5.

The only reason I didn't give it a 5 was because I could not see myself in Melinda. I am very self-aware and I know that I would not have responded in any of the same ways that she did. This does not devalue any of the book though. I could still absolutely empathize with Melinda, I completely understood and appreciated her.

One of the things that I most enjoyed
bleg. greg loooooved this book and said it made him wish he had written his own angst-books in high school, but i was a teenage girl and he wasnt, and this just didnt do it for me. its not poorly written at all, i just have never liked books that were about clique-y high schools because i couldnt relate to them at all. maybe i just went to a smaller, or a nicer, high school. but i can definitely see the value of this for a teen reader, and i really liked the authors note on censorship at the end ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak, published in 1999, is a young adult novel by Laurie Halse Anderson that tells the story of high school freshman Melinda Sordino. The novel was based on Anderson's personal experience of having been raped as a teenager and the trauma she faced. Speak is a first-person, diary-like narrative.

Written in the voice of Melinda Sordino, it features lists, subheadings, spaces between paragraphs and script-like dialogue.

The fragmented style mimics Melinda's trauma. The
Em Lost In Books
There are no doubts that it is a very important book for the subject it deals with. We need so many more books on this subject but I want them to actually “speak”.

So something happened at a party to Melinda and she stops speaking. She is not popular in school; in fact her friends have started to cut her. They don’t want to see her anymore as they find this “not speaking” behavior strange but they don’t try hard to extract the reason for this. They just accept without questioning her. Same is the
Dave Schaafsma
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Paul Laurence Dunbar

I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals—
I know what the caged bird feels!

I know why the caged bird beats his wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough
Tamora Pierce
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-yr, contemporary
I just re-read SPEAK for the first time since it came out, so you know I'd forgotten the details of the story. I remembered it being a harder read this time than it was the first time. I'm not sure if knowledge of the big reveal made the tension bigger for me this time, but I still have to say this is a smashing read.

Melinda called the cops on a wild end-of-summer party before she started ninth grade, and now she doesn't have a friend in the world except new girl Heather, who has plans for getti
Kat (Lost in Neverland)

I liked Speak. For the most part.
Mostly the end.
The majority of the book was pretty bland. I had a voice in my head pestering me and saying; "Oh my god, who the fuck cares?!"

Thankfully, it paid off in the end. The ending really made the book for me.

Though I wish Melinda had given Andy (aka IT) a good kick in the balls.



I'm sorry, I'm having WAY too much fun with this!

But when you watch it, it's actually quite close to a situation in the book. (
reading is my hustle
Bleak YA novel that reads as a cautionary tale. This was assigned reading for our #1 in her Language Arts class. Students were asked to read this book for a bullying unit though it is more about the injustice of rape (it does not address the particular damage of rape). It is the story of a young girl who is so disconnected from everyone that she is unable to speak after being assaulted until her rapist targets her ex best friend. She tells no one about her own assault and though she is much chan ...more
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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 thirte

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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.


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.”
“When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time.” 3529 likes
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