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3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  333,235 Ratings  ·  16,494 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, 198 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Puffin (first published October 22nd 1999)
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Uma Therman
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Kylie George 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…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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 16, 2010 Madeline 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
Veronica Roth
Much has been said about how important this book is for teens, particularly those who have experienced what Melinda experiences, and I agree with that. But what I was surprised to discover as I read it was that I really enjoyed it, apart from its "message". It did not beat me over the head with its depressing-ness--it was understated, not unbearable. Likewise, even the message wasn't heavy-handed. Melinda's voice is rich, authentic, and often funny. Despite its tendency toward description and in ...more
Jul 14, 2014 Cara 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
Lola  Reviewer

Well, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. I mean, the summary doesn’t reveal much (kind of like Melinda herself) and so, obviously, I made my own assumptions of the plot. Turns out, there’s no killing involved. It’s not a mystery or a thriller; it’s a psychological story. If I had known before, I think I might have enjoyed this a tiny bit more.

So, Melinda. She’s confused, scared—terrified—and convinced that she’s alone in this wide, animalistic world. Things are somewhat bearable, but t
Sep 04, 2015 Maureen 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 Jessica Abarquez 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.
Mar 08, 2008 Laurie rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
♫♫♫  ♥♥♥ Candy ♪ Loves♪ Music ┼ Books ♫♫♫ ♥♥♥
ALL AGES - Can read this Gem

According to me a Prologue or the 1st Chapter of a book is THE reflection

Be Tougher Than Your Life Is - 2016 Motivation

Herewith my review!


Type of Characters and my choices according to pictures :

Eminem - Not Afraid

Relationship development

Chapter Development

This book made me cry, and laugh and cry!! I had WTF moments, laughing moments then sobbing like a baby moments.

I did not know how
Emily May
Apr 14, 2011 Emily May 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 emotion that I couldn't help recognise 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 only waiting to be snapped up my a cooler clique... and, of course, the protagonist who doesn't quite fit in anywhere.

The beauty of this novel
Sep 08, 2007 Mary 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
"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
Nov 23, 2015 April rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
*3.5 STARS*
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.
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Apr 06, 2014 Shelby *trains flying monkeys* 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.
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 boo
Jun 08, 2009 karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mark-harmon
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
Mar 09, 2011 Louize rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, especially parents
Recommended to Louize by: Apokripos
"When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time."

Silence dominates Melinda Sordino’s freshman year in Merryweather High School. A recent traumatic experience that led to a very complicated misunderstanding sent a sudden collapse on her being. Aside from being completely mute in public, Melinda’s private and social life is in ruins. Slowly, she began to lose interest in everything, including her family and school. If possible, she also wants to lose the memory of that trauma
Hailey (HailsHeartsNyc)
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.
Tamora Pierce
Jul 12, 2009 Tamora Pierce 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
Oct 25, 2014 Ariel 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
Aj the Ravenous Reader
More like a synopsis than a review. Lol. ^^

The title of this book intrigued me and somehow demanded me to read the book. My intuition that I will not regret reading this book did not fail me because this book tells of an inspiring and touching story of a young girl, Melinda who lost herself, her confidence and her ability to speak after she was raped by the most popular senior a year ago.

Because of her inability to speak, Melinda loses her best friend who thought that she was betrayed by Meli
Aug 07, 2010 Mon rated it it was ok
Maybe I'm being too cynical, and that the protagonist (I forgot her name already, so I'm just going to call her Jane) did go through something worth lamenting for 200 pages. But for God's sake just because your character is a silent withdrawn introvert doesn't mean your plot has to be the same, it's 150 pages of nothing then BAM! she speaks up! finds courage! The end!!!! LOOK MY HEART IS BLEEDING AND YOU CAN HEAR MY SCREAMS BECAUSE IM LITERALLY TALKING LIKE THIS!!!!! This has to be the worst psy ...more
Sep 29, 2011 Priscilla rated it it was amazing
An amazing, and inspiring read!

Initial thoughts:
1. Melinda's voice is snarky, sarcastic, and cynical. I loved it! (I was conflicted about liking her voice because I didn't know if this was innate to Melinda's personality, or transformed after the party).
2. I really liked reading the day to day aspects of Melinda's school year. Great and different moments, from the sad and frustrating, to the fun and inspiring. Not overly dramatic.
3. Beautifully written. Heartfelt and emotional.
4. Loved the symbo
Dec 05, 2011 Elizabeth rated it did not like it
Bleak YA novel that tries to be a cautionary tale. Worse, it was assigned reading for our #1 in her Language Arts class. Students were asked to read this book for a bullying unit.


Um, this is not a story about bullying. It is about the injustice of RAPE (though it never addresses the particular damage of rape). Instead 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 on
Vitor Martins
Apesar do livro criar um mistério sobre o assunto, acredito que não seja spoiler deixar claro o seguinte: Fale! é um livro sobre estupro.

Vamos acompanhar a vida de Melinda depois de ter sido abusada. Como ela lida com isso na escola, como ela guarda seus sentimentos pra si e como isso faz mal pra ela.

Apesar do tema pesado, a protagonista tem um senso de humor muito único. Dei várias risadinhas durante a leitura e me apeguei muito a ela.
Gostei muito do respeito da autora ao tratar desse tema, a
Kwesi 章英狮
Feb 17, 2011 Kwesi 章英狮 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kwesi 章英狮 by: Iyah
Before everything else, I don't have any idea that this award winning book really exist in the realm of books and another reason, is that I am a big fan of reading award winning literature for children and young adult that I never heard of Speak or Lauri Halse Anderson. But after I met a group of YA fanatic and a not-really-a-hater reader of this book, they discussed it while I'm listening to their reactions, good and bad comments and different interpretation of the book while I'm trying to focu ...more
Melissa Marr
Feb 21, 2009 Melissa Marr rated it it was amazing
This is, quite simply, one of the best YA books ever written.
May 14, 2016 Abigail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I’ll be an artist if I grow up.

When I first came across this line I was quite disturbed, a very understandable reaction looking back, yet I couldn’t figure out why. It stayed in the back of my mind as I continued reading, but it wasn’t until I read Scarlet’s review that I was able to understand what was so disturbing about it.

Melinda didn’t say that she’d be an artist when she grew up, but rather if she grew up.

It was the subtle yet terrifying lines like this that helped to strengthen t
I really liked this book. Karen may disagree, and say that I didn't grow up as a teenage girl so I can't judge the accuracy of how this book is, but I can counter with this girl would never be judged Prom Queen, so Karen might be coming at a view of High School from a slightly different angle.

Now, as someone who went through roughly 27 months (this would be from November 1989 to January 1992) completely friendless (I am not exaggerating, I had no friends during this time, not even other loser f
Page 78:
Maybe I’ll be an artist if I grow up.

The first time I read this line, I knew there was something wrong with it, but I couldn’t put a finger on it. I read it again, it bugged me more, and it was quite a while before I figured out why.

Melinda says she’ll be an artist if she grows up, and not when she grows up.


And it’s exactly things like these – small evasive things with chilling implications – that make Speak such an incredibly powerful book.

Speak is the story of high schoole
Dec 06, 2015 Stephanie rated it liked it
Shelves: finished-2015
“When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time.”

Speak tells the story of Melinda, a high school freshman, coming to grips with an unreported assault. Melinda has told no one of this assault -- not even her family or friends. In addition, Melinda's unexplained actions (of calling the police to report the party where the event occurred), have turned all of the kids in school against her -- so she has no friends at this point in time.

Melinda turns completely inward and won't
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HMSA Summer Reading: Book Review: Speak 1 7 Jun 23, 2016 09:40AM  
Book recommendations for a 16-year old recovering from depression? 13 83 May 09, 2016 08:58AM  
book review 4 14 May 09, 2016 08:47AM  
The F-word: April FICTION selection SPEAK 18 46 May 02, 2016 05:21AM  
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Ask box is open, my friends! What do you want to know?


The final book in my thrilling historical trilogy about the American Revolution, ASHES, will be published October 4, 2016!

I recently answered all kinds of great questions over at Reddit. Check it out for loads about my writing process and my books:

For bio stuff: Laurie Halse Anderson is the New Yor
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113 trivia questions
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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.”
“You have to know what you stand for, not just what you stand against.” 3195 likes
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