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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Winner of the 2019 Readers' Favorite International Book Award Bronze Medal, Young Adult-Social Issues

High school freshman Roman Santi has everything -- good looks, great friends, a mansion with an infinity swimming pool -- except the one thing he really wants. A relationship with his father.

When Roman’s life gets turned upside down, (thanks, Mom!?), he is forced to leave
Kindle Edition, 162 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Rosehip Publishing
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  127 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great Read

I loved this book.It kept my interest right from the beginning and I couldn't put it down!I never heard of The Spoken Club and loved all the different poems in the book.They really expressed the true feelings of the students who wrote and read them.

Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pop-fiction
Weiss’s debut young adult fiction captures the angst and inner workings of a teenager, Roman Santi, whose life is turned from mansion with a housekeeper in LA to sleeping on grandma’s sofa bed with a statue of the Buddha staring at him. The novel is a lovely, refreshingly sweet and poignant story about a kid not warped by society whose goal is to simply live happily ever after, be a friend, find friends, but also to find the father he’s never known. One of my favorite lines is from Roman’s first ...more
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reviewed for YA Books Central

A heartwarming story of finding out who you are.

The Story:
After his mom is involved in a Hollywood scandal, Roman is forced to leave everything he knows behind and move across the country to live with his grandparents. He's a young teenager who just wants to be back with his friends, but soon discovers there's more to life than what he knew. Like a father who doesn't know he exists and talent he never knew he had.

What I liked:
This was a cute story with an easy to re
Karen • The Book Return
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
*I received a free copy of this book from the author through YA book central.
Read this review and more on my blog.The Book Return Blog

Roman has his life turned upside down when, amidst a scandal, his mom decides to leave LA. Roman must learn to adapt to a new lifestyle and school in the midwest. He must grapple with who he really is and whether he'll ever meet his real father.
Although I had heard some spoken poetry before, I never realized that there was a whole movement behind it. I really was
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I was blown away by this ARC I received…WOW! I love the positive message in this book. What a clever way for teens, even grown ups to work through their issues and give them self worth. I loved the support, friendships and first loves Roman acquired throughout the book. Roman is a young teen who is taking control of his life and making changes. Roman's journey of self discovery, growth, fears and accomplishments kept me hooked till the end. This book touches one of the most difficult times in o
John Clark
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's difficult to recognize a blessing in disguise when it happens. Roman Santi is a high school freshman whose mom is a small time actress living with an older movie producer, Kirk, who is as close to a father as Roman has. His real father was a performer on a cruise ship, as was Roman's mother at the same time. Their brief romance led to Roman, but his dad went back to France and the two have never met.
When Mom is caught kissing an actor and photos are splashed all over the tabloids and inter
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book that has made you wish that it never ended? Well the book Spoken by Melanie Weiss sure made me feel that way. Told through the eyes of the main character Roman Santi, this young adult fiction book shows how amazing it is to see how much a character can change from the beginning of a book, to the end. The author incorporates poetry throughout the story that helped me learn more about Roman, and how he felt about his stepfather Kirk, and his real father that he hasn't met ...more
Tiffany Salazar {Beyond the Stars: Book Blog}
I found Spoken to be a little difficult to get into, but once I was in I was hooked. The story is very easy to relate to, especially for me, as I have been through similar things myself. Not the LA or the moving across the country parts, which are comical by the way, but the broken home aspects.

The main character, who is quite angsty if I do say so myself, was able to find himself through poetry. After moving across the country due to his mothers infidelity, he finds himself uprooted and unsure
Megan BG
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jill Goldstein
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A lovely YA read with enough momentum for the adult reader.
The appearances of local places (I'm a native Oak Parker) were fun nuggets scattered throughout.
The voice of Roman, the 15 yo narrator came through very well without being condesending or trite.
I loved this so much that I am passing it along to a friends son who was recently exposed to Spoken Word and will be attending "North Plaines High School" in a few years!
Bravo Melanie!
Kim P. Gerber
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable story whether you're a young or old adult! ...more
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kept my attention from the first page to the last
Kristi Sloniger
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a fun YA book with very authentic dialog among the high schoolers. It moved at a fast pace and was engaging in its characters and situations. Anyone from Oak Park will love the references to our community. Very appropriate for middle or high school age with uplifting themes and great support systems modeled for our protagonist Roman. Can't wait to see what is next! ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
SPOKEN IS AVAILABLE FROM OCTOBER 14 through OCTOBER 19 as a 99 cents ebook download from Amazon.com.
Jun 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audio version of this Young Adult novel. This is an award winning novel and I can see why. It had so many positive things going on in it to inspire the young (and the young at heart).

The title of Spoken refers to "Spoken Word", which is a performance based poetry club in which the high school kids are encouraged to dig down deep and write about their feelings. For Roman, it is a way into acceptance at a new school after his mom messes up her relationship with a rich producer in
Rachael Buckley
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are a lot of things I liked about Melanie Weiss' book, Spoken. It is different than any other book I've read. It tells the story of a high school freshman, Roman, who lives with his mother in Southern California. His life is turned upside down when his mother's mistake causes them to leave their comfortable life style and move to Chicago. In Chicago, they live with his grandparents where he begins attending a new high school. Roman makes friends, makes the basketball team, and joins the Sp ...more
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Spoken is a good coming-of-age story. It’s especially interesting because not only is the protagonist Roman (teenage boy) coming of age as he gets uprooted from his comfortable life in L.A. and moved to Chicago where he connects with kids in his new school and meets his formerly unknown father through Spoken Word, but Roman’s mom is also coming of age as she works to get her life together after spending years just living for the moment and for herself. The whole book is well-written, but I espec ...more
Carolyn Armstrong
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Great YA coming of age novel about a high school boy named Roman whose world as he knew it is turned upside down. His mom uproots Roman, moving him from the posh Hollywood home of her current boyfriend to a modest home in a Chicago suburb with her parents, his grandma and grandpa. Roman must start a new life at a new high school and soon discovers a club that performs poetry called Spoken Word.

He learns that he has a lot of feelings about being uprooted and not knowing a thing about his birthfat
the bookish mom
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is such a great coming of age novel that really kept my attention and had me turning the page to see how Roman takes his life into controls and really grows in the process. He is faced with some major life changes (like moving halfway across the country without warning, starting a new high school, and making all new friends) He goes from a “woe is me” boy to a young man who finds his voice and self worth. I loved seeing his transformation when he joined the Spoken Word club and how he then ...more
Hannah Sharp
Oct 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-1-10
Roman feels as if half his identity is a mystery because he has never met his father; in fact, his father doesn't even know he exists. After abruptly having to leave LA, Roman soon realizes that there is more to his identity than just being his mysterious father's son. While adjusting to his new life in Chicago, Roman discovers a passion for the spoken word and soon begins a journey of self-discovery.

I really enjoyed this book! I loved getting to read about Roman and his personal struggles. I f
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Spoken was a very cute coming of age novel. Roman is a high school student living the high life in Los Angeles when his world is turned upside down. Forced to leave the lifestyle he's grown accustomed to along with his friends, Roman and his mother move to Chicago to live with his grandparents. Faced with a new "normal" Roman is introduced to his new schools Spoken Word club, where he meets new friends and learns to accept his new life. This story was short and sweet and a feel good read.

I recei
Jun 23, 2022 rated it really liked it
I liked this book very much and I am sure I would like it even if I did not live in Oak Park which is the setting for much of the story. As it happens, I live not far from the author, although I do not know her.

First, the main character Roman is very well written. However, I think what puts this above many YA novels is that the adult characters are fully developed and experience charcter growth in the course of the novel, especially Roman's mother.

Teenage years are times when teens experience in
Rachel Williams
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it

This story was amazing, although brief and a little hard to get into. It was only when I was 30% of the way when I got really invested in the story, but for me that didn't take away from the overall impact of the novel. Roman is a really well written character, and his life and the drama surrounding his mom shaped his narration and perspective into something that I really really enjoyed reading.
Jill Chessen
Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Weiss truly captures the angst of a teenager whose life was uprooted and is searching for connection and belonging. He finds this belonging when he joins an after-school poetry club - Spoken Word. Participating in Spoken Word allows the protagonist to understand his upbringing a bit better. Spoken is a rare YA novel in that it delves into a contemporary high school experience without hitting you over the head with death, sex, or drugs. I highly recommend this book.
Maya Kemp
Mar 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Spoken is a very good novel, and it touches on some topics I haven't known about before. I have a new appreciation for Spoken Word, and I can learn many perspectives from the teens in the club. It's hard to identify with the protagonist due to his previous upbringing and status, but that may have been purposeful. There were some things that I found underwhelming, yet all in all it was an amazing read! ...more
Gina Malanga
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book and the inclusion of poetry in the chapters however, I agree with some other reviewers that the ending was just too perfect. As someone who works with teenagers I k ow nothing with them is this easy, there are too many emotions and hormones involved! I did love the positive messages in the book about accepting others and learning to be yourself.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Roman is a great character and I appreciate how well we see his thoughts about all the changes in his life. The poetry in the book is well done and adds a lot to the story. Overall I really enjoyed the characters and how real they felt. The friendships and family relationships were particularly well done.
Aug 05, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Man - I really enjoyed this YA book! I’m wondering if there is a way I can weave it into the books we read this year but the first part is just a story, the poetry piece doesn’t come until later. But I really enjoyed it - it is a great book to show kids that you never really know what talent you have, until you are brave.
Leslie Ortiz
Jun 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Interesting read

At first this took me a while to get into. Couldn’t relate with the main character. As I continued to read I realized that was point. Love the journey this book took me on.
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Melanie Weiss is author of two Young Adult novels, Crossing Lines and Spoken, which received a 2019 Readers' Favorite Book Award for Young Adult -Social Issues. In December 2020, she published the illustrated middle grade book, Oliver's Birthday and the Robin's Nest.

She is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and worked as a journalist for newspapers and magazi

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