Shelley's Reviews > Speechless

Speechless by Hannah Harrington
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's review
Apr 13, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: 2012-releases, contemporary, netgalley-arc

*Genre* Contemporary YA
*Rating* 3.5


I find that I am one of those reviewers that picked up this book because of the uniqueness of the cover rather than the synopsis of the story itself. The cover is unique in the that we don’t have a girl in a flowing black, blue, or red dress on the cover which permeates the YA genre these days. We don’t have a girl kissing a boy, or hiding her face away from the crowd because of an embarrassing mistake on her part. It’s unique in that you have to guess what the girl, Chelsea Knot, looks like. You have to leave your mind to wonder on its own imagination in what the story is going to be like, and how it’s going to turn out.

Yet, today, I find myself having a difficult time reviewing and explaining my likes and dislikes of this book even after allowing for a few days for it to all sink in my over worked brain. The subject matter is one that really upsets and makes me mad. I hate mean girls with a passion. Worse, I hate those who are subjected to brutal gossip and innuendos that ends up with someone being seriously injured or worse. I blame the parents for not laying down the law on what is acceptable behavior and what is not. I blame teachers for allowing this behavior in schools and in the class room to continue unabated. As a friend said, this book probably should be read and taught by teachers who are more concerned about their paychecks, than about their own students.

Speechless is a contemporary YA novel that surrounds 16 year old Chelsea Knot who seemingly has it all. Chelsea is this books Gossip queen. She can’t keep her mouth shut when it comes to things that isn’t her business. She blabs and blabs, and her mean girl crew thinks it’s rather funny when she cuts someone down to size and ruins their reputations. That is until she see’s something at a New Year’s Eve Party that makes her seriously uncomfortable and she blabs her mouth. Seeing how her own mouth caused someone to nearly die, Chelsea vows a code of silence. This, of course, leads to a whole new world of discovery and true friends who don’t judge a person by their actions, even if the action nearly killed the person they loved.

I found that Chelsea’s vow of silence was kind of sad in that she didn’t even try to stand up for herself, or to make right what she herself did to one of the characters. I found that, while, yes, I would love to not speak to anyone for a while, that it’s nearly impossible to go a month without blurting out something, especially to parents and/or siblings. Yet, in the end, it was probably the best thing that happened to her. She grows as a person and learned that opening one’s mouth before thinking can lead to severe consequences for those around her. She also learns what true friendship and love is, and not what was told to her by her popular girl crowd lead by Kristen Courteau.

Truth in reviewing. I haven’t read Saving June by this author so I was unprepared to go into this book knowing what to expect. I did enjoy the sub characters like Asha and Sam Weston who were introduced after Chelsea took her vow of silence. I also loved the characters at the restaurant who were willing to forgive Chelsea for her actions. I will admit that Chelsea really goes through a lot of stuff in this book and I felt kind of sad for her at times. Yet, it’s also because of her mouth that this all happened in the first place. Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones after all.

I will say to potential readers of this book that you should make your own opinions and determination on how you want to review this book and whether you like it or not. We readers are like lemmings at times. We rush out and gush over reviews when the books actually don’t make a lot of sense. In this case, Speechless is a different kind of book for me. This is a book that is well put together and leaves burning emotions behind in its wake. The characters seem genuine and the situation isn’t far-fetched like out of a science fiction novel. I would highly recommend this book with warnings about the subject matter at hand.

*Recvd via Netgalley/Harlequin 07/12/2012* Releases August 28, 2012
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Reading Progress

April 13, 2012 – Shelved
July 12, 2012 – Shelved as: 2012-releases
July 12, 2012 – Shelved as: contemporary
July 12, 2012 – Shelved as: netgalley-arc
August 10, 2012 – Started Reading
August 11, 2012 –
22.0% "Not sure how I feel about this book yet. Chelsea isnt the most likable character to read about."
August 11, 2012 –
41.0% "Day 6 - I love Asha and Sam. So, yes, I am giving this story it's due diligence."
August 11, 2012 –
August 11, 2012 –
August 11, 2012 – Finished Reading

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