Tamora Pierce's Reviews > Speak

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
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Jan 10, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: ya-yr, contemporary
Read in July, 2009

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 getting to the top social ranks in high school and doesn't yet realize that friendship with Melinda will ensure that she never achieves them. Melinda, who can barely speak anymore, can't tell her. She can only endure the spitballs, thrown food, whispers, and turned backs--and the whispered taunts of a handsome senior who terrifies her. Even her former best friend Rachel, eager to be popular, has abandoned her completely without ever trying to learn why Melinda made that call. And Melinda's parents seem to regard everything she doesn in this year as deliberately generated disappointments.

The story is that of Melinda finding her way back to herself over the year, from sliding downhill into total apathy to fighting her way to her voice and to justice. Like nearly all of Laurie Halse Anderson's work, this is a story about justice. It's also a story about voice and its power, about how voices speaking out are our most positive weapon. This book, its growing power since its publication, and the number of lives it has influenced, is living proof of the power of one writer's voice to set her readers free and to feed their idealism so it will never burn out.
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05/27/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Cara Couldn't have said it better myself! Top notch review:)

Andrez this is a great review!I cant wait to read the book!

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