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Monday, September 14, 2015

Review: Speak

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Genre:YA Fiction
Publisher: Listening Library
Release Date: December 7, 2006
Audiobook: 5 hours and 1 minute
Narrator:  Mandy Siegfried
Source: Free from E-library

Book Description

The first ten lies they tell you in high school.
"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 becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.
Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.


I have been wanting to read this book for awhile now.  I was thrilled to see the library had a copy of it available in audiobook format.
Melinda is a freshman who is also the outcast from doing the right thing.  But no one knows that because she doesn't talk.  No one talks to her and she doesn't have a reason to talk to them.  When she is put into an art class with an unconventional art instructor, Melinda begins to find her voice again.
This book is heart breaking and sad.  I love that the author didn't make Melinda into a Tris (from Divergent) but with real reactions and emotions to a life changing event.  It's just so sad!  I mean no one dies but it is sad that Melinda had to go through all of this and the side effects of it are just as bad.  Teenagers and high school are hard especially the first year into but to have to walk in the first day as an outcast couldn't be easy.  The author did a wonderful job describing the emotional roller-coaster of high school students and their cliques.  She did really good at giving Melinda a voice inside her head as well.
But what I don't understand did this book end up on the BANNED BOOK list?
I think the situation of rape and the second attempted rape could be the issue but don't you think that is something young ladies should talk about, read about and be aware of to protect themselves.  I don't think this book is too graphic or too violent in the descriptions of rape but then again rape is a violent crime.  The author did a great job talking about it and this book should be on the freshman year reading list so that the class can talk about it with a teacher.  
I would love to have more story or a part two to see what happens to Melinda next.

Reviews by Other Bloggers


I recommend this book to teen readers and older.


This book is number 17 in my New Author Reading Challenge
This book is number 16 in my Audiobook Reading Challenge
This book is number 28 in my Goodreads Reading Challenge
This book is number 1 in my Banned Book Reading Challenge

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