Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (October 22, 1999)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I had very high expectations from this book and although I loved it I wouldn’t say it was exceptional.
Speak is about a teenage girl Melinda who is an outcast at school. She is struggling to find her voice which was silenced by something that happened to her at a summer party. I am guessing everyone knows what it is, I won’t mention it here for the few who don’t. Although there are hints as to what exactly happened and it is quite easy to guess, that is really not the purpose of the book.
I’s about not blaming yourself, not let the guilt take you down and silence you forever. The writing was exceptional, that was the only thing that make me go through the book because at times the book does get boring. It’s just Melinda complaining about her parents, her friends, the cheerleaders, the jocks and basically everyone around. And I do think that it is necessary to show the state of mind of a teenager who has gone through a traumatic situation. But sometimes it does get a little too much. But inspite of all this I did love Melinda’s voice, her observations were very funny and sarcastic at times which made for good reading.
Besides I think the ending was very neatly wrapped up, a little too neat. I am all for neat endings but for a topic like this it was a little unbelievable. How many girls get to this even? Anyway, it’s still a good book for teenagers. I loved it but it didn’t blow my mind the way it did for so many others.