Wednesday, March 12, 2014

YA Book Review: Speak

Book Title: Speak
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Macmillian
Genre: YA Fiction
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Format: Trade Paperback
Cost: $9.99
Pages: 208
How I got it: Library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
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Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country

This is a good book, but I do have some questions.  I want to know why didn't her parents know something was wrong??  Why her friends didn't know and stick up for her, because clearly, something must have happened for her to call the cops.  Why she had no one, absolutely no one she felt she could talk to, not a teacher, counselor, priest, neighbor, no one in her life she could confide in???  Why, when the cops came to the party, she didn't just confess then why she called them?? Everybody already knows you called if you're going to deal with the fallout why not just go whole-hog??

The book is both depressing and sad. I'm glad she eventually found a way to both get justice & deal with it and I'm glad others know. I do wish Laurie would tell more of the story but I get why she ended it like that. It's now up to us to think what we want, give the ending we want for her. I'll be honest when the book started I was bored, sooooo bored, reading it. I stuck with it because others said it was amazing so I wanted to see what it was about. I even tried watching the movie and that didn't work out but I stuck it out.  I'm glad I did,  I went into the book not knowing anything about Melinda, about why her story was being told. I knew nothing, which was good, but extremely frustrating because I kept wondering was I just reading about her thoughts and was anything worthwhile going to happen.

Perhaps, because I'm not a teenager anymore the things she worried about and talked about were not my thing and made it hard to relate to her.  I will say going in I had no idea what the book was about I just picked it up and read so I didn't know what to expect.

The starkness of the writing the bare-bones descriptions fit the fact that this is a freshman in high school discussing her experiences, it's her journey back from the valley of shock and shame.  This is also probably how we truly think, you know not always in brilliant allegories, but just plain thoughts.  I got it at the end, but if I hadn't stuck with it, I wouldn't have figured that out.

From the beautiful color on the cover of the book, to the symbolism in the tree, it's an amazing story. I'm glad this book is so popular, maybe, then we can prevent more Melindas' from happening.

Aside: I understand that this is a book that is challenged often due to the content, maybe if people opened their eyes and spoke frankly about sex, consent and what constitutes rape. Maybe, then the God awful news we keep hearing about boys and parties wouldn't be such a problem. Because their parents would raise them better. Stop hiding from the truth.
I can't rightfully say "happy reading" because there is nothing 'happy' about the story. It is however a thought-provoking novel & should be approached that way.

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