Speak by Laure Halse Anderson is a novel that has been long recommended to me by one of my best friends, Katie. Ever time I've said something along the lines of "I just finished (x), and I need something new! What should I read?" She's just about always reminded me that I should know what her answer was going to be. So, once I got to camp I knew that this was the summer that I would finally check this book off my list.
And I'm really glad I did.
This is one of those books that if I tell you too much about it up front, then I will be doing the book a disservice and be spoiling it for you in the end. Because this book? So moving. So incredibly moving. It's something I wish I had read in High School because I think it might have made me understand how to understand people a little better. It would have opened my eyes to the fact that other people (much like myself) aren't always feeling exactly what they show you that they're feeling. Or that the weird kid in the corner table at lunch? Probably not so weird at all. This story would have reminded a high school aged me that everyone has their own story.
Speak is Melinda's story. From her first day of high school she is the outcast. And not just any outcast. She's the outcast the outcasts avoid. She made the grave mistake of calling the cops to an end of summer party weeks before the start of her freshman year, and now she might as well have the plague. No one wants to be her friend. No one wants to even associate with her for fear of being labeled her friend. Melinda slowly turns inward, even to the point of becoming mute.
This is Melinda's story of what it means to be scared and silent and ignored. And what it takes to come back. Speak is a deeply moving novel that tugs at your heart as you read Melinda's words. It's a powerful book that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
Date Finished: 29 June 2012
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
First Line: It is my first morning of high school.
Last Line: Let me tell you about it. [whited out for spoiler's sake]
Favorite Line: Nothing is perfect. Flaws are interesting.
Recommended: Totally! It's a tough read, as far as your emotions are concerned. But worth it in the end.