Sunday, September 18

Book Review: Speak

Title: Speak

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Pages: 198

Summary: An extraordinary and multi-award-winning first novel about a girl who chooses not to speak rather than give voice to the truth, Speak has garnered rapt attention from readers and educators. This anniversary edition is a tribute to Speak’s ability to speak out on the difficult issues, and contains an all-new introduction from the author, an essay about what happens after the book ends, an exploratory guide to inspire further thought and discussion, added resources, and a teaser chapter of Laurie Halse Anderson’s newest book, Wintergirls. Speak is a powerful, moving book that should be read and reread.

My Rating: 8.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This book was incredibly well written, as the reader you are able to get into the head of Melinda and really feel her pain, as well as her attempt to break free and speak out. The author also hits the nail on high school life, the cattiness, the cliques and the general atmosphere - as much as I hate to admit it. I think it's easy for adults to forget what high school is really like - but the author shows it in all its glamour and horror.

Melinda was a well created character, and you do feel for her. I wanted to smack her parents for being so clueless about what Melinda was going through, along with her "friends." Which makes the whole experience Melinda is going though that much worse. The author paints a very realistic experience for the reader. I do wish there was more to the story, I wanted more after the ending, I wanted to find out more about Melinda and what happened next. I also both enjoyed and disliked the way it was written. On one hand, it gave the disjoined and distraught thoughts and emotions Melinda was going through, but there were times where I wanted more from the narrative, just a little more depth and insight. Overall it was a fantastic read, and is an emotional one.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, it's a tough subject, but it doesn't go into any details. The reader just sees the pain Melinda is in. An emotional read and one that should be read, it helps get a message out, that is often kept silent. I'd also recommend watching the movie, as it was incredible well done, and very true to the book.

What to read next: Wintergirls, Chains also by the author. I'm not sure Wintergirls is a book I'd read, but I've heard good things about it and also deals with a teenager attempting to cry for help.

Challenges: 11 in 11, 100+ Challenge, Mental Illness Advocacy Challenge

Banned Books Week: This book was put under fire in 2010 to be removed from shelves in a high school in Missouri. The book was characterized as "pornographic" by the challenger as the reason why it should be removed from the bookshelves.


  1. I actually liked Wintergirls better than Speak...

  2. Melinda's parents infuriated me, too. Anderson really did bring me back to high school, which is one period I would never want to revisit, and it says a lot about her talent as a writer.

  3. I've heard such good things about this one. Sadly I haven't picked up it yet. Great review.

  4. Kalina - I've read the summery and a few reviews, and the book just doesn't appeal to me. But glad you were able to enjoy it.

    Anna - You would have thought they would have figured something was going on with her. She was obviously showing signs of distress.

    Linda - It's a good book to read, horrific circumstances, but well worth reading.

  5. This book is a book that has stuck with me for a long time. I plan on rereading it some day just because I found it to be such a good read. Great review!

  6. Samantha - It does stick with you, and it is a book that I could see my self re-reading at one point as well.

  7. You have a nice review! Here's mine: Have a nice day!