Saturday, June 7, 2014

Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

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. 

My review:
This book is downright gritty, heart-wrenching, painful, funny, witty and dark. It tells the tale of being the new kid, the freshmen, in high school and trying to find your place, your group, and failing miserably.

However, this story is more that just another high school drama. It is about pain so awful, so deeply  rooted that the main character chooses not to speak and be lost in her own thought than deal with her reality. This is about a girl dealing with being raped.

As you read the book, you think there is not much hope for the main character, Melinda, as she deals with high school nuances, a dysfunctional family and the horrible memory she is blocking. However, as the pages unfold, Melinda finds strength in an art teacher, a secret getaway, and a couple of other teens who have their own issue albeit, smaller. This voice she finally gets helps her in such a way that it is truly unbelievable.

I suppose you are wondering how a book about a girl who has been raped can be humorous among the dark recesses of the pages. Well, I am here to tell you the author manages to share how the idiocy of high school hierarchy can be through the main characters thoughts. Yet she wraps all of this  into a storyline that is completely believable and relatable.

I read this book in just two hours. I could not put it down, I didn't want to. I was so immersed in this character as I read. I understood her and wanted to help her. I felt her pain and understood her moments of pure ridiculousness. I simply got her.

This book is aimed at 12-17 year olds. I recommend it for particularly girls of this age but boys of this age should read it too. We adult need to read it as well. I fear that some of us can relate all too well with the main character.

5 stars and then some!
*****NOTE:If you are needing help: Call the National Rape Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE or simply call 911. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

~Naila Moon
Disclosure: I bought a copy of this book for my own collection. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Where to find the author:



  1. Question: Being that this book is for 12+ years, do you feel that it would be one that needs a discussion prior to reading or is it written in a way that a teacher can have it in their classroom library for students to grab randomly off the shelves?

    1. Jodee-that is actually a very good question.
      This book was written and targeted for teens. However, for the younger teenagers I think it would be wise to at least talk about safety and awareness.
      For the older teenager, I think it would be fine to have on a shelf and randomly pick but to be
      available for questions if they arise.

      I hope that answers your question.


Thank you for coming by. I appreciate all of your comments.
~Naila Moon