Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Disclaimer: The opinions in this review are solely my opinions and do not reflect the views of the author. I purchased this book on my own from Barnes and Noble.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is a Young Adult Contemporary Fiction novel. This novel follows the life of Melinda, an incoming freshman who faced challenges over the summer which have followed her into her new school year. Melinda starts the new school year as an outcast, not having any friends, people now stare, her old friends now snicker behind her back, and she is currently silent. She only speaks when it is necessary. Speak is a compelling novel regarding the challenges faced by those who harbor a secret that could affect many but most importantly the fear of sharing. Melinda has a dark secret she is afraid to share, and this secret is eating her up inside. She can’t seem to make friends or even talk with her parents. Her parents continue to argue with each other about Melinda’s situation as they watch her withdraw from social situations. Melinda’s grades are falling, she is skipping school, and hides any chance she can. Why won’t she speak? What is this secret? What will happen when she speaks? Unfortunately, I do not want to share too much information, but I recommend you read this book.

Overall, I thought this book is well written. This entire book had me on the edge of my seat. I thought it was different the book did not have chapters but separated by marking periods. The book is only 175 pages which made it a short read for me, but I did love the authors comments at the end. The author provided a question and answered at the end of the novel. I enjoyed learning about how she thought of the Melinda character, and I hope for another book that gives a glance at Melinda’s future after high school. I gave this book a four-star rating because it was a little bit predictable. I knew why Melinda was troubled and why she was an outcast from the beginning of the novel. There are numerous reasons why people tend to decide to go mute. Her reasoning was because of a traumatic event that occurs in the story. In the end, I wanted more action and more of a love story for Melinda and David. I wanted a little bit more happiness for Melinda, but I did like that the happiness wasn’t overbearing or unrealistic. I also wanted more added to the storyline, and i felt like there just was not enough in this book for me. I did however still love this book which why I did not give it a low rating.

I recommend this book to anyone who interested in reading a compelling contemporary novel that allows you to gain a better understanding of the effects traumatic events have on everyone involved.