Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: The Penguin Grop
Publication Date: 29th March 2009
Stand alone or series: Stand Alone
Book Received from: Bought
First Lines: It is my first morning of high school. I have seven new notebooks, a skirt I hate, and a stomachache.
Note: Original posted on Book Lovers Inc
After Melinda goes through a traumatic and violent incident at a summer party, she calls the cops and becomes a social outcast. Her freshman year is a disaster. As time passes, she stops talking--except through her paintings in art class. Her healing process has just begun when her perpetrator attacks again. Only this time, she doesn't keep silent.
It was through various blog posts for Banned Book Week that Speak came to my attention. I'd never even heard of it until then. The controversy over subject matter in this was the main issue and in some school libraries it was actually banned. This was the clincher for me. I had to have this book. I needed to know what all the fuss is about and I jumped online and ordered it.
I don't know where to start. I've just finished reading Speak and I'm (excuse the pun) speechless. This has been brilliantly written. It's been a little while since I've felt those little butterflies in my stomach after putting a book down. This will be one book that I won't soon forget.
The book begins with Melinda, the main character preparing for her first day of highschool and is quite anxious at how the day will pan out. She has every right to be. Right from the get go she is shunned and cast out by her peers and once friends. The story sucked me in from the very few line! The reader is kept in the dark and only fed little bits here and there about why she is outcast until around halfway through the book.
The author has done a fantastic job at painting the picture. Her slow downward spiral and shutting herself off is a totally understandable reaction and it hit home how easily something like this could destroy a persons life.
Her silence plays a massive part in the story, the cause and effect it has on Melinda which begins emotionally and piece by piece becomes visible until she can no longer hold it all in.
Speak is one of those books that had my stomach in little knots of anxiety, hanging off every word of Melinda's, and feeling what she felt.