Friday, January 29, 2010

review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

genre: young adult

The cover of this book caught my eye so many times as I'd scan the shelves at the bookstore or library, but the blurb never grabbed me - it took book club for me to finally pick this up and read it. I wish I had no waited so long.

This book is amazing.

It's amazing because of the story it tells and the way it is told. It's amazing because of how much it makes you feel, how dark and scared and how light and free. For me, it was even sometimes really emotional because of how sensitive I am to being the "left out" kid or the "loser" in school. And while the situation is sometimes so horrible, Anderson writes it with grace and truth, with a sensitivity that makes me want to hand this book to everyone: READ THIS. Read about how a 14 year old girl has been raped and how she chooses to remain silent instead of ask for help. Read about how hard she has to fight against herself and the world around her to find her real voice again. Read to remind yourself of how desperately challenging it is to be a teenager, floundering in between security and independence. Read it for the voice of Melinda, her snide internal comments and her stubbornness. Read it for the teacher you hopefully had in high school that led you to believe that there was more inside you than you thought.

But read it.

note: obviously, this is a weighty subject, so if you are sensitive to thinking about rape then I guess, maybe, think first before reading it :)

book 6 of 25 for the young adult challenge

5 comments:

Tricia said...

I have had this one on my shelf waiting for me for a long time. I think I need to get over feeling in the "right" mood for a book like this and just dive in.

Melissa said...

Oh, yay. SO glad you loved it. It's not *wonderful*, but more powerful. And Tricia, there is no "right" mood. Just read it. :-)

bermudaonion said...

I loved this book so much, I went right out and bought another one of Anderson's books, but haven't read it yet.

Sarah said...

I've wanted to read this book for a long time.

Deb said...

i just finished it. oh, how i loved that teacher who reached out to her and let her be. how many kids are suffering and don't have that? but more discussion later....

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