Speak | Teen Ink


October 10, 2007
By Anonymous

By Laurie Halse Anderson

Everyone hates Melinda, the main character in Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, one of my favorite books. I really like Anderson's style of writing and the fact that the subject it's written about is so realistic.
After a wild high school party over the summer, at which Melinda calls the cops with an unknown motive, Melinda's best friends ignore her, strangers push her in the halls, and the new kids to school even ditch her. Melinda begins to fail all of her classes, except for art, her outlet, and her parents see right past all the depression in their daughter's eyes. The whole book goes through Melinda's freshman year at high school and what she deals with every day. She feels she can't be at home, what with her parent's meaningless bickering (usually over her), and she can't be at school with all the death glares and whispered hate words.
Melinda's despair and the fact that she refuses to talk about whatever happened at the party are the main subjects of the story. This book not only goes into the fact that you have to speak up sometimes, but also that no one should assume some matters without the whole story. This happened to Melinda, as everyone thought that she was just a scared child looking to ruin a fun summer night and didn't know the real reason why she called the police. Even though Melinda rarely says anything, Anderson can still get all her emotions and thoughts into the story. The way the author wrote the whole book makes me think, wonder what happened at the infamous bash, why it makes her so miserable, and why she suffers silently whenever “The Beast”, an older boy at her school, passes her. That is…until she speaks up.

The most important lesson this book taught me is the value and importance of speaking up, even when it hurts others, even when it hurts you. If you like realistic young adult novels with a twist, this book is right for you!

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