Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

The first day of high school is always a little intimidating and scary. New places to go, new upperclassmen.

It's torture for Melinda. She went to an after-summer party with a group of her friends before the school year started. As a freshman, she should be a nobody who has her middle school friends. But after that party, everyone in high school, from freshmen to seniors, knows her name.

She called the cops at the party and ruined it for everyone who was there. Some even got arrested.

But something happened at that party that made her call the cops.

Something she's never talked about. Not a single word to anyone.

So Melinda starts off high school as an outcast. A loner. She has no friends and a lot of the student body hates her on sight.

With all of the hostility toward her, Melinda starts to hide. She becomes mute. By not talking, she's able to hide in herself.

Her grades are going downhill, her parents are disappointed in her, and she's lost the will to live.

The only class that she's even remotely interested in is Art, but that doesn't help her GPA or her personal life.

When someone Melinda used to be close to was hanging out with the wrong crowd, Melinda felt she needed to come clean as to why she called the cops.

But after a whole year of silence, could Melinda finally speak up and tell everyone what really happened? Will anyone believe her after all of this time? Read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I have been meaning to read this book for so long. I don't know why it's taken me so long, but I'm glad I finally bought it and read it.

This book is so profound. It's about a hard, harsh topic, but unfortunately it happens to high schoolers.

Laurie Halse Anderson did a wonderful job portraying an abused girl and hearing her side of the story. The writing was really well and it was worded like a 14 year olds thoughts and reasoning.

It was also something that a 14 year old should never have to go through.

Melinda made a shell of herself. She stopped talking, stopped caring. She felt like there was nothing left to live for. She had no friends and the one she made - a new transfer student - ditched her to join a more popular group. Everyone hated her for calling the cops and she was an outcast.

But she was still able to care for a person that she was close friends with in middle school. She was also trying to do what everyone wanted, while also feeling a fraction of who she used to be.

This was an amazing novel. I wish I would have read it sooner, but I'm glad that I finally bought it and added it to my personal collection.

I think all teen girls should read this. It can happen to anyone and reading through Melinda's story is not only informative but also eye opening and heart wrenching. The topic may be too mature for some parent's viewpoints of their daughters, but this book should be read by all at one point or another. I know that if I have a daughter, I will try to get her to read this book and have a detailed conversation about it after she's done to talk about what she should do if anything like this ever happens to her or any of her friend's.

Again, a great novel that I will not forget anytime soon.

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