Thursday, 23 June 2011

Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson

When Melinda Sordino's friends discover she called the police to quiet a party, they ostracize her, turning her into an outcast -- even among kids she barely knows. But even worse than the harsh conformity of high-school cliques is a secret that you have to hide.

This book is so close to my heart I honestly find it difficult to talk/write about it.

This book started out like any other young adult novel set in high school.

There were the popular cliques and then there were the outcasts.

Melinda Sordino is an outcast.

1. We are here to help you. 
2. You will have time to get to your class before the bell rings. 
3. The dress code will be enforced. 
4. No smoking is allowed on school grounds. 
5. Our football team will win the championship this year. 
6. We expect more of you here. 
7. Guidance counselors are always available to listen. 
8. Your schedule was created with you in mind. 
9. Your locker combination is private. 
10. These will be the years you look back on fondly. 

1. You will use algebra in your adult lives. 
2. Driving to school is a privilege that can be taken away. 
3. Students must stay on campus during lunch. 
4. The new text books will arrive any day now. 
5. Colleges care more about you than your SAT scores. 
6. We are enforcing the dress code. 
7. We will figure out how to turn off the heat soon. 
8. Our bus drivers are highly trained professionals. 
9. There is nothing wrong with summer school. 
10. We want to hear what you have to say." 

Sounds pretty normal, right?

Well it isn't.

Melinda is crushed emotionally. She is depressed. And she is filled with incomprehensible pain.

I think teenagers whose lives are perfect and who are completely happy should skip this book.

Because A)This book shall make you depressed. It's very The Bell Jar or The Catcher In The Rye in that respect.I mean filled with Agnst.

B) This book annoyed many who thought Melinda was whiny.

Do I want to punch such people?

OfCourse! I hate happy people. >.<

Just kidding.

Okay I am not. Because said teenagers want to read this book because Kristen Stewart aka Their beloved Bella Swan played the protagonist in the movie.( No I am not hating on her. I think K-Stew did an excellent job in the movie.)

Moving on,

Melinda Sordino is cradling a dark secret.

A secret which has paralysed her(mentally) and left unable to speak.

I would tell you what the secret was but honestly that would be spoiler-ish so I won't.

But I will say it is HORRIBLE HORRIBLE.

I love Melinda Sordino because she reminds me so much of Esther Greenwood.

I wouldn’t have been shocked if she had committed suicide by the end of the book.

She did not however.

Melinda manages to get help.

Does she recover.?

We can only hope she did.

Melinda’s voice is normal and blunt. Melinda's first person narration empowers Speak's literary strength. The use of monologue invites readers to become emotionally involved in the story and feel empathy for Melinda.

She doesn’t care about friend’s or classes.

"I need a new friend. I need a friend, period. Not a true friend, nothing close or share clothes or sleepover giggle giggle yak yak. Just a pseudo-friend, disposable friend. Friend as accessory. Just so I don't feel or look so stupid." 

However, she does wish some guy liked her. Here I’ll warn y’all that there was absolutely no romance in the book.

Oh and I loved that her art class played such an important role in the movie.

"Art without emotion its like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag." 

"Why not spend that time on art: painting, sculpting, charcoal, pastel, oils? Are words or numbers more important than images? Who decides this? Does algebra move you to tears? Can plural possessives express the feelings in your heart? If you don't learn art now, you will never learn to breathe!" 
And this quote for all of us who have ever wished we could just hide in a closet forever.

"I know my head isn't screwed on straight. I want to leave, transfer, warp myself to another galaxy. I want to confess everything, hand over the guilt and mistake and anger to someone else. There is a beast in my gut, I can hear it scraping away at the inside of my ribs. Even if I dump the memory, it will stay with me, staining me. My closest is a good thing, a quiet place that helps me hold these thoughts inside my head where no one can hear them."

Similar Books: Thirteen Reasons Why By Jay Asher
The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath
The Trailer : 

You can follow Laurie Halse Anderson on Twitter at @halseanderson 


  1. I didn't even know Speak had been made into a film until I read this. I've added it to my LoveFilm list now :-)

  2. I found this to be a very powerful book. I recommend it to everyone.

    I'm a new follower! Glad to find your new lovely book blog. Enjoy!

  3. I haven't read it yet, but i own it and i have seen the film. The Bell Jar is my absolute favourite book, so i can't wait to read this one.

  4. This is one of my favorite books (and- though it doesn't change how I feel about the book- one of the few KStew movies I like). I loved that you compare it to The Bell Jar because it's totally true. They both throw emotional punches at me every time I read them.

  5. I have seen the movie and as much as i do not like Kristen Stewart now, i have to say the girl can act... portraiting Melinda was extremely hard but i think Kristen did it justice... i loved it!
    as for the book, it is on my to be-read list... waiting... waiting... i just found out how to order books from britain with free delivery,so my book collection is slowly growing :)

  6. I've actually never read this book, but I've heard amazing things about it (and I loved the film). It sounds absolutely haunting yet real, and incredibly angsty, but in a brilliantly emotional way. And I loved the role art had in the film as well! I definitely have to read this one day.

    (And YES. Thirteen Reasons Why is one of my favorite books of all time. I can't even explain how the characters and the plot are so real, and that book is absolutely chilling and memorable. Definitely in my top ten.)

  7. Great Review! I love the movie!

  8. Speak is probably one of the best YA books of all time. It has some tough issues, but it really makes you feel for the characters. I'm not going to lie...I didn't really like K-Stew in the lead role...but at least she didn't kill that the way she killed Bella for

  9. 1st things first. BEST. BOOK. EVER!! and 2nd. K-Stewart did a really good job playing the MC role. Love this book so much, really depressing, but SO GOOD.

  10. I read this book at the beginning of high school and I thought it was a really sad, emotional book but also very important to read. It's one of the books assigned from school that has really stuck with me.

  11. I read this a month ago and it has been stuck in my head since then. This is totally Laurie Halse Anderson's best book.

  12. This book is beautiful. It's beautiful, and it's honest, and there's really no better combination than that. It's the type of book that you think about for hours and remember long after it's done.
    I agree with you. More people should read it.

  13. My Gosh. This book looks great! The trailer looks good. I've heard many good reviews about this book and am sooo putting this book in my to-reads pile!

  14. Speak was definitely not an upbeat book, so if you're depressed it won't help matters. One thing I can say about this book is that the author did an amazing job of painting a visual picture and subdued emotion that I have never felt while reading a book. I felt Melinda's pain and I was there for her until the end. I originally saw the movie a few years back and thought it was fantastic. To this day I have never seen another book/movie interpretation that I felt really captured the essence of the book



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