Our latest book review comes to us from Budimir Teen Advisory Group’s Anna.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Because of one incident, one that was done out of instinct, Melinda Sordino is hated by everyone at her school. Her friends won’t talk to her and people she hasn’t talked to before whisper about her behind her back. That summer, Melinda had busted a party by calling the cops, which is in every means, looked down upon. Anderson spices up this story through a tender yet dark and funny way and invites the readers to join Melinda’s head as she decides to be alone and not talk. Unfortunately, even her own mind is dangerous as she’s trying to block herself from something that happened the night of the party.
Anderson really captures the idea of high school and how dangerous of a place it can be right from the start of the story. The first paragraph of the story seemed to be a beckoning at a door, reading, “It is my first morning of high school. I have seven new notebooks, a skirt I hate, and a stomachache.” With a touch of tender comedy, this book kept me at my edge waiting for what Melinda would do next. At times, I even felt her anger build up inside of me, and at others, I could completely relate with her. The uniqueness of this book really draws the readers in for a story like none other. By the time I was on the last page, I couldn’t even let out a breath and the ending surprised me. A typical high school based story, one would think it would end ordinarily, but this 11-award winning novel kept my eyes wide open until the last word. Begin a journey by picking up Speak, a novel you’ll never regret.