Authour: Laurie Halse Anderson
Length: 224 pages
How long it took me to read: Two days
What it's about:
The first ten lies they tell you in high school.
"Speak up for yourself--we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.
Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.
The ending is the most important part: The what it's about tells it all. The ending is great. What you are hoping and cheering for comes to pass. The ending is absolutely satisfying.
Last word: Everyone should read this book. The message of this book is that when something terrible happens to you, you can rise above it and fight back.
Spoilers after the jump:
This was a movie. Made for TV? I'm not sure. I saw the movie before I read the book, but the movie adaptation sticks to the book very faithfully.
I love Melinda. I think she "speaks" for all of us and what we go through in high school. Sometimes I wanted to yell at her because she didn't speak up at first, but I understand. There is a process to healing, sometimes when something terrible happens, you are rendered speechless, because you need to heal before you can talk about it.
I really loved this book and the message was great and hopeful.