Review of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

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Speak is written with a great narrative that I got into really quickly. There's no real chapters, just different sections, almost like Melissa is scribbling down her thoughts as I was reading them. I was thrown straight into the story, just after some major key events have happened and now Melissa is dealing with the aftermath. She doesn't speak much, preferring her own world and of course, I had to follow her through that. I would imagine that many readers would want to jump up and be her friend! Her voice isn't one I'll forget quickly.
There's lots of quotes that are quite meaningful, of course and I imagine many fans of Speak will have them all favourited on GoodReads. There's lots of humour too, all from Melissa.

Of course if you know of Speak, you'll know it deals with a very difficult subject. I think Laurie Halse Anderson handled the subject very well and the build up to Melissa finally telling someone was very well written. When she did finally tell someone I breathed a sigh of relief, as many readers would have. I did feel that the reactions from her old friends were a little extreme and unrealistic, as with the ending. The ending was way too over the top, to be honest. I would have liked to have read about the year after and see how Melissa was doing because it did seem to cut short for me. I think I would have enjoyed the book more too.

I hated Melissa parents. Her father wasn't too bad in some parts but her mother was incessantly annoying. I wanted to just slap her. Surely she must know that something was wrong with her daughter? You don't just go from being a social butterfly to a recluse overnight unless something severely traumatic happens.

4/5

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