Current Giveaways!

Watch this space!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Title: Speak
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Puffin
Publish Date: April 1, 2001
Source: Library

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a young adult fiction fan.
  • You like books that deal with tough subjects.
What's the Story?:

From "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."

My Two Cents:

I was really torn about this book. The first half was terribly slow. Melinda is suffering from something but we don't find out what happened until about page 140. The first 140 pages are just basically Melinda moping around with only a whisper of what may have happened. She doesn't talk, she doesn't really have friends except for Heather from Ohio. And the only reason that Heather talks to her is because she just moved from Ohio and doesn't know that Melinda is sort of an outcast.

The second part of the book definitely picked up a lot more. Honestly at that point, I kind of got tied up in the idea that something was finally happening that it took me a bit to dive back into the story to finish it out. You finally get to find out what happened to Melinda and why she is acting the way that she does. She finally starts breaking through with her art, which becomes a way for her to break through everything that she's going through.

A couple things of note:

Anderson's writing is great and kept me reading even when I was getting fed up by the lack of action.

Also, this book would have been written when I was in high school and I was kind of startled how different high school was in the book from my own experience. It was kind of interesting.

Bottom line: the writing makes this worth the read.



  1. youre right about the action. but boy is this an emotionally powerful read.

    1. It was definitely a powerful read. The ending almost made me cry and I usually don't cry during books.

  2. Thanks for the review. I can remember teenage and high school angst. Glad the book picked up in the second half. Bet you are glad you stuck with it!

  3. I understand your frustration with slow beginnings...sometimes it's enough to make me set the book down :(

    I've heard a lot about this book though, especially how it packs an emotional wallop! Glad to hear it picks back up and the writing is engaging.

    Not sure if I'll read this as I saw the movie before I even knew it was a book (yep, the Lifetime one with Kristen Stewart).

    1. Hah, I kind of want to see the movie now. I never realized that it had been turned into a movie!

  4. I saw the movie and loved it and have been wanting to read the book for a while now, but never gotten round to it. I probably won't mind the slow start as long as the writing is good.

  5. I've heard wonderful, amazing things about this one but I never got round to picking it up.

    Books that take a while to start annoy me too, but it's good to hear the writing is worth it. I agree that you can deal with a slow beginning if the prose is beautiful :)

    1. Yes, the writing definitely kept me from getting totally frustrated!

  6. I thought this book did a realistic job depicting the shame and anguish experienced after an assault. I think it is a good book for teen girls and moms to read.

    1. I think so! Anderson just rips your heart out with the story.

  7. I thought the book was a bit slow, too, but it does touch upon an important subject. And her parents drove me crazy! How could they not know something was going on?

  8. I thought it was neat how truly immersed in Melinda's mind you are but at the same time you still are not able to see the whole story at once. This is a powerful novel, and readers can enjoy both Melinda's wry humor and her heart-wrenching pain. The metaphors and symbolism add to the richness, but the primary attraction is Melinda herself - you become one with her and I found that I cared deeply for her and ached for her sadness. Although most girls will not be able to relate to Melinda directly, her tale is one that needs to be told. She is a survivor and a heroine and a voice that every young girl should learn from.

  9. You have a nice review! Here's mine: Have a nice day!


Hi! Welcome to A Bookish Affair. If you leave a comment, I will try to either reply here or on your site!

As of 6/6/2011, this book is now an awards free zone. While I appreciate the awards, I would rather stick to reviewing more great books for you than trying to fill the requirements.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...