Author: Hannah Harrington
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: August 28, 2012
Source: I received this book from the PR; however, this did not affect my review.
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a Young Adult fiction fan.
- You like great writing.
- You like good characters.
- You know "Love is Louder."
From Goodreads.com: "Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret
Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.
Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.
But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself."
My Two Cents:
Oh, Hannah Harrington, you've done it again. I loved Harrington's Saving June so I would have already have been excited about this book but the fact that this book is affiliated with the "Love is Louder" movement made me even more excited. "Love is Louder" is a worldwide movement supporting anti-bullying efforts. This organization is absolutely amazing and they do some really wonderful work.
Good causes aside, this is a really good book. Chelsea Knot starts out as the exact type of person I did not like in high school. She has made a name for herself as the school gossip. She cannot keep a secret for anything. Eventually this inability to keep her mouth shut gets her into major trouble. All of the people that she thought she could count on as friends totally turn their backs on her. In fact, not only do these so-called friends turn their backs on her, they start bullying her really, really badly. Many people would crack under the amount of pressure that she is under. I know that at her age, I would have totally cracked. I had the good fortune to just sort of get along with everyone in high school but I know that bullying would have really upset me. Chelsea takes it almost as a deserved punishment or some sort of penance for what she felt she did wrong. She is totally alone. Eventually I came to like Chelsea. After she realizes that spilling secrets was not the way to keep friends, she seemed like a much better person.
As with Saving June, I loved Harrington's writing in this book. She has a real hand for writing great characters. I fell in love with Asha and Sam. All of her characters seem really realistic. I also really liked Noah. He's definitely a person that we should all strive to be like. In one part of the story, he says something about how love is much harder than hate but love is worth it, which is so true. It is easy to hate something but it is harder to love something that you dislike. Sometimes in life, we have to embrace the things that we hate in order to make life better. Harrington also has a great hand for writing good conversations. The characters and the conversations are both stand outs to me in this book.
I think that especially in Young Adult fiction, the messages that books give us can be really important. Speechless is definitely one of those books that has a great message while just being an all around great story. I am hopeful that more people will read this book and take heed of the lesson that it is trying to share.
Bottom line: A great and powerful read.
For more information on Speechless and the Love is Louder movement:
My Other Reviews of Hannah Harrington's Books: