Speak

Speak

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We read Speak for book club a couple months ago. First, here’s 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.

This was hard to read at times, but a powerful, and slightly oddly written book. Since it was from the perspective of a high school student, it was choppy and hard to read at times. I was able to get past the character’s prose because the book was interesting. The summary above gives a good idea about the book. It takes a long time in the book to find out what happened to her. And albeit graphic, I thought it was kind of anti-climactic for being such an integral part of her story.

You can really see how such a tragic event can dramatically change a person. That was hard to read. But she has a teacher who can tell there’s something she needs to get out.

It was a good book in hindsight, but I imagine there are better books out there that touch on this topic were you looking to read something about a similar incident. The other ladies weren’t terribly fond of the book because of the topic and graphic details at times. It was a fast read if this is something you might be interested in reading.

Happy reading, friends.

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