Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Paperback, first published in 1999, library copy.
I've heard of Speak many times before. It's an award-winning young adult book about a young girl just entering high school. At the end of the summer, she calls the cops on a party, and she is treated as the outcast of the school. She struggles with making friends, with communicating with her parents, with her grades. She goes through a lot in the course of a year. All in all, it's a story about her overcoming her depression and moving on from the things that have happened to her.
I enjoyed the read. It was quick: I started it last night and finished it this morning. The narrative style, first person present tense, makes the story easy to read. Melinda's voice is great, she's very sarcastic and funny. I also loved the struggle between the school's mascot and other funny things like that. The author addresses problems teens face everyday, and I think that's why it has resonated with so many people. Melinda chooses to stay silent about what's happened to her because she feels like no one will listen or believe her, and this is how a lot of people react to things.
I kind of wish there was more to it. A lot of it happened in Melinda's head, which I liked, because it shows how isolated she is through the year. Her friends felt kind of one-dimensional, though. They definitely didn't seem like true friends if they deserted her so easily. I wanted more of David, too; he was a nice guy.
The story was meaningful, and I liked it. I'd probably recommend it to other people, but it wasn't "OMG amazing!" for me.