Thursday, February 11, 2010


Wow. That's the first word that came to mind after I finished Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak. My next thought was "I need to read that again." Speak is the story of teenage Melinda Sordino. Melinda is just entering high school and is already an Outcast. Most of the high school kids are mad at her for busting up a party at the end of the summer. Even people she doesn't know hate her. Yet, Melinda has a darker secret. One that she finds so terrifying and so impossible to talk about that she just stops talking. I won't say more than that so that I don't risk giving away any of the story.

This is the first book I read by Laurie Halse Anderson. The sales pitches on the book gave it a lot to live up to "National Book Award Finalist," "A Printz Honor Book," and "one of the most important YA novels published in the past decade." I think the book lives up to those expectations. Halse did a good job of capturing the teenage voice and letting us into the mind of Melinda. She communicated her message well (even though she claims in the back of the book that she was just trying to tell a good story). I felt for Melinda and by the middle of the book, more than anything, I just wanted Melinda to break down, speak and tell her story.


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