Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review: Speak

Title: Speak
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Release Date: October 22, 1999
Publisher: Puffin
Cover Designer:
 Michael Morgenstern
Age Audience: YA
Genre: Contemporary
Tagline: The tough, tender, and darkly funny story of a teenage outcast.
Summary: Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't 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.

My Review:
I certainly have mixed feelings.
Based on what I’ve been hearing ever since I started reading YA, I’d come to expect something amazing and true and relatable from Speak.
However, this was not the case for me.

One of the things I liked was the writing. It was very simplistic, yet beautiful in an ordinary and everyday sort of way. Because there weren’t definite chapters in the book, it was almost like reading Melinda’s thoughts and feelings in their purest form.

I think that high school was portrayed stereotypically and unrealistically. Yes, it’s not a blast, but it isn’t exactly the worst thing that’s ever going to happen to you. I don’t find it believable that Merryweather High changed their mascot several times in one year. My school has had the same mascot for 30 years, and it will probably keep it for another 30 years.
Maybe this only applies to my school, but I don’t think “cliques” exist. There are divisions of sorts (the athletes, the people in band, the theatre kids, etc.), but not so strong that you don’t associate with people outside your group. Also, not every cheerleader is a ditzy blonde princess. I know that this book was published in 1999, but really?

Thanks to the lovely people on Goodreads who don’t put spoiler warnings in their reviews, I knew the reason for Melinda’s silence long before I read this book. I’ve never had something like that happen to me, so maybe I’m being insensitive, but I think that Melinda really should have told someone. It would have saved her so much pain and loneliness. This is another reason this book would be better for people other than me, because what happened to Melinda is not something I can relate to.

Overall, I don’t have any strong feelings of like or dislike. Speak is a good book, it really is. It just wasn’t for me.

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting review, I've heard so many people rave about this so it's good to see an opposing view. Thanks for sharing!

    The Cait Files


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