Saturday, March 12, 2011

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I had always heard a lot about this book and it was always on my list of things to read. Then this Christmas my department head gave me a signed copy as a present. I decided that it was definitely time to read it yesterday when I wasn't feeling well.

Melinda is starting her freshman year of high school as an outcast. Everyone thinks she called the cops at the big party at the end of the last school year. No one bothered to find out why she would have called the cops, not even her best friend Rachel. Her parents aren't around much either. They are both always working and don't really know much about what's going on in Melinda's life. As the year progresses Melinda speaks less and less. She feels as though her throat is closing and her lips and mouth are always dry.

When I first started reading this book I went online and checked out a couple of reviews. People seem to love or hate this book. There is no in the middle and I think that that is usually a sign of a great book. It illicits strong feelings in everyone who reads it.

For most of this book Melinda is trapped in her own head. She can't deal with what happened to her on top of everyone's perceptions of her actions. She ends up hiding from the world and her parents lack of interest and her fellow students unwillingness to look past the obvious. I really liked how her friendship with Ivy and with her lab partner organically bloomed and the way these friendships and her tree project began to make her come out of her shell and deal with what happened.

I also liked the style the book was written in. I liked the mini headings instead of full on chapters. It felt like a good reflection of how Melinda was living her life, one little piece at a time because anything else was too big to handle.

1 comment:

  1. Anderson portrays with perfect accuracy of the emotional turmoil and cruelty in teenage life. This book familiarizes with its readers so well that they feel as though Melinda herself were a true companion, a personality of genuine attitude, sarcasm, tenderness and guilt. One of the best young adult novels I have read.