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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson

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SPEAK (Platinum Edition)
By Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Penguin Group, 2006
198 pages, paperback
Date Finished: 12/1/2011
Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age, Serioius Issues

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute...

~First Line: "It is my first morning of high school."
~Last Line: " 'Let me tell you about it.' "

Review: WOW! I have to start off with that word. I absolutely love this novel, and I'm glad that I spent my birthday money on it. It truly was worth it.

The main character, Melinda, was my favorite; of course, like every favorite character, there's a few things I would change. Although I understand why she stayed quiet about the whole unfortunate deal, I still would have told someone what happened.

I would say no real adventure, some action that terrible night at the party, and one time later in the novel that I won't spoil. The characters were well-written. My least favorite character -- well, not my least favorite, just one I didn't like all that much -- was Heather. In the beginning I loved her; then she tried to get with the Marthas and began using Melinda. NOT a good friend. Not someone I would hang with once I caught on to the fact that she never talks to me until she needs my help.

Overall -- before I start spoiling -- I really LOVED this novel, and for those of you who haven't read it yet, you really need to!

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Quotes from the Book:

"She wears black stockings with runs and doesn't shave under her arms. She waves her hand in the air and you find yourself thinking of young chimpanzees."

"The other guys run drills and pass in to him. Brendan reaches up a skinny octopus tentacle and casually drops the ball through the hoop. Our boys are unbeatable as long as they are the only team on the floor."

"[In middle school] To tell someone you liked them, you had to use layers and layers of friends, as in 'Janet told me to tell you that Steven told me that Dougie said Carom was talking to April and she hinted that Sara's brother Mark has a friend named Tony who might like you. What are you going to do?'
It is easier to floss with barbed wire than admit you like someone in middle school."

"When I was in the sixth grade, my mom bought me all these books about puberty and adolescence, so I would appreciate what a 'beautiful' and 'natural' and 'miraculous' transformation I was going through. Crap. That's what it is. She complains all the time about her hair turning gray and her butt sagging and her skin wrinkling, but I'm supposed to be grateful for a face full of zits, hair in embarrassing places, and feet that grow an inch a night. Utter crap."


Carissa said...

This book sounds really awesome! I admit, I had seen it in the stores, but never stopped to pick it up. I will definitely be adding it to the tbr pile now!

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Italia said...

Speak is about a young girl who makes a fairly common mistake for her age, but suffers some major consequences because of her actions. Because of her own involvement, she feels guilty and internalizes all of the pain and negativity of the event. It changes her whole world and literally eats away at her, causing her to hide, both literally and figuratively in all areas of her life.
This book deals with an all too common occurrence. Parents often know and perhaps even expect their children to engage in some underage partying with drinking. Even the best of parents may not be able to keep their children from sneaking into the realm of teenage wild oats sewing at least once or twice.

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