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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
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Speak

by Laurie Halse Anderson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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9,279552323 (4.13)1 / 305
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English (548)  Italian (2)  French (1)  All languages (551)
Showing 1-5 of 548 (next | show all)
Melinda Sordino is a student of Merryweather High School in Syracuse, New York. Right before her high school year is about to start there is a party where she calls the cops. But not only in this respect has this party been a lifechanger for Melinda. The protagonist of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak faces a life of rejection and hatred as soon as high school starts. She is ignored by her ex-friends, she is isolated in school as well as at home. Not knowing how to cope with what happened at the end-of-summer party Melinda does not speak anymore. She barely opens her mouth to say anything, even when she is asked a question. Her parents do not understand what she is going through as they have problems in their marriage and their own lives consume pretty much every second of their time. With no family life, no friends and only art to express herself, Melinda struggles through her first year of high school and eventually she breaks her silence.

The title of this novel was aptly chosen. Speaking about what happened at the end-of-summer party before high school is probably the hardest thing protagonist Melinda has ever had to do. Without speaking about it, however, she is not able to deal with the events at the party. She knows that it might help but at the same time is unable to talk about something so dark and terrifying which she only wants to forget. Her first year at high school makes her life only harder as her friends do not know why she does not speak, but only know that she called the police, which ended their party and made friends become ex-friends. If only they knew reason for Melinda calling the police. But that is exactly the root of the problem. The young girl finds herself caught in a vicious circle with apparently no way out.

What I liked about the novel is the imagery, especially the leitmotif of the tree, which is also represented on the cover. Melinda has to do an art project where she has to draw a tree. While she finds this way too easy at the beginning she slowly discovers how hard it actually is to draw a tree that really expresses something. Throughout the novel, the tree can be regarded as a symbol of Melinda's mood. There is the period where she is unable to express herself. Then there is a period where she just draws very dark pictures. The tree is a recurring theme in the novel. It is part of what happened at the party and then it is also part of the solution. When the tree in front of Melinda's house is trimmed so that it can heal and grow again, this reflects Melinda's situation. Needless to say, she speaks up in the end, of course. In that respect she can also start the healing process.

On the whole I thought the book was cleverly written and is a good novel for young adults. I read it with students, most of which would share my opinion. 4 stars. ( )
  OscarWilde87 | Jun 22, 2015 |
La adolescencia es una época donde no necesariamente queres hablar, pero si queres que te escuchen.
( )
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
This book was full of strong subjects and I knew that before getting into it. Honestly, that’s the reason I picked it up. I heard so many great things and heard it was like When Reason Breaks a book I read and loved (actually, the person said Speak was better than it). But, I beg to differ. I was really excited to read this book especially after reading When Reason Breaks, but it did not live up to my expectations.
Melinda is a great character, I really enjoyed her, even though at times I was confused with why she was doing what she was doing. But, who I am to judge when I have never went through something she did, not even close. I believe that she handled everything well, more than well, honestly. I would have broken down way before she did. It was hard seeing her struggles and I just wanted something fantastic to happen to her. She deserved happiness.
The reason that I gave this book three stars, even though I enjoyed the main character, was that it was so predictable. I knew what was coming, I knew why she was acting the way she did, I knew everything from the moment I started. It didn’t take long for me to see how everything would work out. With that being said, even with me not enjoying this book as much, I would love to see this book have a sequel. I think going on with Melinda’s story and learning more about her would be wonderful.
Even with her tough issues and her aching, she held on and showed so much fight and that was something so inspirational. This book, without a doubt, is inspirational in more ways than one and that is why I recommend it to everyone. This has tough issues and makes you upset while reading it, but it makes you believe in something more. Melinda makes you believe. ( )
  erica_novelink | May 5, 2015 |
Fantastic. Well written. Presents a challenging topic with class and in a way that is not overbearing or too graphic. A must read for teens. ( )
  katherineemilysmith | May 4, 2015 |
I really enjoyed this book. I loved how the main character, Melanie stood up for herself. ( )
  harleyqgrayson02 | Apr 23, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 548 (next | show all)
The plot is gripping and the characters are powerfully drawn, but it is its raw and unvarnished look at the dynamics of the high school experience that makes this a novel that will be hard for readers to forget.
added by khuggard | editKirkus Reviews
 
In her YA fiction debut, Anderson perfectly captures the harsh conformity of high-school cliques and one teen's struggle to find acceptance from her peers. Melinda's sarcastic wit, honesty, and courage make her a memorable character whose ultimate triumph will inspire and empower readers.
added by khuggard | editBooklist, Debbie Carton
 
Anderson expresses the emotions and the struggles of teenagers perfectly. Melinda's pain is palpable, and readers will totally empathize with her. This is a compelling book, with sharp, crisp writing that draws readers in, engulfing them in the story.
added by khuggard | editSchool Library Journal, Dina Sherman
 
But the book's overall gritty realism and Melinda's hard-won metamorphosis will leave readers touched and inspired.
added by khuggard | editPublishers Weekly
 
Laurie Halse Anderson's first novel is a stunning and sympathetic tribute to the teenage outcast. The triumphant ending, in which Melinda finds her voice, is cause for cheering (while many readers might also shed a tear or two).
added by khuggard | editAmazon.com, Jennifer Hubert
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laurie Halse Andersonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Correa, María MercedesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Sandy Bernstein, who helped me find my voice, and to my husband Greg, who listens
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It is my first morning of high school.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
This book describes the struggle of a teenage girl to find her voice. You watch the character fall into depression, go mute, drop tremendously in school, and isolate herself from society. As if feeling unsafe in the world isn't enough, Melinda doesn't even feel safe in her own mind. And why? Maybe because all of her once best friends refuse to talk to her for busting an end of the summer party. Or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that her parents couldn't take less of an interest in her, and refuse to communicate as they get sucked into their workaholic lives. Deep down, Melinda Sordino knows the reason that her life has turned into a living hell. The only way to escape this whirlwind of torture is to speak, but that's not as easy as it may seem.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142407321, Paperback)

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...

Laurie Halse Anderson's first novel is a stunning and sympathetic tribute to the teenage outcast. The triumphant ending, in which Melinda finds her voice, is cause for cheering (while many readers might also shed a tear or two). After reading Speak, it will be hard for any teen to look at the class scapegoat again without a measure of compassion and understanding for that person--who may be screaming beneath the silence. (Ages 13 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:32 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda's freshman year in high school.

» see all 5 descriptions

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Laurie Halse Anderson is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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