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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak (edition 2011)

by Laurie Halse Anderson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,425558310 (4.13)1 / 308
Authors:Laurie Halse Anderson
Info:Square Fish (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:LIS 722, YA, Realistic fiction, coming of age, parties, drinking, rape, art, communication

Work details

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson


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English (554)  Italian (2)  French (1)  All languages (557)
Showing 1-5 of 554 (next | show all)
It's hard for me to rate "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson. Mainly because I saw the movie with a young Kristen Stewart playing the traumatized lead when it was on endless repeat on cable many years ago. So, the big reveal was expected.

In the novel Melinda Sordino heads to high school as an outcast with a secret that is eating at her. Unable to speak, she mainly drifts through the school year just hoping to survive.

The book's strength was definitely in its description of high school -- the cliques, the angst and in its portrayal of how Melinda reacted after a traumatic event. The writing had a bit of choppiness to it that I didn't particularly like though.

Overall, it was a good book, but it won't make me seek out additional novels by Anderson. ( )
  amerynth | Sep 27, 2015 |
I love this book this book really helped me and my friend learn to find and use our voice when people were bullying or being inappropriate to us.
-Alyssa Rios, Age 17 ( )
  ABHaven | Sep 3, 2015 |
Melinda is treated as an outcast at her high school because she called the police during a summer party and got lots of teenagers into trouble. Melinda, who was 13, called the police after she was raped, but then panicked, ran home and didn't tell any one. The novel tells the story of her grade 9 year as she struggles with no friends, failing grades and parents who are barely around and don't get on with one another. Melinda becomes depressed and speaks less and less, never in class.

Melinda's sardonic narrative tone is very entertaining and she points out many absurd aspects of high school life and the "remedies" proposed for problem pupils. I found the ending a little convenient and there was probably a lot of symbolism with the whole tree/spring thing which I was too lazy to contemplate. I do like a book with a positive ending, but it is sadly the case that Melinda was believed because the boy who attacked her had mistreated other girls. ( )
  pgchuis | Aug 16, 2015 |
I wasn't impressed at all with this novel, despite that fact that it deals with such an interesting topic. I wanted to love it, wanted to recommend it to students, but found the writing pretty cliche, too blatant in its use of symbolism & metaphor, and the ending was embarrassingly unrealistic and outright cheesy. I also disliked the protagonist somewhat, but I'm not remembering if it was because she whined, or because I wished she would just speak, already. I may be biased because she handles things completely differently from me (me being incapable of holding my tongue about important issues) and I have a hard time respecting her choice to be so dramatically silent. I'd rate this novel......blah, with eyes rolling. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 14, 2015 |
I really liked this book. The narrarative style is engaging and although the subject matter is intense, there are little bits of wit that make it easier to read. I liked the depiction of the struggles of finding one's voice amidst the struggles of high school culture. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 554 (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)

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

(summary from another edition)

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

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