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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak (edition 2011)

by Laurie Halse Anderson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,183610282 (4.13)1 / 332
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 (605)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  English (609)
Showing 1-5 of 605 (next | show all)
I would never have picked up Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, if it wasn’t for #YASaves. I saw a post on how this book affected some one’s life and my curiosity got the best of me; so while I waited for my train one night, I wandered into a book store, picked it up, flipped through and then decided to take it home with me.

I’m very happy I did.

Speak is a voice for the voiceless. As Melinda tells her story I had to stop and listen. The emotions that seeped though the pages hit me like a wreaking ball. Her withdrawal, her fear, her inability to say anything, to speak up for herself; Laurie did a great job at capturing these emotions in black and white.

I felt the frustration she felt at not being able to tell her use-to-be-best friend what happened. The numbness when she didn’t know how to explain what happened to her to her parents - would they even listen? Melinda whispered in my ears during the day, telling me her story. She spoke to me at night. She haunted my every move until the very end. As tears streamed down my face and the final page was turned, I found myself wanting more of her story.

I’m very happy that I picked up Speak - whether you need a voice, or you need to learn to listen - it’s a book for everyone. ( )
  iShanella | Dec 2, 2016 |
oy. wanted to like this but didn't. unrealistic, cliche, very flat characters, annoyingly in-your-face symbolism, ridiculous ending. there are far better titles for YA dealing with this subject matter. ( )
  pixiegenne | Nov 11, 2016 |
Laurie Halse Anderson has long been an author that I know I can rely on to deliver an intelligent and meaningful YA story and Speak proved to to be another stellar read from this author. From the beginning of her freshman year of high school the reader realizes that something went very wrong in Melinda’s life and all hints seem to point at one night in the summer when she and her friend we invited to a party where things got a little out of hand. Melinda called the police and for that she became the year’s social outcast.

No one will talk to her, she has no one with whom she feels she can confide in and so the silence grows. Her grades slip, her parents wonder what is going on, her teachers question her, but she stays mute. We discover that on that night at the party, Melinda was raped by a senior, a popular boy and she feels that no one will take her word against his. It is only once her ex-best friend starts to date this same boy, and Melinda fears for her that she gathers her courage to speak out.

A book with a powerful message and yet the author still manages to craft a very readable story with a sympathetic main character. The daily ups and downs of high school life are convincingly pictured and she gives an emotional and real voice to a young rape victim and the stages of anger, depression and fear that she goes through. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Nov 1, 2016 |
If we had read this when we were in High School, I think we'd have been more likely to call out some of the date rapes that happened back then, rather than just let the ugliness slide under the surface. I hope reading it allows somebody to see themselves or their friend and get help.
Of course, the vengeance provided here at the end gives me a vicarious thrill... I'll never be able to avenge things that happened to my peer group, but I can at least dream. ( )
  DeborahJ2016 | Oct 26, 2016 |
This is one of the books i read in high school and actually enjoyed. I think it's really well-written. Melinda has a unique voice that, in my opinion, is sullen, but not whiny. I think the mystery is really well-developed. It's mentioned every now and then that there's more to Melinda's story than what her classmates know, but it isn't flashed in the reader's face too often; it allows you to enjoy the story as it's happening and then enjoy the revelation when it comes. I definitely recommend it.

*Reviewed on July 7, 2014.* ( )
  danaenicole | Oct 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 605 (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

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laurie Halse Andersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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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.

(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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