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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
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Speak (edition 2011)

by Laurie Halse Anderson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,957597285 (4.13)1 / 322
Member:RosanaSantana
Title:Speak
Authors:Laurie Halse Anderson
Info:Square Fish (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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 (592)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (596)
Showing 1-5 of 592 (next | show all)
Much better than the movie that was made with Kristen Stewart. ( )
  lotoflivinglefttodo | Jul 21, 2016 |
4.5 stars

When I first started reading it and noticed the abbreviated, choppy style, I thought oh no at first, not one like Girl, Interrupted! Thankfully it's clear soon enough it's not like that and the writing is actually poetically quaint and beautiful.

The protagonist is realistic and sweet but not sappy. Her life basically sucks and for good reason. I knew already what had happened, it wasn't a big surprise, and I don't think the author meant for it to be. Her parents were an intriguing case study in dysfunctional parenting, although they themselves were not abusive or necessarily bad parents, but a product of the times and motivated, self-centered work schedules. I dug how the author mainly focused on the school and gave each instructor a different personality that made sense and stands as the height of high school.

The symbolism with the speaking, and unable to speak, "snowball caught in the throat", and the art with the tree held heavy symbolism and great beauty. It reminds me of the small scene in her English Lit class where a classmate, her former friend, is arguing with the teacher that there is NO symbolism in Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter. The book which is rich in symbolism and art throws in this scene as an example, I believe, on blindness and people not looking deeper.

I also liked the inclusion of the closet and further broadening the hiding the protagonist felt she had to do, and how deep her angst ran without anything emo coming out of it. Her feelings and experiences were realistic and not glamorized. You feel for the character greatly and hope everything turns out okay for her in the end.

A highly recommended book and a good one for the age group especially. It's an important topic girls need to be aware of and watchful for, as well as a compassionate example of their friends or peers that may go through something similar. For a parental warning/rating, little is needed. Nothing is graphic and the flashback is not descriptive. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
For this, I had actually watched the movie first without knowing the emotional roller coaster I was in for.

And I had no idea that it was based off of a book either.
So when, after a few years, I stumbled upon this book, I was like - why not?

I remember how beautiful the movie was, but I honestly didn't think the book would've been much better.

I was wrong.

What a heartbreaking road to recovery. ( )
  CatherineHsu | Jun 8, 2016 |


I too got a little exasperated, but the ending was worthwhile. I just have trouble understanding what caused the big cusp in the main character's development - she was hiding, and all of a sudden, it seemed to me, she just burst out. Maybe it was exactly that, a buildup of pressure until a (metaphoric) explosion. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Hated for Calling for Help

Melinda aka Mel speaks not a word as the new school year begins and yet is screaming inside. Hated by all peers who heard of her calling the police at the end of the year party, the reader knows something had to have happened to her, just not what right away. Throughout the book, you get glimpses of what Mel's mindset is, how others see and treat her and how she is coping/not coping with the previous life changing event. This is a great read for all. ( )
  eeminxs | May 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 592 (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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Dedication
To Sandy Bernstein, who helped me find my voice, and to my husband Greg, who listens
First words
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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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