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by Laurie Halse Anderson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,537700350 (4.11)1 / 376
A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda's freshman year in high school.
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(see all 21 recommendations)


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» See also 376 mentions

English (690)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (698)
Showing 1-5 of 690 (next | show all)
Melinda Sordino is the first-person storyteller who attends Merryweather High School near Syracuse. Readers meet her when she is a freshman in high school, feeling like an outsider with no friends. She makes up nicknames for all of her teachers and discusses all the lies the school tells regularly and how easily duped the principal is by conniving students. In the book's first part, the reader doesn’t know what happened to Melinda, only that she called the police during a party. Therefore she is ostracized by her peers.

Melinda’s secret is slowly disclosed as we learn about her parents and home life. Unfortunately, the adults in her life are more concerned about appropriate school mascots and other inconsequential issues. They pay little attention to the help Melinda screams for while depicting behaviors indicating that she is depressed. Finally, the art teacher, aptly named Mr. Freeman, recognizes that she has talent and guides her through a project that involves a tree that needs professional help to thrive. The tree is one of several symbols used to help Melinda realize that she must speak about the ugly assault she experienced,

This book uses realistic characters, relatable high school issues, and thoughtful imagery to portray the pain and agony associated with sexual assault.
https://quipsandquotes.net/ ( )
  LindaLoretz | Jul 23, 2022 |
This book caused a lot of issues for me. I first read it in middle school when I was severely depressed, so this was probably the worst book I could've read at that given time. That being said, it is devastatingly told. I enjoy it, but will probably never read it again. I may get rid of it soon. ( )
  TLon03 | Jul 18, 2022 |
I can add this books to my favorites. I read this in 5 hours. I couldn’t put it down. This read was just mind blowing. I truly truly truly hated high school and I relate to Melinda on every single aspect. I wanted to be her friend so badly and help her out. On to the subject on things I want. I wanted to punch Andy, Rachel, and Heather at the same time. Seriously. I never hated a trio this much. Andy was a creep who needed his head bashed against the wall. Rachel was a horrible friend who didn’t deserve Melinda. Heather was vapid and too self involved to even think properly.

I just can’t describe the anger I felt when reading this. Why didn’t I read this in high school? This is a book we should all read. But no, they are going to shove toxic Romeo and Juliet down our throats til the aliens take over. I have nothing else to say but to go read this book. It’s so short but it captures the reality of trauma. ( )
  Koralis | Jul 12, 2022 |
I've read this book four times since it came out. My first, I was eleven and it was brand new. I copied all the passages into the journal I had at the time, with the r*pist in them, aware that I didn't yet have the emotional intelligence to fully grasp what was going on. The journal was merchandise based off a difficult puzzle game played on a PC. I never got very far into the game, but wound up being intrigued by platypi. I was too young to fully understand the book's effect at eleven, but it stuck with me and I reread it once as a teen. The third time, I was a temporary secretary for a day, and read this during breaks. I was mid-20s and thought I could read something interesting. I'd totally forgotten the emotions this book brings up. Now, I idly looked for library books and this one was available. I had liked the movie adaptation a lot, and thought it'd be interesting to read this a bit more critically--surely emotions wouldn't get in the way. No, I still have emotions.

This book has rightfully had a profound effect on society over the past twenty years, and especially reading it with the effects of the MeToo movement was powerful. It's incredibly important content, and none of it is for shock value or to form a tragic background. I deeply appreciate that. This book needs to keep being read and discussed. So why the three star rating? Because I have clinical depression in real life and can't take medication for it, and don't like reading about it in books. It's a me thing. While the author did a fantastic job of writing a teenager, I couldn't much connect with the mindset anymore. It's a me thing. This novel is a diary without the format, swapping white space and subheadings for dates and chapter titles. I had forgotten that, and disliked it. It's a me thing. I still wish the author great success and I'm so glad of what she's created. ( )
  iszevthere | Jun 24, 2022 |
This book was recommended by a friend. She loves the author.
I've got to be honest. I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't this great thing. It could have been done better.
The writing of the author is recognizable, but I didn't like it much.
Melinda is an okay character, but she treats the others like she is superior. She insults her ex-friends but.. It is not their fault. She should have spoken sooner. That's it. Everything would have been resolved if she spoke. She can't give the fault to others when the possibility to resolve the fact is all in her hands.
I liked the fact she uses art to express herself, though. That can really help.
The stoiry overall could have been done better, but it was okay. Iespected much more, to be honest ( )
  thereadingpal | Jun 14, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 690 (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 (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laurie Halse Andersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Abos, ElenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Correa, María MercedesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Forsström, Ann MargretTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heesen, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kantele, Arja(KÄÄnt.)secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kollmann, BirgittÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morgenstern, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


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

No library descriptions found.

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

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Average: (4.11)
0.5 8
1 52
1.5 10
2 132
2.5 23
3 555
3.5 142
4 1242
4.5 174
5 1453


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