So this is another one of those books that most people have read. A lot of people have even read it for school. I have never read the book and actually thought it was about something completely different than it was. A friend of mine was reading it a couple months ago and I decided that it was about time that I read it too.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is about a young girl named Melinda. She is an outcast at her school because she called the cops on a party over the summer. Now her best friend won’t speak to her and most of the other students pick on her. Melinda cannot tell anyone what really happened at the party. She cannot say why she called the cops until the reason shows back up in her life again.
This is a tough book. It deals with some tough topics but I think it does a great job of dealing with them. I believe this is one of those books that gets challenged by schools because of the topics it deals with. Personally I think it is great that teacher’s have students read books like this. It can be hard to discuss topics such as rape and depression with teenagers. I think books are a great way to initiate that discussion.
One thing I really appreciated about this book was the narrator. Melinda had such a great personality. She has that typical cynical teenage personality but she is also smart and funny. Her inner monologue throughout the book was entertaining. Now, you may be thinking, “This is a weird way to describe a book about a girl who was raped.” but I think it really worked for this book. Let me explain why: you see what the rest of the school is missing out on. Melinda’s humor and personality is only seen through her thoughts and feelings. Her character rarely speaks and interacts with other students. So by showing us as the readers how awesome this girl actually is, you can see how she was affected by what happened to her. You see what everyone else is missing out on because she has no one to share what happened with.
I really enjoyed this book and I think it did a great job showing the different ways people can be affected by rape. I think every teenager should read this book. I think everyone should reads this book. It can be eye opening for adults as well.