Speak (Platinum Edition)

Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson’s award-winning, highly acclaimed, and controversial novel about a teenager who chooses not to speak rather than to give voice to what really happened to her marks ten years in print with this special anniversary edition. Bonus material created for this edition includes a new introduction and afterword from the author, resources, and discussion guide. Will also include a preview of Anderson’s newest book, Wintergirls. The quintessential edition for all fans of this powerfully moving book.


Reviewed: 2021-11-04

Trigger Warnings: rape and assault


Nobody wants anything to do with Melinda after she called the cops on a party over the summer. She can't talk to her parents because they've never really understood her. The safest place for her is to be quiet and alone. But, when she's in her own mind, memories of that party threaten to creep onto the service and she can't have them breaking down the walls she's built up. If those crumble and fall, Melina would have no choice but to speak.


This is a beautiful story of being shattered and broken and finding the courage to speak. This book did a good job at displaying the emotions that follow a traumatic event. It was a super quick read and the voice of Melinda as the narrator was strong. The depression was shown well as well as the disassociation Melinda dealt with. The formatting of the story really showed that.


This is a book I've had on my shelf for quite some time but never seemed to get around to it. I made it a goal this year to knock out at least some of my TBR Longtime Tenants, so when I didn't know what to read next, I gravitated towards this one. I knew this book had been challenged and banned in the past and I knew what happened to Melinda, but I wanted to know why it was being challenged or banned.


This book is written a bit simple, yes. It doesn't go into any crazy details. Melinda doesn't get on a soap box and scream about what happened to her. The student body isn't turning their backs on her because she "started a rumor". But, it shows the struggle a victim can go through after it's happened. Melinda was only fourteen! She was scared.


I think this book should be something teens read. Maybe it will help someone who went through it get their voice back. Maybe it will help this type of event to never happen again. Even though it was written in 1999 and nowadays a story like this would have more social media thrown into it, this book can still connect with teenagers and young adults.

Reviewed: 2018-07-18
A little too depressing for me, at least at this point in my life. I guess i just wasn't in the mood for it.

2015 Reread: Five years later and now reading it from a teaching perspective, my review has definitely changed. I have a much greater appreciation for the dark themes that need to be discussed with our children.
Item Posts
@ahelms completed #speakplatinumedi... on 2021-11-04
@ahelms began #speakplatinumedi... on 2021-11-03
@ginadavidson completed #speak... on 2010-08-04