Laurie Halse Anderson
Spoilers: The first ten lies they tell you in high school. "Speak up for yourself--we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself. Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.


Reviewed: 2018-06-09

This book hit close to home and made me cry but it's such a good book because it really happens this way. I love this book so much!

Reviewed: 2016-11-09

I read this book in a day. Even though i couldn't put it down i didn't like it. I found the book had a sad story line and was very mature even for high school students to read. I wouldn't recommend this book to students around 18 years old because of its mature story line and issues that are covered in the story.

This book was about a girl named Melinda who was just starting high school. The summer before high school started she went to a party with her friends. She was raped at this party by an upper classmen at her school named Andy. She called the cops right after the rape happened and the cops showed up at the party. She was unable to tell the cops what had happened to her but the cops broke up the party. Everyone, including her friends were mad at Melinda for breaking up the party. When school started her friends and everyone else still wouldn't talk to her. She became a social outcast because no one knew what really happened at that party. Melinda becomes very depressed and doesnt talk to anyone. She makes a friends but then that friends realizes being friends with Melinda means no one else would talk to her. Melinda's best friends Rachel starts dating Andy, the boy who raped Melinda. Melinda thinks it is her job to warn Rachel about Andy and tell her what happened. Andy and Melinda have another encounter with each other after she talks to Rachel about him.

This book is full drama, sadness, and mature life events that can happen to everyone. It talks about the negative and somethings secret parts of being in high school. It might a good idea for some older high school students to read this so they can understand what can happen to people in high school. 

Reviewed: 2016-09-26
Laurie Halse Anderson takes the story of a freshman girl dealing with the complex issues of shame, guilt and confusion over her rape, and the depression of adolescence, rape and her loneliness and somehow makes the narrative sound like a freshman girl. The dialogue and thoughts are believable for a freshman girl while also creating a way for students of that age to face these issues that they may not have come across or might (but hopefully not) face in the future. This book is understandable and a captivating read. I can't wait to read more of Anderson's books. This book probably wouldn't be taught in a school, though it should be. The only book that I have ever read in public school that dealt with rape was The Kite Runner but even then it was never given a name and a lot of the students didn't understand what was happening until the teacher explained it to us. This book puts this issue, among others, in a world the student will recognize and would allow them to confront these issues in the classroom instead of possibly having to do so on their own later in life. If I could teach this book, I would make a theme out it involving other books that deal with identity and growing up as a person.
Reviewed: 2015-06-08

This is another author I will probably be reading more from. I really enjoyed the unique writing style and the open-ended ending. I think that is was just enough story. A sequel would be awesome, but definitely not necessary. The ending left a lot to the immagination, but did not anger you to know there were some loose ends. Well done, Ms. Anderson, well done.

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