Thursday, December 3, 2009

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I'd heard about this book on and became really interested in reading it. So when I headed to the library last week I saw that it was in stock, I picked it up and carried it home! This was a really fast read; I read it cover to cover in a day.

We see the world through the eyes of Melinda in your ninth grade year, her Freshman year in high school, how she deals with being raped the summer before by an acquaintance from school. It's shocking and horrible, really. Her parents don't seem to notice that there could actually be something wrong with their daughter since she's become withdrawn, sullen, depressed. They just assume she's acting out for some reason to hurt them. All of her former friends have ceased being her friends this year, none of teachers care. Except her art teacher, he seems to notice she has a talent for art and he encourages her talent throughout the year. It's a story of how she's been silenced through this horrible and traumatic experience and how she eventually finds her voice to speak out and to speak up for herself.

It's an amazing novel and can clearly see why it's becoming a modern classic. Everyone should read this in order to gain better understanding not only for rape victims, but those victims of any kind of abuse, those who are depressed. Let's reach out to those in need. Let's be informed and educate and talk about sexual abuse, how it's horrible, how to prevent it.

The author, at the end of her book, talks about how she's gotten a lot of letters from boys that really liked the novel, but don't understand why the character Melinda was so disturbed about being raped!!! She was shocked and appalled as I am. It just goes to show how our society sends the message that sex is no big deal and thus why we have so many sexual assault cases. I'm a mother of a little boy and I want him to grow up knowing why sex IS a huge deal, the impact it can have, I want him to realize that despite what our culture says about women, it's wrong...we're important, we're real, we have feelings. If I can help him learn that essential part of humanity, I'll have accomplished my one true mission on this earth.

*Part of the Women Unbound Challenge


  1. I LOVE Laurie Halse Anderson, but I'm ashamed to say I haven't read her most famous book! And my roommate even has it! I really need to get on that...Anyways, this was a great review. I agree with you on our society's view of sex. It's kind of sad, really.

    Thanks for posting!

  2. My daughter read this and loved it.

  3. Good write-up. I read this, reviewed it, and recommend it highly. Here's my review:

  4. I haven't read it yet though I've heard it is excellent and there was a movie too that was suppose to be good.

  5. My daughter's freshman class read it and according to my daughter many of the kids both girls and boys showed little empathy or connection. I think at that age even if they can relate, they were unwilling to discuss it in a class setting. I expected my daughter to be more upset but she like the boys, are raised in an environment where violence against women is too common and often results in little or no consequences.

  6. yes, good one. glad you read it and spreading the word. ;-D

  7. Wow, a very important book. Thanks for getting the word out!

  8. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Melinda Sordino was a regular teenager. But when things went wrong at a summer party she is the new biggest outcast. Now with her first year of high school ahead of her and a bad reputation, things are bound to happen. She goes through many changes and grows with time. The question is will she ever find the courage to explain what truly happened at the party or will the truth always be hidden? Well, you should read it to find out because I'm really glad I did. This book is full of surprises, drama, and fights within herself.


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