Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Reviewed by Ashley Mollett

 

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

From madwomenintheforest.com

 

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

 

Bam! The unthinkable has just happened. Was all this Melinda’s fault?  Should she blame Rachel for bringing her to the party?   These are a few of the questions that went through my mind as I read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.  The fiction novel portrays the point of view of a young girl who was raped.  She now has to make the decision whether to speak up or stay silent.  The novel made me think what if this happens to more young women who are afraid to speak up.  The three things I enjoyed most in this book was the tone, the theme, and the amount of details it gave.

The thing I enjoyed most while reading this novel was the tone of the book.  Laurie Halse Anderson didn’t care about grammar mechanics the book had one tone through the entire book until she got her justice.  She spoke up.  When Melinda was in the closet at the end of the book and “it” comes in she fights back.  After everyone finds out the tone of the book seems normal.  The tone through the whole book is kind of a mix between depressed and lonely.  The book made me feel alone and upset when I would read it.  I love books that make me feel the emotions and tone of the main character.

 

The second thing that stuck out most to me was the theme of the book.  The theme of the book to me was so strong and meaningful. I don’t think I have ever read a book about rape. The theme of this book was displayed in an appropriate way in my opinion. Everything wrapped around it but for a while you weren’t for sure what the theme was but once you read on you found out that the protagonist Melinda had been raped and no one knew it.  She couldn’t bring herself to speak up.  The book didn’t just open up and say ”She was raped”.  I felt that it just edged up to it with everyone hating her for calling the cops at the party.

The final item that stuck out to me was the amount of details in the book.  In some parts of the book I felt like I was with Melinda in the lunchroom without any friends.  It gave me that alone feeling.  Laurie Halse Anderson really drug me into the book. The way she described “Hairwoman” or how she described the art teacher really helped me visualize what it must be like to go to school with her.  I found that the such vivid details she gave with the weather made me feel cold or be able to feel the humidity in the air.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed the book overall.  The three details that stuck out most to me was the tone,  the theme, and the amount of details the author gave me as I was reading this novel.  I felt as if I was a character on the side lines through the entire book.  I would recommend this to all young adult readers so they can be aware they don’t know what people are going through so they won’t be so quick to judge them.  I really appreciated the way Laurie Halse Anderson gradually worked the theme up with out just coming right out and saying “She was raped”.

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