Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Filed in Laurie Halse Anderson , Review , The Spellbound Lover Posted on November 17, 2010 @ 12:00 pm 5 comments

Format Read:  Paperback
Number of Pages:  240 Pages
Release Date:  29th March 2009
Publisher:  The Penguin Group
Formats Available:  Hardback, Paperback, CD-Audio, Audio Cassette
Purchasing Info: Laurie Halse Anderson, Good Reads, Book Depository

Book Blurb:

After Melinda goes through a traumatic and violent incident at a summer party, she calls the cops and becomes a social outcast. Her freshman year is a disaster. As time passes, she stops talking–except through her paintings in art class. Her healing process has just begun when her perpetrator attacks again. Only this time, she doesn’t keep silent.

My Thoughts:
It was through various blog posts for Banned Book Week that Speak came to my attention.  I’d never even heard of it until then.  The controversy over subject matter in this was the main issue and in some school libraries it was actually banned.  This was the clincher for me.  I had to have this book.  I needed to know what all the fuss is about and I jumped online and ordered it.

I don’t know where to start.  I’ve just finished reading Speak and I’m (excuse the pun) speechless.  This has been brilliantly written.  It’s been a little while since I’ve felt those little butterflies in my stomach after putting a book down.  This will be one book that I won’t soon forget.

The book begins with Melinda, the main character preparing for her first day of highschool and is quite anxious at how the day will pan out.  She has every right to be.  Right from the get go she is shunned and cast out by her peers and once friends.  The story sucked me in from the very few line!  The reader is kept in the dark and only fed little bits here and there about why she is outcast until around halfway through the book.

The author has done a fantastic job at painting the picture.  Her slow downward spiral and shutting herself off is a totally understandable reaction and it hit home how easily something like this could destroy a persons life. 

Her silence plays a massive part in the story, the cause and effect it has on Melinda which begins emotionally and piece by piece becomes visible until she can no longer hold it all in.

Speak is one of those books that had my stomach in little knots of anxiety, hanging off every word of Melinda’s, and feeling what she felt. 

I give Speak 5 out of 5 bookies!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Melissa


Melissa is a vegemite eating, thong wearing (Thongs = native shoe found in most Aussie dwellings) Australian who loves to read!. When she's not immersed in a book, she can be found writing in between juggling a full time job and being a Mum of a three year old monster named Cruzito. She can be found at Spellbound By Books or at My Alter Ego Charlie.

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5 Comments

Join the Discussion
  • Liz Fichera November 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I adored this book for so many different reasons. But it's the kind of book that stays with you, long after you've finished it. I also admire the risks that Anderson takes with her writing.

  • Bea November 17, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    It's still, I'm embarrassed to admit, in my tbr pile. I was one of the bloggers who featured it and I gave away several copies of it. I really need to bump it up in my pile.

  • Michelle November 17, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Glad to see you enjoyed it! Speak is such a tremendous book. I really recommend Anderson's other novels as well, especially Wintergirls.

  • Vampires and Tofu November 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    I was blown away by this one too…powerful stuff!

  • Stella (Ex Libris) November 19, 2010 at 5:10 am

    I also first heard about Speak due to the big controversy, and definitely added it to my TBR list. I'm glad it was such a profound reading experience for you Melissa and can't wait to read Speak myself :-)

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