Why I chose this book:
In the spring of 2015, I am going to be taking a Lit for Young Adults class in grad school. We have an awesome list of 12 or so YA and MG books, and this was one of the titles on the list. I ended up getting it on audiobook because I had a long trip to take back to my parents home for the holidays, and that was probably the best choice I could have made.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Publish Date: October 22nd, 1999
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
Synopsis: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. (Goodreads)
My Bookish Likes:
I really liked how real this book was. It really wasn’t an over the top high school experience. Nothing was over-dramatized. I actually pictured my high school when listening to the audiobook, and I’m still not sure if that was just how potent the book was or if that was because I was so unsettled by how realistic it felt. Either way, I was really glad to see that it wasn’t an over dramatic rendition of the high school experience.
My Bookish Mehs:
Laurie Halse Anderson’s writing was very factual for me… actually a little too factual. It was very direct and not flowery in descriptions. However, her similes were out of this world. I loved her comparisons, and a lot of them made me laugh out loud.
My Bookish Loves:
I didn’t expect for this book to touch on virtually every topic there ever was. It touched on diversity, immigration, rape and it being the girl’s fault, PTSD, parental and familial issues, good and bad teachers, bullying, etc. Seriously, it touched on virtually every topic and that made this book so much more striking. I couldn’t believe how flawlessly she melded all of these themes together. It struck my heart in a way that few books do.
This is an oldie but goodie. I never read it when I was in middle or high school, but I think I have a higher appreciation for it because I read it now, looking back on the entire high school experience, especially after being a substitute in a high school and seeing exactly what goes on in those hallways. Overall, this is most definitely a classic young adult book that everyone should read at least once.