Book Reviews of Speak

Speak
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ISBN-13: 9780374371524
ISBN-10: 0374371520
Publication Date: 10/22/1999
Pages: 208
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 40

4.5 stars, based on 40 ratings
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

99 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Speak on + 164 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 15
I almost passed this book along without reading it, and I'm so glad I didn't! I'm not usually that taken with books written in the present tense, and I didn't realize this one was at first. I'm not sure why, but it can put me off a little and with Mt. TBR looming large, that would normally mean the book would keep getting passed over. But it fell open as I picked it up to move it to the To Be Mailed pile, and what I saw there was enough to make me sit down and read the whole thing.

This is fantastically written! The protagonist is wonderful, completely real, and fully a teenager. I wanted to cheer with her and hold her hand through her hard times. The author has captured high school with all its terrible nuances, and I felt I was reliving the experience with Melinda (except this time I didn't hate it so much!). I swear, I actually had that social studies teacher, and for the same type of class, too! The only part that didn't fit with me was naming the cliques the way she did -- in fact, it gave me a few odd flashes off Margaret Atwood when they named one the Marthas -- but then, all my schools were much too small to have enough different cliques to bother with differentiating them.

Anyway, this book about dealing with the aftermath of rape does indeed deserve all the praise it's received. It handles the subject matter without being sad or morose, and with a surprising amount of sarcastic humor. Highly recommended, even if this is not your usual sort of read.

But oh my gosh -- a normal Thanksgiving at Melinda's house sounded more like Halloween!
reviewed Speak on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 13
Divided into the four marking periods of an academic year, the novel, narrated by Melinda Sordino, begins on her first day as a high school freshman. No one will sit with Melinda on the bus. At school, students call her names and harass her; her best friends from junior high scatter to different cliques and abandon her. Yet Anderson infuses the narrative with a wit that sustains the heroine through her pain and holds readers' empathy. A girl at a school pep rally offers an explanation of the heroine's pariah status when she confronts Melinda about calling the police at a summer party, resulting in several arrests. But readers do not learn why Melinda made the call until much later: a popular senior raped her that night and, because of her trauma, she barely speaks at all. Only through her work in art class, and with the support of a compassionate teacher there, does she begin to reach out to others and eventually find her voice. Through the first-person narration, the author makes Melinda's pain palpable: "I stand in the center aisle of the auditorium, a wounded zebra in a National Geographic special." Though the symbolism is sometimes heavy-handed, it is effective. The ending, in which her attacker comes after her once more, is the only part of the plot that feels forced. But the book's overall gritty realism and Melinda's hard-won metamorphosis will leave readers touched and inspired.
reviewed Speak on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
Most topics are not difficult for me to talk about but there are some books tha touch on personal experiences, and sometimes these are harder for me to analyze and to be objective. This is not the first book I've read that's dealt with rape yet my reaction to Speak is very different than how I felt when I read say Lovely Bones. I'm not completely sure why, but I suspect that like the narrator of Lovely, I processed it more out of body, much in the way the ghost or presence of the narrator did in that novel. Despite the violence and finality of Lovely Bones, the out of body consciousness created an emotional distance I did not have with Speak.This realistic YA novel is disturbing and sobering without gratuitous violence. Despite the humor which is good, the humor did not deflect the anxiety, didn't distract me from the protracted guilt and anguish that Mel experiences. There were times when I wanted to shake her or even worse, I wanted to slap her into her senses. I was pissed at her parents for failing to recognize the signs of depression and trauma, and then I felt guilty because I know how as a parent you can miss what others see. The bunny analogy made me want to throw up. After you've been raped there's no room for victimhood, warm fuzzies and childhood. Of course, this is my anger talking.

The novel is well-written. I think if you're not a rape survivor reading the work, you can empathize and learn for the read. If you are a survivor, I don't know how you process the read without experiencing muscle memory. When you've been violated, while you can heal and move on, I don't think you can create enough emotional distance not to be affected by the read. I don't think it's necessary or possible to debate how you're affected. I think what resonates too much for me is her shame, guilt and the circumstances: a young girl trying to be older than she is and her subsequent self-destructive behavior.

I couldn't wait for the book to be over. I felt relieved when Mel finally said she was raped. Took her longer still to actually talk about it. Any victim likely knew fifty pages in what happened, but it took over a hundred pages before Mel articulates the word rape. I didn't feel better when the book ended. I didn't feel stronger or empowered. Only glad that she got it out and I could move on to another read.
reviewed Speak on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
I truely believe that anyone who has, works with, teaches or comes in any sort of regular contact with teens needs to read this book! The adults in this story missed so many signs and i really think it could teach adolescents and the adults around them so much!
reviewed Speak on + 74 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This pre-911 book of the teenage experience is a masterpiece. It is written in such a way that it takes adults back to the way they thought when they were teenagers, and it reads to teenagers the way they think. Teenagers, especially really young teens, often have experiences that they are unable to process, and that makes them unable to "Speak," about them to those who might help. This book is about a girl who has just such an "unspeakable," experience just as she is becoming a teenager, and the aftermath of her reaction to it. Every parent should read it. It is a terrific book.
reviewed Speak on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!! this book was so real. it was great Melinda showed the same feeling and thoughts that a survivor of her difficulties would go through. I can relate to her problems exactly and i was with her the whole time. In the beginning it was a little difficult to stay focused but after the first 30 pages or so i was hooked and couldn't put in down. The end was amazing and my favorite part. I loves the raw, hard, edge of this book. There were even parts that her sarcasm made me smile and laugh. I cried with melinda, laughed with melinda, and rejoiced with meilinda. a must read. i'm actually finding it difficult to post it. lol
reviewed Speak on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Killer book - made me laugh and cry. Her voice is absolutely perfect and the novel is constructed brilliantly. Highly recommend. Warn you that it's a little dark.
reviewed Speak on
Helpful Score: 3
My 9th grader read this book in English class & really liked it. Her teacher recommended that parents might want to consider reading it also. Very good book! Helps relate to our kids and the things they could be facing.
reviewed Speak on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Poignant and saddening, this book is well written and an incredible read. This book is perfectly paced, slowly revealing Melinda's inner struggle. Highly recommended!
reviewed Speak on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
My 7th grader read this book (I read it last year) and it was interesting to get her opinion and thoughts on it. I would recommend it for 7th and 8th graders since it deals with issues many of them will have to wrestle with these days. My daughter liked it, and could absolutely see how this could happen in real life.
reviewed Speak on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A great story of a teenage girl dealing with a terrible trauma. I picked it up and couldn't put it down.
reviewed Speak on + 121 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was excellent! My friend gave me this book to read because she told me how great it was. I want to watch the movie now (which stars Kristen Stewart) to see if it really keeps up with the book. This is a must read book for all ages!
reviewed Speak on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I finished this book a couple of hours ago, but it left me with so much to think about that I decided to wait before writing my review.

This book was very emotional for me to get through. The author wrote it very well--she did not waste any words. As a reader you can tell she really throught through every decision she made in her writing. It definitely deserves the awards it got.

As a parent, I was struck by the characterization of Melinda's parents in the book. If my child changed that much in the course of one summer (in reality one night), I would do more than just yell at her to get motivated. I would want to get her help, find out what caused the change.

As a person, I was struck with everything that Melinda went through, both the night of the party where she became the social outcast and the entirety of her freshman year. I kept finding myself asking, "is high school really like that?" And part of me said, "no this is a dramatization--there are exaggerations." But there is a part of it that rings true--I know that for some students this is how high school feels. In that way the book feels very real and honest.

Overall, I would highly recommend it, but I caution people that it is not a "and they all live happily ever after" fairy tale story. It is realistic. It is gripping. And it is touching.
reviewed Speak on + 63 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was an excellent story told from the point of the young rape victim. Beautifully written and wonderfully narrated.
reviewed Speak on
Helpful Score: 2
While Anderson's skills are indisputable, I had a very hard time dealing with the slow pace of this novel. The story is full of monotonous, typical, daily experiences, as well, which also contributed to the difficulty I had reading 'Speak'. Nevertheless, the development of Anderson's character is something remarkable.
reviewed Speak on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This a amazing book.
reviewed Speak on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is an entirely believable account of one girl's miserable high school existence. Her past and present circumstances are troublesome, but not so over-the-top that they're unrelatable.
reviewed Speak on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
My Daughter had this book for summer reading. She went into it with skepticisim, but ended up loving it!
reviewed Speak on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Awesome book! My sister & I both loved it! It's very moving, and what makes it so poignant is that many of us have had experiences similar to the narrator, or know someone who has!
reviewed Speak on
Helpful Score: 1
A favorite of mine! Sad, but humorous. Laurie Halse Anderson knows how to weave dark humor while keeping things realistic.
reviewed Speak on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An amazing book, well written and inspirational. All about a deep secret that can't be told, but is eating her up and ruining her life. The main character deals with family and friend problems that everyone can relate to, but her big secret is devestating...
A quick read, slow at first, but keep at it. The end is worth it.
reviewed Speak on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The style's different, definitely. I liked the writing; the first-person POV really made the story.
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Helpful Score: 1
Good book for teenagers!
reviewed Speak on
Helpful Score: 1
Fantastic! I am not a faithful reader and was able to read this book(and enjoy it!) within 3 days. It was an easy read which just kept flowing. The main character strongly reminded me of the title-character from the movie Juno.So...if you enjoyed the movie Juno, I highly recommend this fast-moving, sarcastically written young novel.
reviewed Speak on + 148 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
the tough, tender, and darkly funny story of a teenage outcast
reviewed Speak on + 75 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I didn't think I would like this book, given the basis for what Melinda goes through over the course of her freshman year in high school. However, it is not so much about what happened to her to her as what happens afterward and how she deals with it. This is all set in the atmosphere of high school - a stressful atmosphere that most of us can relate to.

The main character is whitty and smart in spite of the horror that happened to her, the verbage Anderson uses is funny and lyrical. This is a great book that earned keeper status on my shelf.
reviewed Speak on + 134 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very Fast Read (I read it in 7 hours because I couldn't put it down).... and a wonderfully written story. You love this girl for her humor-- even when her life is full of darkness.
reviewed Speak on
Helpful Score: 1
I absolutely love this book being a teenager still trying to survive high school as well. It's amazing how well Anderson captures Melissa's character and I found it extremely easy to relate to her.
reviewed Speak on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Absolutely wonderful read! Truly captures the essence of life as a teenager.
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Helpful Score: 1
Melinda calls the police during a party where there is under age drinking going on. All of her friends turn against her...until the truth is finally told.....great story!!
reviewed Speak on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I had no idea what to expect when reading this book. I simply requested the book when I saw it thinking it sounded good.

Well it was good, it was a really good book. Part of what was different about this book was it was written like it was a play almost. I read the book in a day. I couldn't put it down and just happened to be on the weekend so I just read straight through to the end. I recommend this book to anyone, but especially recommend to young girls and moms. It opens your eyes and makes you understand fully how things can quickly be out of control.
reviewed Speak on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of the greatest books I've ever had the pleasure of reading...If you have experienced anything similar to the main character, it's so easy to relate to her and really feel what she feels. This book deals with some serious topics, however, and I would only recommend it to mature readers.
reviewed Speak on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Really good book and a fast read.
reviewed Speak on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved it! The movie was good too.
reviewed Speak on + 899 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
What's is like to move from middle school to high school. The author tells the story in a character who feels that she has no friends, doesn't fit, has the wrong clothes, hates her classes and most of her teachers. Gosh! I remember those days. It was soo traumatic but this young woman has a reason for her depression that is not revealed until the end.

Sometimes I don't really understand a book until I read the author's notes. I try to read them both before and after I read the novel. Anderson addresses a topic that should be discussed with teenagers somehow but it is difficult and embarrassing for them to look at it in rational terms. Too much emotion is involved. Furthermore, the pressure to be popular, to have friends and to fit in are difficult ones for this age. Good job!
reviewed Speak on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Speak by Laurie Anderson....Very good book...A page turner!
reviewed Speak on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A very insightful book about a girl who must find healing before she can find her voice.
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This book was not as good as I was expecting, but it is a true accounting of what high school can be like. I felt as though the ending was a little too neat for a story about a girl dealing with such tremendous tragedy. You feel her turmoil throughout, but I didn't get the feeling that the rest of the characters were fully developed. Each one comes close to cracking this teenager, but then practically disappears from the rest of the book.
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I pre -read the book thinking it was good for a tween, but I found it not so. I should say not for this tween-Maybe a more worldly one. I thought it was good for an adult read.
reviewed Speak on + 566 more book reviews
Contemporary Teen Fiction. Melinda starts High School as a pariah. Over the summer, she attended a party with older teens, and ended up calling the police. Now, none of her friends will talk to her. She is withdrawn, she refuses to speak, and her grades plummet. As Melinda's narrative of her first year continues, we slowly learn what happened to her at that party. Awesome book.
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I am an adult who likes young adult books. This one wasn't terrible but also wasn't that great for me.
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This book was really good. It took a while to get to the point, but I liked it a lot.
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I love this book; the ending is incredible. The entire story, in fact, is incredibly well-written.
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This is a well written, powerful book about a high school outcast (by no fault of her own). Really worth taking the time to read. With under 200 pages it is a an easy read in one day.
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This is a wonderful book. Absolutely love it!
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I loved this book. The movie is awesome too!
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Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The subject matter is sad and distressing, but the story was completely amazing anyway. Anyone with a teenage daughter (or son) should read this, and then pass it down to them. Highly recommended.
reviewed Speak on
Did not like this book. Everyone else was saying how great it was. I did not find it that great. The ending was not how I guess I wanted it to be and just ended to abruptly. Kind of slow in the beginning and just doesn't interest me that much in the style of the writing.
reviewed Speak on + 71 more book reviews
Before I read this book, I couldn't figure out why reviewers said it was funny when the subject matter is supposed to be dark. But it was. Melinda cracked me up & brought me right back to the god-awful high school days. Wish I had a closet like the one she found in school to hide out in! (The subject matter IS dark, but Melinda is funny and finds hope despite what happened to her).
reviewed Speak on + 8 more book reviews
Wow. I really enjoyed this book. I, typically, do not read... at least, not a few years ago... and i read this and thought differently about books and reading. The ending was great, even though it might be slow to begin with, if you stick it out and keep going, it will be an amazing book you will love forever. :)
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Good book read in one sitting.
reviewed Speak on + 20 more book reviews
At the beginning of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Melinda is a freshman, just beginning her first year of high school. Already a tenuous time for any teenager, Melinda has just had an unfortunate experience that turned her friends against her and alienated her from the entire school body. Her unpopular decision to call the police during a high school party has led to Melinda's daily torture in school. She is ridiculed, ignored, taunted, and bullied by her classmates. Melinda crawls further and further inside of herself, refraining from speaking and neglecting to care for herself. Her absent parents and unaware teachers seem ignorant of the pain in Melinda's life. Melinda's art class is the only refuge she can find from a life filled with anger and hurt.

This book is a terrific and amazingly accurate portrayal of bullying in a high school. Melinda's character is well-developed and her feelings jarring and realistic. Anybody who has had trouble fitting in with peers in a school setting will understand Melinda's despondency. A mood of melancholy solitariness permeates the novel and her loneliness and self-defeat is haunting. Although fictional, I was moved to tears while reading about Melinda's high school experiences. In my opinion, given the culture of public high school, this is an important book to read.
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Very well written YA novel that is both stunning and powerful. It is a short, fast paced read. Should be read by readers of all ages. Very highly recommended.
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This audiobook was fairly interesting, and well read. The ending was a bit too neat, and I was surprised no one had ever thought to send the girl to a shrink for her sudden "downshift" in attitude, but overall the story seemed realistic.
reviewed Speak on + 35 more book reviews
This was one of the most powerful, well-written books I've ever read. I loved it, and almost hate to give it up, but I think someone else out there needs it's message as well. It is truly an amazing read. You will not be disappointed.
reviewed Speak on + 3 more book reviews
"Speak" is about a young girl's transition from childhood innocence to self-awareness. Melinda enters high school as the most unpopular girl in school, despised by complete strangers and hated by her ex-friends for reasons that unfold as the story progresses. The novel has surprisingly very little dialogue and relies heavily on Melinda's interior monologue, revealing an witty, intelligent, sarcastic young girl whom readers can, nevertheless, identify with and relate to.
While this book gives young adult readers something to chew on and think over, parents can also benefit from reading it. Melinda is a typical latch-key kid who spends very little time with her parents and doesn't have much of a relationship with them. She throws out signs of being deeply psychologically troubled, but they are ignored as being childish, immature, and attention-seeking.
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This book is an easy, average read. It has a great message for teens and for that, it is definitely worth the read!
reviewed Speak on
This is an amazing book I read it for a class project and it made a and left a great impression on me , how things can happen so fast and to people you least expect it. God knows how many kids in my school has been in the same position of this girl with a similar ending. I really love this book so therefore its worth the credit and my children will be reading in the far future. The movie is also worth watching its has Kristen Stewart as the young girl. I was 17 when I read this and I wish I would have read it sooner I am now 18.
reviewed Speak on + 58 more book reviews
One of the better young adult titles.

The story has a very distinct voice.

At times brutal, sad, suspenseful, humorous and, of course, quiet, the narrator eventually gets the whole story out during the school year.

Recommended reading for teenagers as well as their parents.
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Good , dramatic reading for the teenager
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This was a very good book and I think the author was very accurate in capturing Melinda's voice. I really felt her depression and her motivation for acting the way that she did. I hated her parents. I could not believe that they did not notice how she had changed and how she was floundering in life. I hope that I will never do that my daughter. Very good read.
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This is one of the best teen books I've read in a long time. Ever since Melinda called the cops at the biggest party of the year, she's become a social outcast.
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Read and then rent the movie!
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Excellent book. It is a young adult book, but I enjoyed it, too. A very smooth and quick read.
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Great book.
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I thought this book was realistic and believable. Anderson gave an honest protrayal of a confused victim of sexual assault who loses her friends and is not close to her family. She deals with the trauma by not speaking. She only breaks her silence when someone else is in danger from the same offender. I thought this girl's situation - busy self-involved parents, quick-to-judge friends - was sad, but probably all too real to too many kids. This book would proably help someone in the same situation.
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It may be a young adult novel, but it's a must read for anyone who felt out-of-sorts in high school.
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Good book for teens and adults. Very realistic.

The movie was also very well done, if you're looking for some non-reading entertainment.
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Very good book, interesting.
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I loved this book! It made me cry, and hate the stupid reasons that friends turn against eachother, but oh did I love this book. Lifetime TV made a movie out of it which was truely spectacular and very real to the book. Definately one to read!
reviewed Speak on
story of a teenager in highschool outcast from her friends after a night at a party. Very good book, great message at the end.
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Reviewed by Tara - The Class for TeensReadToo.com

SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson is a riveting, compassionate book about a teenage outcast.

Melinda Sordino destroyed her reputation before even setting foot in the dangerous halls of Merryweather High School. By calling the police at an end-of-summer bash, she is now officially considered a loser. With her old friends gone, Melinda no longer speaks to anyone; even her new "best friend," Heather.

This novel on self-discovery, empathy, and social acceptance is simply breathtaking.

Without a doubt, SPEAK is a phenomenal book. It is emotional, inspirational, gripping, and surprisingly funny. It is told from Melinda's poignant, outspoken point of view. Anderson perfectly depicts the cliques, heartbreaks, and reality of high school. This book will grip you from cover to cover.

SPEAK captured my heart with it's sarcastic sense of humor and perfect portrayal of high school. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a laugh, a tear, or anything in between.
reviewed Speak on + 9 more book reviews
The book arrived in our home Saturday afternoon, 48 hours later, both my daughters and I had read it. "Speak" tells the tale of a young lady struggling to find her place in high school after she has been labeled as an outcast for calling the police at a summer party, and dealing with her secret. A great book to read and discuss with your teen.
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takes a bit to get into but its a good book
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Excellent book about the problems of a young girl. Very highly recommended!
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Reviewed by Tara - The Class for TeensReadToo.com

SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson is a riveting, compassionate book about a teenage outcast.

Melinda Sordino destroyed her reputation before even setting foot in the dangerous halls of Merryweather High School. By calling the police at an end-of-summer bash, she is now officially considered a loser. With her old friends gone, Melinda no longer speaks to anyone; even her new "best friend," Heather.

This novel on self-discovery, empathy, and social acceptance is simply breathtaking.

Without a doubt, SPEAK is a phenomenal book. It is emotional, inspirational, gripping, and surprisingly funny. It is told from Melinda's poignant, outspoken point of view. Anderson perfectly depicts the cliques, heartbreaks, and reality of high school. This book will grip you from cover to cover.

SPEAK captured my heart with it's sarcastic sense of humor and perfect portrayal of high school. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a laugh, a tear, or anything in between.
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Great story, mature content.
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3.95 out of 5 stars.

This was a great story as a whole. I liked the quirky language and the way Melinda described her high school experiences. There were parts I felt needed more to them. Melinda's wallowing in the closet felt repetitive and some pages felt like my eyes were dragging roadkill. I did enjoy reading this so don't get me wrong it's a good book. There are just things in it that could have been made more interesting.
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This is an actual YA book with a story to tell - it's not the cookie-cutter type of book about friends fighting over some guy or girl.

A tragic event causes Melinda to be an outcast at her high school. The event renders her mute at the most inopportune times. Melinda finds the help she needs to speak from the most unexpected thing of all: a class assignment. As she channels her energy into the project, Melinda deals with the tragedy by thinking to herself and talking herself off of the ledge. Highly recommended to parents and educators alike.
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3.95 out of 5 stars.

This was a great story as a whole. I liked the quirky language and the way Melinda described her high school experiences. There were parts I felt needed more to them. Melinda's wallowing in the closet felt repetitive and some pages felt like my eyes were dragging roadkill. I did enjoy reading this so don't get me wrong it's a good book. There are just things in it that could have been made more interesting.
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Fast read, little story though. Boring for the most part, and extremely whiney. Little kids making a big deal over nothing.
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Nice book...4 Stars ****
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It wasn't an amazing read, but enough to were you want to finish it. It was also required summer reading.
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Melinda Sordino has just started high school, but she is alone, friendless, and an outcast. A party that she attended was busted by the cops after she called them. Since then, her peers have ostracized her and her friends have abandoned her. Only and unfortunately for Melinda, no one asked her why she called the cops. After a few beers, she was led into the woods alone by a popular, well liked older boy and raped. Since then, her confidence has bottomed out, depression has hit, and she has told no one about it. It is near impossible for her to make new friends and she loathes to be close to people. Melinda's assault is a secret that she carries within herself, the only outside signs her anti-social behavior and the bloody lips she continuously chews at.

Melinda cannot speak and she cannot tell anyone what happened to her. She has no friends to tell, after all, and no teachers who make her feel comfortable enough to confide in. To make matters worse, she doesn't feel that she can talk to her parents about what happens. Left to deal with the rape and following traumas alone, she withdraws.

This book was unbelievably emotional. Rape and sexual assault are very serious and devastating crimes, and ones that a lot of people keep inside and never tell a soul about. It is hard to know what someone who has been through rape and sexual assault thinks and feels if not experienced personally. Being able to peek into Melinda's head, to see and live the processes of depression and isolation she feels throughout, is very emotional. Speak is not a book one should read if they want light reading. Melinda's reactions to the boy who raped her when she meets him in school are particularly hard to read--- you can almost feel the sickness and fear coming off of her in waves.

Speak is about more than just rape and sexual assault. It is also about how difficult it is to be a teenager. In a lot of ways, Melinda is like any other girl her age who suffers from low self-esteem, wants to fit in and be liked, but has no idea how. I recall moments when she considered how much she wanted friends, Valentine's, and the spirit to enjoy simple things. What else is Speak about? Depression. I saw a lot of myself in Melinda, which made this book even more painful to read. The part where she went into the closet, stuffed her mouth full of cloth, and screamed until she couldn't scream anymore almost brought me to tears. I cannot count the number of times I have wanted to do just that. I think in some way, most of use can relate to some aspect of Melinda's personality and struggle.

It's hard to know why Melinda chose to stay silent for so long. Was it shame? The feeling that no one would understand? Fear? A desire to hide from the reality of what happened, that if it is never spoken out loud it would never full form into a real moment? Whatever her reason, over the course of the school year, Melinda slowly transforms. At first, she sinks and bottoms out. Eventually, summoning up her strength through a series of painful and altering experiences, she rises out of the hole she has been slipping into since the night of the party. It can hardly be said that the book is inspirational because it is hard to find inspiration in someone's pain, but I am happy that Melinda found her voice to speak up. It shows others that they can, too, and that to admit to such things is not to admit weakness.
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My son had to read this book for school and I am so happy that this is part of their curriculum. Everyone is given a voice and when you don't use it you will not be heard but when you speak it will come out in volumes.
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well written
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This is one of my favorite books. a great read for young girls but also for guys. there is also a movie based on this book. i believe its called speak also. watch it if you enjoy this novel.
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i loved this book i recomend it to anyone!
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really amazing! fast read
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Wonderfully well-written book! Highly recommend this and other Anderson books.
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Melinda begins high school as the outcast who called the police to a party that took place in the summer before the start of school. She has never been asked why she called the police and her best friends have abandoned her.

Melinda carries a very real secret with a lot of pain involved. She is holding back speaking to most people and her grades and social life come to a dismal fall.

Melinda has quite the personality, something that the reader is aware of, but not necessarily the people that she deals with.

This book is very well written, you really do feel Melinda's pain, you just don't know the reason behind it until the end of the book. So sad that people she considered her friends don't bother to try to find out the reasoning behind her call to 911.

Says so much about the torment that is adolescence, the hormonal changes and angst to becoming one's self.
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VERY UNIQUE!
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This was such a sad and powerful story. It made me want to go up to the girl in the story and just hug her and cry with her.
There is a lot of symbolism in the story, yet it is very easy to understand and relate to her. It is hard to believe it is fiction, but I think it is a must for girls (teen/pre-teens) to read. It's hard to say 'no', but you have to and stick to it, and you don't have to deal with things alone. But it wasn't a preachy story at all.

I've also registered this book on bookcrossing.
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One of my favorite books of all time.
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The book was very simple and did not hold my interest much. There was really no rise or fall in action.
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I enjoyed this book, however, I am not keeping it because I do not feel as though I will ever read it again.
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Back Cover

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't 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 about the night of the party that, if she let in in, would blow her carefully constricted disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth.
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From back of book: Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't 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.

Required reading for 9th graders in our school system.
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a 2000 Printz Honor Book
A 1999 National Book Award Finalist
An Edgar Allan Poe Award Finalist