Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Inc.
Melinda Sordino ruined a party at the end of summer by calling the cops and now everyone hates her. But Melinda can’t tell anyone about why she did it. Because who will believe that the most popular guy in school raped a freshman nobody at a party? Shunned by everyone at school, Melinda trudges through the school year, failing at everything except her art class. Art is what helps Melinda say what she wants to say without using words. But as the school year continues, Melinda realizes that she has to speak. And when she’s confronted by that same guy in a similar place, this time Melinda doesn’t hold her voice back.
Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel is an absolutely stunning look at the importance of finding a voice in the face of adversity and challenges. Anderson’s Melinda is fresh, witty, honest, and observant, and her character arc is immensely satisfying. Readers will love watching Melinda come to terms with what has happened to her and with what she needs to do in order to release herself from the self-destructive grief and guilt that plague her. Truly, Speak is a five star book all around.
*Contains moderate language and moderate sexual content.