Speak

Speak Review

The first ten lies they tell you in high school.

"Speak up for yourself—we want to know what you have to say."

From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication.

In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.

Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.

Title:Speak

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    Speak Reviews

  • Madeline

    "THE FIRST TEN LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL1. We are here to help you.2. You will have enough time to get to your class before the bell rings.3. The dress code will be enforced.4. No smoking is a...

  • Zo

    2017 Reread: I read this for my young adult literature class along with scholastic articles about the book, which added a great new layer to my interpretation of the novel. Original Review: I've owned...

  • Emma Giordano

    4.5 stars! I think this is a really powerful novel that should be read by so many, especially teens. Speak is a fascinating tale of learning to use your voice when you previously believed it did not m...

  • Emily May

    I didn't think I'd be so gripped by this book but the author captures the pains and troubles of everyday high school life with such honesty and raw emotion that I couldn't help recognising half the ch...

  • Cara

    Once I finished reading the last word I knew I was going to reread it. Yes that profound.Honest. Authentic. Real. Use all those words and their synonyms and you have this book. I literally wanted to...

  • Lola

    Well, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. I mean, the summary doesn’t reveal much (kind of like Melinda herself) and so, obviously, I made my own assumptions of the plot. Turns out, there...

  • V. PARENTAL GUIDANCE:  A Court of Wings and Ruin is NEW ADULT/EROTICA but Goodreads editors won't tell you

    The following review will touch upon serious topics and under the spoiler section I might hide TMI (too much information) tags. If you don't want to know about my own personal journey don't read becau...

  • Elena

    It is easier not to say anything. Shut your trap, button your lip, can it. All that crap you hear on TV about communication and expressing feelings is a lie. Nobody really wants to hear what you hav...

  • Laurie

    Just okay. I was particularly disappointed with the ending and felt that there was an element of glorification in this novel that I didn't appreciate. Let me explain:Although I loved the fact that Mel...

  • Susanne  Strong

    4 Stars.Speaking. Sometimes it’s absolutely impossible, isn’t it? Sometimes you are so filled with anxiety and fear, you can’t even think of the words, let alone spit them out. And sometimes, li...