June 25, 2012

Use Your Words • Speak

Speak book cover
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: April 20, 2006
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback

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. It's no use explaining to her parents; they've never known what her life is really like. The safest place for Melinda 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 admitted it and let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have no choice. Melinda would have to speak the truth.

This book came to my attention thanks to Ginger of GReads! And after having read it, I completely agree with her opinion that this is a powerful book. It sends such a strong positive message despite the difficult issue it tackles, and I think that's truly a gift. 

Melinda Sordino is a character any teen would be able to relate to (and that has happened, based on the extras that came in the back of the book). It is difficult for Melinda to articulate her feelings, leaving her withdrawn and scared. She is only able to truly express herself through her art - and even then, she holds a part of herself back. There is no doubt in my mind that readers will have felt the same way once or twice in their lives - and that is what makes Melinda's story so important.

It was a struggle for me to read this book, if I'm going to be honest with you. I had already guessed at what happened to Melinda, but it was painful for me to watch her go what she went through. My heart broke as I watched her draw in to herself and try to hold it together - it was so, so, so incredibly sad. I was, of course, silently urging her to finally speak and tell her story; it was gratifying to me when she finally did.

SPEAK is a book that deserves to be read by teens of all generations and nationalities. This is not only because I feel like Melinda is someone that readers would be able to understand, but also because it's a well-written account that gives people who are in the same dark place as she is a whole lot of hope.

This review was posted as part of Rewind & Review.

Rewind & Review is a great monthly feature started by Ginger of GReads! and Lisa of Lisa is Busy Nerding. Each month, participants will set aside some "older" titles to read and review on their blogs. This feature is the perfect opportunity to get around to reading that title you've been eyeing for years or that book that's been in your TBR for what feels like forever. For more information, you can visit this post.


  1. This sounds interesting! It's funny because I had a group of friends who I stopped hanging out with because they started doing drugs. That basically left me friendless, so I was alone in my head a lot. Of course, it led me to my beloved piano, so it was all good.

    But I digress. THIS book sounds great! I have Laurie's other book, Wintergirls, on my shelf and I've been waiting to catch up on some review books before digging in. Now I might have to get this one, too!

    I hate it when I'm reading a book and I realize what's going to happen and know that it's going to break my heart ...

    Great review!

  2. I've heard so many good things about this book that I will most definitely have to read it! I love it when an author deals with a tough subject in a way that makes it a powerful read! Also, making an educated guess as to what happened to Melinda at the party, I'm appalled that this book has been banned on multiple occasions and it makes me want to read it more!

  3. I could not agree more - Speak is such a profound book and I think every teen should read it.

  4. I am so pleased to know that you read this book & enjoyed it. It's a story that will stay with you, for a long time to come. This book will be highly recommended to my students one day. I hope you will continue to read more of Anderson's work. Twisted and Wintergirls are amazing.

  5. Sounds great; love your review...it's not easy to be do clear without spoilers and you pulled it off. will pick this one up

  6. I absolutely loved Speak. I first read it in my Adolescent Literature course, I think my sophomore year of college, and fell in love. Speak is...profound and a read that grasps you and never lets go. I agree with you, Speak should be a must read for everyone.

  7. Speak is written so well, and it definitely struck a chord with me.

  8. I'm looking forward to reading more of her work! I'm grateful to you for bringing this book to my attention :)

  9. It's done so well, and it's in such a relatable manner. Even if I didn't go through what she went through, I can recognize the feelings she had.

  10. I'm sad to hear about your friends, but I'm glad that your experience led you to your music. I'm also glad we're friends now through book blogging!

    Also, it is a great book. I have to read more from her!

  11. Magan @ Rather Be ReadingJuly 3, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    This book! I went on a LHA reading frenzie after I read Speak because I loved this book so much. It's beautiful in a haunting way. I couldn't stop thinking about it. ALL of her books have had that impact on me. Such a beautiful story. My brother in law had to read it in high school and I was so glad they were incorporating it in as part of his curriculum.

  12. You have a nice review! Here's mine: http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/07/speak-by-laurie-halse-anderson.html Have a nice day!

  13. Laurie Halse Anderson is a genius,
    plain and simple. This is a very serious and important book that I
    would highly recommend to families, educators and medical professionals.
    This is a book that is screaming for attention for book discussion
    groups. This is a book everyone needs as the serious issues it covers
    are relevant and timely. This is a book for everyone.

    Best Reviews for Goshen NY house cleaning site info


Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)