YMMV / Speak

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Melinda's narration paints her parents as fairly useless and borderline on the verge of a divorce, but they do buy her chalk for Christmas, saying they have noticed her drawing and frequently lament how their once-happy and sociable daughter has totally isolated herself and barely speaks, so are they as selfish and oblivious as Melinda views them or are we just getting the worst of them from a teenage viewpoint?
  • Complete Monster: Andy Evans is a senior at Merryweather High School who has a reputation for sleeping around. Upon meeting a drunken Melinda Sordino at an end of the summer party, he rapes her; this results in a spiral of events which culminate in Melinda becoming traumatized to the point of nearly becoming mute. Since then, Andy made a habit out of psychologically tormenting Melinda out of sadism. Fearing that Rachel might become his next victim, Melinda attempted to warn her about Andy's true intentions, but she doesn't believe her. It's also revealed that Andy had a prolific history of sexually assaulting female students; this is shown by the multiple entries that were written on the wall in the restroom. Enraged that Melinda had ruined his reputation, Andy confronts her in the janitor's closet, and he attempts to rape her again out of spite. Egotistical and sadistic, Evans would stop at nothing to get what he wants.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Melinda's fear of failing Spanish class isn't funny but her conjugation of fracasar (to flunk) "Yo am almost fracasaring" makes it impossible not to laugh.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Hairwoman lives and breathes these tropes when she studies The Scarlet Letter believing that there's a symbolic meaning behind every last detail Hawthorne added.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Laurie Halse Anderson has blogged about real-life teen rape incidences that have ample Karma Houdini and make you lament humanity.
  • She Really Can Act: Kristen Stewart, since this was one of her few film roles before Twilight. Stewart in an interview mentioned that she had trouble finding roles as a child actor because she's serious, and kids have to be funny on television.
  • Squick: The photographer at Heather's photo shoot makes all sorts of risqué comments while taking pictures. It's uncomfortable considering Heather is a high school freshman.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Melinda having to draw trees for her art class.
    • The turkey bone structure.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: Made fun of through the English teacher's opinion of The Scarlet Letter.
  • The Woobie: Oh, Melinda. She was raped during a summer party before starting high school, she's shamed by the school for calling the police because of said rape and she's been abandoned by her old friends. Then when she does make a friend, it's with a girl who doesn't really care about her and wants to be popular.