I first read this book for my ninth-grade Honors English class, and three years after graduating high school Speak is still one of my favorite books. Laurie Halse Anderson is right to consider this a book about depression; being a painfully shy introvert who suffers from depression, I relate to it so much in several ways. Even at 21. This is such a brilliantly crafted work of writing that takes two very dark subjects, portrays both realistically, and adds in some well-timed snark from the mouth (or, rather, mind) of a thirteen-year-old girl. This is no ordinary YA novel. This doesn't fire one tired YA cliche after another at the reader; it offers a realistic character who reacts realistically to events in a realistic setting. It's quite refreshing when the usual YA offerings are supernatural, romance, dystopian, or trying-to-be-Degrassi-in-novel-form. Its strong points make it stand out from the rest and I personally believe that it deserves just as much attention as The Hunger Games and Harry Potter (and certainly more than Twilight). Especially now, when the ubiquitousness of cell phones and social media make the horrors Melinda faces at the hands of her classmates even worse, and after several high-profile cases of teenagers committing suicide or being raped by peers and facing hostility at every turn.
In order to post comments, you need to