Reviews: Speak

It's still my favorite.

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.

Really, really, amazing book

Quite frankly, I'm not sure if the previous reviewer read the same book. I honestly enjoyed Speak from the bottom of my heart. Melinda is an entertaining narrator that manages to narrate high school life in the most sardonic yet hilarious way I've read in a long time. This is even better considering all the pain that the character has gone through. I read somewhere that the author considered this a book about depression, and it really shows. The reader can practically feel Melinda breaking apart slowly, and it's extremely easy to sympathize with her. The author even manages to sneak in some subtle foreshadowing and symbolism, which isn't noticeable (until the second read) or heavy-handed at all.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book as a good read. Just make sure to read until the end, because the beauty of the story is better seen after you've been given the full picture.

This book is terrible.

Terrible terrible terrible. I mean seriously. I never expected to read such a bad book in my life. The dialogue is terrible, Melinda is a very shallow, boring character, and the book is overall just a boring, somewhat depressing exercise in all the same YA cliches. If books were food, Speak would be a chemical detergent.