Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place 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 let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth.
Needing a book to read this evening, I plucked Speak off my BookCrossing bookcase (yes, I have a bookcase dedicated to BookCrossing books) almost at random. But, oh am I glad I did. What a wonderful, compelling book. After reading it, I can assure you that Speak deserves any award that it has received.
In it, Anderson deals with a tough issue, but does so sympathetically and honestly without over-dramatizing it. Protagonist Melinda is relatable and her first-person narration (and sarcastic humor) is what makes the book as successful as it is. Anderson's depiction of high school is authentic. Despite being a quick read, Speak is a book that will stay with you long after you turn its final page.