Wednesday, May 21, 2008


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.


  1. Sounds interesting... I understand you might not want to identify the 'tough subject' to avoid spoilers, bt can you give some idea of what area it falls into? Some readers are willing to read about some difficult subjects but not others.

  2. Part of the reason that I was so cryptic is because what happened isn't revealed until pretty late in the book (despite the fact that the book takes place after it happened).

  3. Heather, I can't figure out how to email you directly so I'm just continuing on here.

    The subject is one that many people have a hard time reading about, BUT a friend who does have a very hard time reading about the topic had no problem with the book because there isn't any graphic detail. Part of the reason that _Speak_ is so great is its subtlety.

  4. I'm at heather.grove at if you ever want to email me directly.

    I think that was a great explanation. Thanks. :)