Book Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson


Young Adult > Contemporary | Realistic Fiction

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.

Literary Awards: National Book Award Nominee for Young People’s Literature (1999), Golden Kite Award for Fiction (1999), BCCB Blue Ribbon Book (1999), Edgar Award Nominee for Best Young Adult (2000), Printz Honor (2000), South Carolina Book Award for Young Adult Book Award (2002), Horn Book Fanfare (2000), ALA’s Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults (2000), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2005)


…even Gumball will find this boring. :/

I have this utter dislike to Speak‘s main character Melinda. It’s not because she’s so dull, weak, and bully-material, but because she let herself be a victim after the “incident” happened. In her mind, she lost the battle already. Fighting back (even if only by moving on) was not Melinda’s strongest suits, and I have no sympathy for people like that.

I cannot see why not speaking up will help Melinda’s cause. It only triggered a series of bullying when she should’ve prevented it by talking about happened at the party, even if people won’t listen, but so what? The point is not to fight a battle like this by yourself!

Sheesh. Now I feel myself getting worked up.

I understood the need to be silent because something terrible happened, but time spent on not talking was too long. I say, fight back, even if it’s a lost cause, always fight back. Because that’s the only thing your enemies cannot take away from you: the will to stand up and fight back.

When Melinda finally speaks, it was already anti-climactic. How can I root for someone like her, someone who refused to rise up after such a debacle?

Speak is a short read, but I found myself thinking I wasted my time reading it.


SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson

Paperback, 208 pages

Published April 1st 2001 by Puffin

2/5 stars