"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason, for anything."

~ Edward Cullen

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Review: Speak

Title: Speak
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Pages: 198
Rating: 5/5

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. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country (Cover Blurb).

 I've been pretty quiet for the past two weeks, and my reading has certainly been suffering.  The baby shifted and is sitting on my sciatic nerve making it painful for me to do much of anything, especially sitting and reading.  However, despite that, I pushed on and finished Speak late last week.  I am so glad that I did.  This book was breath taking.  Never, in all my years reading, has a book made me truly "feel" like Speak did.  In my life, I've never experienced anything nearly as traumatic as Melinda.  I've never been forced into doing something I didn't want to do.  However, despite this disconnect with the situation, I was able to fully connect with Melinda and every feeling she had.  I felt her separation, her fear, and her loneliness.  I understood her pain, and I wanted to take it away from her.  That's how powerfully this book was written.

I originally started this book due to Banned Book Week.  Speak has been all over the Internet lately due to an article written by Dr. Wesley Scroggins.  You can read the article here.  Personally, I think the article is a bunch of donkey doo.  I'm beginning to wonder if this Dr Scroggins and I read the same book, because in the book I read, the rape scenes were written with great care so as not to be disturbing but instead show how emotionally devastating the act of rape can be.  This book is an excellent tool to teach young girls to speak up, speak out, and to be heard when things happen to them.  If I ever have daughters this is definitely a book I would want them to read!

This is the first book I've read by Laurie Halse Anderson, but it most certainly will not be my last.  I've had Wintergirls sitting on my shelf for months now and I look forward to picking it up and giving it a try.  Thank you Banned Books Week for showing me another wonderful book and author!!

1 comment:

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Exactly Emily! I felt the same about this book and thought the rape scene was handled very delicately! Greta review.

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