Review Detail

 
Speak Hot
Young Adult Fiction
(Updated: October 11, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Worthwhile

“I have never heard a more eloquent silence.”

A noteworthy forerunner in the teen “Issues” subgenre, and one of the first to so directly confront rape.

This is an indisputably important book. It offered insight and acknowledgement on an all-too-frequent trauma, and some common mental consequences associated with it—managing to do so before “rape culture” became a household term. And it tackled the subject matter with a tact that didn’t intrude upon candor realistic to the age and experience of the main character. For that, I will forever applaud it.

The story is written in journal-like style, told solely from Melinda’s first-person POV. It is technically a quick read, though there are times it really drags and the plot itself stalls. One could argue that this is partially the point—the result of Melinda’s depression and attempts to work through her trauma on her own. But the excess of mundane details and uneventful daily routine descriptions don’t really propel the prose.

The writing is spare and simple. Melinda’s emotional state and naivety comes off as 2-3 years younger than the average 15-years old, despite some effort made at dropping 50-cent words. Although, I would argue this helps make the content more relatable to both Middle Grade and Young Adult readers. (The lack of graphic details regarding the actual rape also makes this a safer mode for introducing the topic and promoting serious discussion with readers as young as 12—in this reviewer’s opinion.)

Anderson captures all the isolating pettiness and narcissism of high school social dynamics—albeit via sometimes painfully stereotypical means. (The football players are, of course, the bullies. The football coach is a vicious, one-dimensional meathead. Melinda’s parents are clueless and flat—total non-factors in helping her get anywhere with her depression and acting out. The art teacher is eccentric and vivacious—the closest thing to sympathetic in the entire realm of Melina’s experience with adults.) And so, as far as fresh or original writing goes, the book doesn’t really stand out. Yet, it holds enough overall value that I wouldn’t regret handing it to one of my goddaughters in the hopes that it would open the door to difficult but necessary conversations.

Note: I would recommend Courtney C. Steven’s Faking Normal as a similar story alternative—for readers who may prefer stronger writing and more characterization depth.

Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

You/Poet: Learn the Art. Speak Your Truth. Share Your Voice.
Offering a variety of advice for tapping into your creative...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Are You Scared, Darth Vader?
Darth Vader isn't scared! Nothing can scare Lord Vader. ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Star-Touched Stories
From New York Times bestselling author, Roshani Chokshi, comes Star-Touched...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
91HIpyhaW9L.jpg
The third book in the New York Times bestselling series...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
One Week of You
For Lizzy Winston, one week will change everything. Fifteen-year-old...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Legacy (The Biodome Chronicles #1)
She is from the past, locked inside a world...
 
4.0
 
4.6 (3)
Grenade
It's 1945, and the world is in the grip...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Lines We Cross
Michael likes to hang out with his friends and...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Uncharted
Seventeen-year-old Annabeth prefers the fantasy of her books and...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dark Divide
Secrets have a way of coming out. Divided by...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Orphaned (Ape Quartet #4)
Before humans, and before human history, there were the...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heirs of the Round Table: Reclaiming Camelot
Imagine discovering that your ancestors were part of King Arthur's...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Wicked Nix
A visually stunning, middle-grade classic in the making about Wicked...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Journey of the Pale Bear
A runaway boy befriends a polar bear that’s being transported...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Camp Valor (Camp Valor #1)
When Wyatt gets framed for a friend’s crime, he thinks...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Attack of the Plants: A Branches Book (The Magic School Bus Rides Again)
Next stop...The Magic School Bus heads to the Galapagos to...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Are You Scared, Darth Vader?
 
5.0
" This is a fun, cute, beautifully illustrated childrens book. What scares Darth Vader? Not wolfman, vampires, ghosts or kids!..."
Clementine for Christmas
 
5.0
"Josie loves Christmas, especially making memories with her dog Clementine volunteering at the children's hospital. Oscar's parents are always fighting..."
Wicked Nix
 
5.0
"Wicked Nix is the foulest of the fairies. He's also the protector of the forest and will keep people out..."
Journey of the Pale Bear
 
5.0
"JOURNEY OF THE PALE BEAR is an inspiring and heartwarming story about a bear and a boy who develop a..."
The Attack of the Plants: A Branches Book (The Magic School Bus Rides Again)
 
4.0
"When Ms. Frizzle gets a job as a professor, her sister takes over her class as the new teacher. Arnold..."
Robot Farm (The Magic School Bus Rides Again)
 
4.0
"Wanda is putting together the Fall Fun Feast, but she forgot about the food! When she starts looking into ideas,..."
Knock Knock
 
4.5
"'Knock Knock' by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Guy Francis, is a cute picture book about a bear getting prepared for..."
Apex Predator (Horizon, Book 4)
 
4.0
" Both the members of the robotics team whose plane went down and the members of the Cub-Tones from the..."
Seeing Red (Whatever After #12)
 
4.0
"Abby is excited that her nana is coming to stay with her and Jonah while her parents are away, but..."
The Phantom Bandit (Geronimo Stilton #70)
 
4.0
"As fall approaches, Geronimo is busy working in his newspaper office when he starts to see strange things-- his co..."
The Bad Guys in Do-You-Think-He-Saurus?!: Special Edition (The Bad Guys #7)
 
4.0
"To recap the adventures of the Bad Guys so far: they were saving Earth from an alien invasion when their..."
Timmy Failure: It's the End When I Say It's the End (Timmy Failure #7)
 
4.5
"As Christmas approaches, Timmy is ready to give up his detective business, but he has one last mission: to help..."
Genius Ideas [Mostly] (Tom Gates #4)
 
4.0
"There are few things in Tom's life that are NOT made better by caramel wafer biscuits, and after he sees..."
G.I. Dogs: Sergeant Stubby, Hero Pup of World War I (G.I. Dogs #2)
 
4.0
"Stubby was adopted from the streets of Boston by Bob Conroy, who managed to sneak him on the ship his..."
All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah
 
4.0
"It's Hanukkah on New York's Lower East Side in 1912. Young Gertie, who is four, is very excited about all..."
Merci Suárez Changes Gears
 
4.0
"Merci lives next door to her grandparents, Abuela and Lolo, and her aunt and younger twin cousins. Her father has..."
Let Sleeping Dragons Lie (Have Sword, Will Travel #2)
 
4.0
"Sir Eleanor and Sir Odo are back with their respective talking swords. After the death of Sir Halfdan and the..."
So Done
 
4.0
"Bean and Tai are neighbors in a low-income housing project and have been friends for a very long time, but..."
The Mac Undercover (Mac B., Kid Spy #1)
 
5.0
"In this notebook novel, author Barnett explains to his readers what he did before he became a children's author. Because..."
The Darkdeep
 
4.0
"When bully Logan and his cronies send Nico's expensive, handmade drone into the bottomless waters of Still Cove, Nico tries..."