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

Quinton Wyatt's summer break before high school should be nothing...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
On Delicate Wings
Mia Walters is optimistic that her final high school...
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
Only A Breath Apart
Bestselling author Katie McGarry’s trademark wrong-side-of-the-tracks romance is given...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The world is quite the different place after the loss...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
Pretty in Punxsutawney
A Groundhog Day meets Pretty in Pink mashup from...
 
5.0
 
4.7 (1)
Through Fathoms Dark and Deep
What’s a pirate without her crew? Abandoned on an...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
99 Lies (100 Hours, #2)
Getting kidnapped over spring break was definitely memorable. But...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Ray Vs the Meaning of Life
Grandma’s Last Will and Testament names Ray to inherit...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
51uDXTa8hxL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Celebrate the weird, wonderful, and the downright bizarre in this...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Next to Last Mistake
Tess Goodwin's life in rural Iowa is sheltered and uncomplicated....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Emerge: The Captive: (Book 3)
A moment of distraction has cost him his freedom...
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
Awakening of Fire (Dragon Born, #1)
Dragons are just legends from the past... Felicia’s life...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Penderwicks at Last
The finale you've all been waiting for: The Penderwicks...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Over Raging Tides
The pirate crew of the Lady Luck lives by...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Positively Izzy
Award-winning comics creator and author of the bestselling Invisible...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Onyx and Ivory
They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires #1)
 
3.3
"Set in Morganville, Texas, Claire Danvers has just started university and is living in a horrible dormitory on campus. Constantly..."
Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires #1)
 
5.0
"A quick read but really enjoyable! The characters are believable and the boys are just WOW. It seems a little..."
Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires #1)
 
5.0
" Claire is sixteen years old, and starting her first year of post-secondary education in Morganville. After angering Monica, one..."
 
4.0
""You must learn some of my philosophy. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure." OMG,..."
Paper Towns
 
3.0
"Congratulations, John Green. I will never be able to forget the name: Margo Roth Spiegelman. Repetition works. ..."
Paper Towns
 
3.7
"The prologue to the novel opens with our protagonist Quentin “Q” Jacobsen recalling an incident from when he was nine-years-old;..."
 
5.0
"(SPOILERS) John Green's novel, Looking for Alaska, follows a year in the life of high school junior, Miles Halter, a..."
Paper Towns
 
4.0
"This book is about a girl Margo who goes missing and Quentin takes it upon himself to try and find..."
 
3.7
"The way that John Green writes really flows and that makes for an easy read. The plot is well planned..."
Paper Towns
 
4.0
"People are always fascinated by those who treat them badly and thats exactly what Margo Roth Spiegelman does to Q..."
 
4.3
"It's good, it's great, but it is quite self-indulgent (even for a YA book) and I think the second half..."
A Countess Below Stairs
 
3.0
"It was okay. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had known just a bit more about..."
 
5.0
"Great "Coming-of-Age" story!"
The Future of Us
 
4.7
"Oh, the 90s, how I miss thee! This book was such a fun trip into the past. It made me..."
 
N/A
"Let It Snow is basically the most perfect holiday book ever. Could you really expect less from 3 amazing authors,..."
 
5.0
"Here comes one of those books that you just can’t talk about without giving away a big ol’ spoiler. John..."
Eighth Grade Bites (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod #1)
 
5.0
"First book I ever read about vampires! Action packed and strangely relatable. Excluding the vampire part. Every other book in..."
Paper Towns
 
4.0
"I’m going to be honest here and say that I didn’t really like Paper Towns much for most of the..."
The Future of Us
 
4.3
"I can honestly say I adored this book! The year is 1996 and the authors made it seem so realistic...."
The Future of Us
 
2.7
"The thing I most appreciated about The Future of Us was probably that Emma and Josh didn’t just accept that..."