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

What the Night Sings
For fans of The Book Thief and The Boy in...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the first book of this new series, Sage Stone...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bright Burns the Night
Ten years ago, King Lorcan of the Dark Kingdom...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Edge of Juniper
Malcolm Dearing is sweet, gorgeous, persistent...and off-limits. Fay is...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Marked Beauty
Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . ....
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Listen to Your Heart
Kasie West brings us another compelling read with “Listen...
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
Screenshot
Skye's social media game is always on point. Until...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
And She Was
Dara’s lived a sheltered life with her single mom,...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The God Gene Chronicles: The Secret of the Gods
Legend and lore lay the foundation for this exciting new...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Big Water
Seventeen-year-old Christina McBurney has led a sheltered life. But when...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two schools: One of magic and science, the other focused...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Kidult Handbook: From Blanket Forts to Capture the Flag, a Grownup's Guide to Playing Like a Kid
Adulting is hard! But “kidulting”— engaging in nostalgic childhood activities...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Science: A LEGO Adventure in the Real World
Did you know that the blue whale could blow up...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Meant To Be Broken
Rayne Davidson is perfectly happy fading into the background. Her...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (3)
Switching Gears
Still mourning the loss of Lucas Nelson, the boy she...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Finding-Elora.jpg
High school’s a whole new ballgame. Elora used...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Home of the Braves
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Kristen This book made me cry. It was just so moving in the way it was written..."
Dark Angel
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by Desire'e I luv that the idea that "angles" can get lost and that people could over come..."
You Don't Know Me
 
3.0
"Reader reviewed by Dede John is a teenager who has a tough life. His dad walked out and disappeared..."
Dark Angel
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Jennsinkona The begining is exciting, because its what us everyday person would love to wake up and..."
You Don't Know Me
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Jazzy Spazzy 0MG! This was far most the awesome book I have read. I don't read many..."
Dark Angel
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Ashton At the beginning of this year we read the book Dark Angel. Honestly I though it..."
Dark Angel
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by d-hazz I thought it was a good book with a great story line. It played with everyone's..."
Dark Angel
 
3.0
"Reader reviewed by JAY I RATED THIS BOOK A 3 BECAUSE THIS IS NOT REALLY MY KIND OF BOOK. THIS..."
Dark Angel
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by Bob Dark Angel is a good book for grades 8 and 9 because it is about a..."
Dark Angel
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by Julian I really enjoyed this book because it was not like any other young adult book i..."
Dark Angel
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Craig The book Dark angel was a very optimistic book. If I had to choose up a..."
Dark Angel
 
1.0
"Reader reviewed by stephen Alright, if you ask me I say you should read this book because it's a good..."
Dark Angel
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by katie At first when my class started reading the novel Dark Angel I was pretty pessimistic.The more..."
You Don't Know Me
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by TheBookworm Sad, Witty, Horrible, Humorous& Odd right. Nope. You dont know me& by David Klass 5..."
You Don't Know Me
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Kristin You Don't Know Me is the most interesting, eccentric, endearing, and flat out best book I..."
You Don't Know Me
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Jellybean. =) Wow. 'You Don't Know Me' is a truly unique book. It had me laughing hysterically..."
Home of the Braves
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Nair This book I only checked it out from my school library, because I didn't have much..."
You Don't Know Me
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by angel0292 i read this book a while ago, but i really liked it. My friend recommended it..."
You Don't Know Me
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by JEN"
Dark Angel
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by libraraine Jeff's life has been perfect for the past 5 years, but he's received some shocking news..."