Review Detail

Speak Hot
Young Adult Fiction 11198
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
The novel opens with Melinda Sordino starting her high school freshman year. She has been ostracised by her friends and fellow students after she called the cops at a summer party. It is clear that something happened. I think most readers will be able to predict what happened at the party but I won’t spoil it.

At school Melinda is befriended by a new girl Heather, only to later be ditched for ‘the Marthas’ a group of popular girls.

She becomes more depressed (Melinda is probably suffering from undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder) and begins to skip school and frequently challenges parental and authority figures, who see her silence simply as attention seeking behaviour.

There are also literary parallels with Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (1850), which Melinda is studying in English. Hester Prynne, the central character of The Scarlet Letter, like Melinda is a social outcast. Melinda also has a poster of author / poet Maya Angelou in her closet. Angelou was a outsider like Melinda and her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) had been banned by the school.

The novel is written in first person and almost reads like Melinda’s diary. Anderson uses a non-linear narrative with flashbacks disrupting the present. This fragmented narrative structure illustrates Melinda’s depressed state and the trauma she has suffered.

Also what is interesting is that Melinda works through her depression and PSTD herself without seeking professional help, although she does receive support from her lab partner David Petrakis and her art teacher Mr. Freeman.

This coming-of-age problem novel is about a young woman finding her own voice, and speaking up and allowing the truth to set her free. It is a powerful piece of writing for a debut novel.

In 2004 a film version directed by Jessica Sharzer starring Kristin Stewart screened at the Sundance Film Festival and screened on Showtime and Lifetime the following year.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

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

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Secondhand Dogs
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A heartwarming—and heart-tugging—middle grade novel about love, loyalty, and what...
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Road Trip
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Join everyone's favorite Wildcats from the Disney+ smash hit original...
I'll Meet You in Your Dreams
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A heartwarming text honoring the ever-evolving relationship of a parent...
Colors of Habitats
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The brand-new sequel to a well-reviewed bestseller that has been...
Noble Thief (Fantasy and Fairytales Book 6)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A prince of two kingdoms. A woman fighting against the...
10 Truths and a Dare
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's Senior Party Week, that magical in-between time after classes...
All These Bodies
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen bloodless bodies. Two teenagers. One impossible explanation. ...
The Beautiful Ones
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and...
I Am the Shark
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
What makes the great white shark (one of) the greatest...
Made in Korea
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good romantic...
Take Me Home Tonight
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets Nick and Nora’s Infinite...
The People We Choose
 
3.3
 
5.0 (1)
When 17-year-old Calliope meets her new neighbor Max, their...
Hurricane Summer
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
In this sweeping debut, Asha Bromfield takes readers to...
Slingshot
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
An exciting debut contemporary young adult novel perfect for...
The Keeper of Night
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
Death is her destiny. Half...
The Girls are Never Gone
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Conjuring meets Sadie when seventeen-year-old podcaster Dare takes an...

Latest Member Reviews

 
4.0
"Fans of Dragonology will enjoy this amusing, lavishly illustrated guide for tracking and taming dragons, which comes with a high-quality..."