Sunday, August 28, 2011

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I caught the movie starring that girl from those godawful vampire romance movies on TV once. Might have been Lifetime Movie Network - don't ask, I can't explain how I landed on that channel. There was something wrong with her, something they hinted to a lot during flashbacks. It wasn't hard to see she was raped. It wasn't a hard movie to follow, but it was an emotional one. And I cannot deny that it caught my attention. So much so, I looked up the film and learned its title. I also learned that it was based on a short novel by Laurie Halse Anderson (TwistedFever 1793Wintergirls and Prom). 

Of course, I was still going through my YA-has-nothing-to-offer-me-as-a-reader-or-a-writer phase - this is when I thought all YA was vampires and wizards - so it took me a while to come around. After reading a slew of YA novels, I finally wrapped my hands around Anderson's masterpiece, Speak.

Melinda Sordino starts high school as the most hated - well, shunned - girl in the freshmen class. Her former best friend, Rachel - who goes by the name Rachelle now - has cast her out of her inner circle. Other former friends treat her like a pariah. And the whole school knows what she did at the end of the summer party. The only problem is, they don't know what led her to calling the cops. And Melinda isn't speaking about it.

Anderson reminds adult readers how difficult our teenage years were. How hard it was to adapt in high school. She tells her target audience that it's okay to speak up against things that you don't agree with. That you're not alone in this world, no matter what happens to you.

Beautifully written and insightful, Speak is a must have for adult and teenager alike. 

Geez. Did I just write that last line? Oh well, until next time. Keep on huntin'.

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