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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Speak is an enriching piece of literature that could definitely have the power to change a person’s life. It tells the struggle of fourteen-year old Melinda and her complex past. Never again will I think that anyone is “just shy” again. This is the perfect book for teens, male and female, as well as young adults. It’s especially good for those who know high school as well as Melinda does. One who has been out of high school for a long time may be interested as well, but shocked to see the rate that teens are growing up. After all, Melinda has faced a struggle that not many of us can relate to. On top of that, she has been rejected by her classmates, and even abandoned by her family. How can a freshman deal with this?

This book starts out at the bus stop in the first day of school. The most intriguing part about Speak is that it keeps you guessing. From the very second that the curtain drops, I found myself presuming as to why Melinda is the way she. Why would anyone shut themselves off from the rest of the world? As I later discovered why, I found myself rooting for Mel as she strengthened. Obviously, Melinda has a problematic life. Her summer started out perfect, until IT happened. She spent the rest of summer locked up in her room, avoiding looking anyone in the eyes. One glance and Melinda might accidentally tell them her life story. By the time school starts, there’s so much rage in her that she cannot bring herself to speak at all. As Melinda toddles the halls of Merryweather High, two thousand eyes burn through her. After calling the police at the coolest party of the summer, Melinda is the outcast.

Surely someone would see what was going on. What stands out the most in this book is that nothing can stay a secret forever. The weak may become strong. I think that this is the message that Ms. Anderson is trying to get across. It didn’t take me long at all for me to figure out what happened to Melinda, and I was merely the audience. Mel faces a ton of violence, gossip, and betrayal. What I think would be worst for me is the fact that my friends would have nothing to do with me. Maybe Melinda could’ve made it through this if some decent people had her back. The style of this book makes up for Melinda’s lack of friends though. It proves that proper grammar is for losers. The sentence structure is choppy, as it’s coming directly from Melinda’s thoughts, and her quest for independence of IT.

Speak is one of the best books that I have ever read. Unquestionably, it has made a big impact on a reader’s life. Melinda sees life and high school for how it really is. It’s impossible not to agree with her. This book starts out slow, but builds up. It never gets boring. Again, I would recommend this book to anyone. Melinda’s viewpoint is just too enticing to pass up.

I commend Laurie Halse Anderson for her work. Melinda is a passionately creative person, and can be soon for who she really is. Melinda deserves a round of applause for her bravery.





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