From her first moment at Merryweather High, Melinda Sordino knows she's an outcast. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops - a major infraction in high-school society - so her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't know glare at her. No one knows why she called the police, and she can't get out the words to explain. ...
From her first moment at Merryweather High, Melinda Sordino knows she's an outcast. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops - a major infraction in high-school society - so her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't know glare at her. No one knows why she called the police, and she can't get out the words to explain. So she retreats into her head, where the lies and hypocrisies of high school stand in stark relief to her own silence. But it's not so comfortable in her head, either - there's something banging around in there that she doesn't want to think about. But, try as she might, it just won't go away...
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an insightful book, meant of teens and their parents about a girl who did speak up when she needed to.
Oct 3, 2011
One of my favorites
Although there is some mild language that would prevent me from recommending this to someone too young, that is my only hesitation in recommending this book.
It is excellently written, compelling, and heart wrenching. Definitely a must read.
I am even tempted to buy a few extra copies to have on hand when I find out a friend has not read it... LOVE this book.
Jul 25, 2008
This has meaning. Pain.
My mom found this book on a plane. Someone left it there perhaps accidently as they were gathering up their suitcases, or as I prefer to believe, because they finished reading it and wanted others to read about it. That's why I love books so much they are meant to be read, shared, enjoyed. My mom read it and then gave it to me to read. I may leave the book on a park bench or on the beach.
This book reads easy but that does not at all imply that this is a simple book. On the contrary, Anderson discusses the angst of being a young teenager, high school clicks, the inability to conform, losing friends, and loss of communication within families. In all honesty, I read the book in 4 or 5 hours because I couldn't put it down.
Anderson writes with fluid grace. Her style is quick, fluid, sarcastic, witty, and at times haunting. The protagonist, Melinda, hardly says anything. Her parents think she has become mute. They think she is rebelling, as all teenagers do. Their own relationship is a model of dysfunction and waste. Her only outlet is in her art class. Her assignment is simple: she has the whole year to do a project and recreate a tree that emotionally moves everyone. That would be well and fine, except, Melinda checked out emotionally last year. After a certain party. After she "called the cops" for reasons unknown to her friends. She doesn't tell anyone what happened that night, and since then her walls have come up and she feels like ice blocks her throat.
Every teenage girl should read this novel in my opinion. I think everyone can relate to at least one aspect of the book which is why I enjoyed this. I like novels that speak to me in some way and I can relate to it. Melinda has some powerful memories of certain instances that she remembered as a child - like when she was out in the snow - and recalling how life appeared much easier back then. She could talk to people. Clearly, something tragic shook Melinda to her very core at the party and she was suffering from PTSD.
I highly recommend this book to all young people and adults.
Jul 13, 2008
A true look into the horror of abuse
The thought of being trapped within your own mind, unable to ask let alone scream for help. We all have regrets in our life, but what happens when an event makes life your regret? For fourteen-year-old Melinda Sordino life has been turned upside down by a secret rape, a phone call to the police, and a school who views her as a pitiful snitch. You see, Melinda like any freshman wanted to fit in. Like anyone new to the highschool scene, she succumbed to pressure and went to a party with her best friend. No one knows what happened that night besides Melinda, and no one cares to find out. To them she's just the outcast the called the police on and end of the summer party. This book demonstrates the betrayal, anger, loneliness, and courage of a girl who ventured into highschool with nothing besides a chip on her shoulder and a school of peers that hated her. If anything, the author truly reaches out to everyone who has ever went through a hard time that they assumed no one could relate to. If Melinda can overcome the events in "Speak" then this gives hope and encouragement to anyone who reads it.
Sep 22, 2007
Solid Youngn Adult entry
This audiobook was fairly interesting, and well read. The ending was a bit too neat, and I was surprised no one had ever thought to send the girl to a shrink for her sudden "downshift" in attitude, but overall the story seemed real
Publishers Weekly, 1999-09-13 In a stunning first novel, Anderson uses keen observations and vivid imagery to pull readers into the head of an isolated teenager. Divided into the four marking periods of an academic year, the novel, narrated by Melinda Sordino, begins on her first day as a high school freshman. No one will sit with Melinda on the bus. At school, students call her names and harass her; her best friends from junior high scatter to different cliques and abandon her. Yet Anderson infuses the narrative with a wit that sustains the heroine through her pain and holds readers' empathy. A girl at a school pep rally offers an explanation of the heroine's pariah status when she confronts Melinda about calling the police at a summer party, resulting in several arrests. But readers do not learn why Melinda made the call until much later: a popular senior raped her that night and, because of her trauma, she barely speaks at all. Only through her work in art class, and with the support of a compassionate teacher there, does she begin to reach out to others and eventually find her voice. Through the first-person narration, the author makes Melinda's pain palpable: "I stand in the center aisle of the auditorium, a wounded zebra in a National Geographic special." Though the symbolism is sometimes heavy-handed, it is effective. The ending, in which her attacker comes after her once more, is the only part of the plot that feels forced. But the book's overall gritty realism and Melinda's hard-won metamorphosis will leave readers touched and inspired. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2001-04-09 PW said of this stunning first novel narrated by a rape survivor, "Anderson infuses the narrative with a wit that sustains the heroine through her pain and holds readers' empathy." Ages 12--up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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