Want to Read Wednesday – Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melanie’s Want to Read Wednesday #17



TITLE:  Speak

AUTHOR:  Laurie Halse Anderson


GOODREADS’ AVG. RATING:  3.97 out of 5 stars; 267,911 ratings


I am Outcast.
The kids behind me laugh so loud I know they’re laughing about me. I can’t help myself. I turn around. It’s Rachel, surrounded by a bunch of kids wearing clothes from the Eastside Mall. Rachel Bruin, my ex-best friend. She stares at something above my left ear. Words climb up my throat. This was the girl who suffered through Brownies with me, who taught me how to swim, who understood about my parents, who didn’t make fun of my bedroom. If there is anyone in the entire galaxy I am dying to tell what really happened, it’s Rachel. My throat burns.
Her eyes meet mine for a second. “I hate you,” she mouths silently.

Melinda Sordino’s freshman year is off to a horrible start. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, and now her friends–and even strangers–all hate her. Months pass and things aren’t getting better. She’s a pariah. The lowest of the low. Avoided by everyone. But eventually, she’ll reveal what happened at the party. And when she finally speaks the truth, everything will change.

Synopsis Source


Many people are shocked when I tell them that I haven’t read Anderson’s Speak because it is a novel that has come to be seen as a book that should have been read by everyone that has attended high school.  From what I have come to understand, it is a novel which takes a genuine look at the high school experience.  The majority of individuals I know hated their high school experience for a number of reasons, it is just an awkward time for the average individual truthfully.  The fact that this novel is considered to be an epitome of the young adult contemporary genre – it is basically a novel which demands to be read.

One of the things which I appreciate the most about this novel is that it addresses the fact that your entire life can change based upon the events of a single night, a single incident.  No message has ever resonated with me so deeply, I have experienced that very same feeling – I learned first hand that my entire life could be changed by a single event, on a single night.  I think that this story is one which plays out many times over the course of our lives, but we continually feel their outcomes as we live.  The realness of novels such as this is incredibly difficult for me, I have admitted that the reality of contemporary novels tends to make me shy away from them just because I enjoy the freedom and escape of fantasy and fiction so much more.  I do believe that I need to toss more contemporary literature into my reading pool and I think this book would be an excellent place to start.

Do you have a Want to Read Wednesday pick?  Tell me about it in the comments below!

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  1. I’ve read Speak! I thought it was a great book, it really delved into the hard situations of high school. I hope you like it. As for me, I’ve been wanting to read Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Everyone’s been telling me to read it, but I have yet to get to it.

    • Glad to hear more positive thoughts on Speak, I think it will be a read for this summer or fall depending on timing. And I also have The Grisha Trilogy on my tbr list as well, I have heard a lot of mixed reviews but the majority of it is positive with minor nitpicking. Definitely looking forward to reading them =)

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