As I said in my recent post, I read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson as part of the 2015 Reading Challenge that I joined. It is the BANNED book item on the list of 50 novels. Surprisingly, I don’t think this book deserves that ‘banned’ tag.
Published: October 1999
Rating: 💖💖💖 (You MAY read it.)
A ‘drunk’ 13-year old named Melinda called cops and busted an end-of-summer-party. Why did a teenager do that? Her best friend Rachel thinks Melinda wanted attention. But it is worst than that.
Since then, Melinda seldom speak. She lost her best friend and her parents’ troubles are getting in her nerves as well. Add the failing grades to complete Melinda’s catastrophic teenage life. Just when you thought that her life is already on its worst, the ‘bomb’ was dropped.
In the next half of the book, Anderson finally uncovered the truth; Melinda was raped. Will she speak about it? or not?
I will not say that it is a great read because it isn’t. But it is not bad either. It is worth your time.
Why? Because Anderson’s storytelling is simple yet it conveyed a powerful message. With plain straight-to-the-point words, the author was able to vividly paint the mind of a troubled teenager who is keeping a traumatic experience.
The first half of the book was also able to entice me to continue reading as I was curious why Melinda is not speaking. Anderson presented a lot of questions about Melinda which were all answered on the next half of the book.
Finally, I commend the book for standing up and ‘speaking’ up against rape. Contrary to what some critics say, Speak doesn’t have ‘soft pornography’ content. Instead, I felt Anderson carefully threaded the thin line between telling a rape story against telling a pornographic ‘sex’ story.
THE WISE WORDS:
Anderson was able to give a just ending for such a thought-provoking novel. After all the darkness, Melinda was finally able to tell her true story.