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Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson - Bogormen
So many books, so little time.
Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson
Title: Speak
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Genre: YA
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 245
Date read: September, 2009

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud. What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs.

While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute.

Had I read this when I was younger, I think I would have loved it. I still found it both well-written and interesting, but I was very obviously above the target age.

It's strength is definitely in its writing style. Melinda hardly speaks, so there's very little dialog - and what little there is, is written like lines from a manuscript - most of the story is told through her thoughts and actions - or lack thereof. In this book Laurie Halse Anderson proves that she is capable of "showing rather than telling" - because due to her own choices it isn't possible to 'tell' and still remain true to her characters.

I have to say that it REALLY bugged me that nobody forced Melinda to get professional help when it was obvious that she was changing. Also I was somewhat disappointed by the abbruptness of the ending - I'm the kind of reader who likes the bad guy to experience the consequences before the book is over - I know that that isn't what I'm supposed to get out of the book though, and that its real strength is the very last sentence.

The Danish title is "Silent Conversation", which I actually find a lot more poignant than the original "Speak".

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