by Laurie Halse Anderson
4.5 2091


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Speak 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2091 reviews.
1Katherine1 More than 1 year ago
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is a 198 paged book written in 1999 and published by Penguin Putnam Inc. It is a young adult book that is taught in many different freshman English classrooms since it does have a 9.4 grade level on the SMOG readability test. This book deals with the freshman year of a girl who was raped at a party the summer between middle school and high school. She doesn't tell anyone what happened. Speak dissects the multiple difficulties she encounters as she keeps silent about what happened to her and how her reactions cause her parents, basically the entire student body and most teachers to react negatively towards her. It also looks at how Melinda, the main character, finally comes to terms with what happened to her and her confrontation of the rape and rapist; ending with her finally telling her story. This book has been criticized and censored as a teaching tool due to the subject matter being considered too `difficult' and `dark' for such a young audience and the plot being too `formulaic.' The plot is a bit formulaic but this only accents the bare honesty of Melinda's troubles and the complex emotions she is feeling. Personally, I believe this book to be very true to life, correctly depicting the reactions of a rape victim who turns survivor. The subject matter is dealt with in a very true and honest manner, something that is important for this grade level. This book looks at a very real problem and deals with it in a very real way. Thus this subject matter is made appropriate for the grade level through the way it is written about and the conversations it than creates. Speak is the most true to life book I have found on this subject matter at any readability or grade level and I highly recommend it to anyone who can deal with an honest portrayal of a horrible occurrence.
elena6375 More than 1 year ago
After seeing the movie, I had to order this book. The author does a spectacular job of capturing the essence of high school. She depicts a story of a girl struggling with inner demons that anybody, whether they have gone through what Melinda has gone through or something similar, can relate to. Feeling alone, being depressed, dealing with crazy teachers, ignorant parents; its all in here and woven into a beautiful and memorable story. I would suggest this book to everyone I know as a story of hope and empowerment during the high school years. Thank you Laurie Anderson for this book. I truly was amazing. -Alisa Vanegas
Book_Addicted More than 1 year ago
When I picked up Speak, I had a general idea of what to expect from the book. From reviews that I had read, it was a good book that was an emotional roller coaster. However, what I hadn't expected was how much I would love the book. From the beginning, you can sense that something had happened to Melinda, and obviously that something had changed her life deeply. She is very introverted, shy, and there is that one boy who she has to stay away from no matter what. Apparently, some exchange had happened between the two, and he had left untroubled while she was troubled. I'm not exactly sure of what to say, because I don't want to spoil anything from this book, and I think that anyone and everyone should read it. You can learn the effects something tragic can have on a person, and how they learn to deal with the event. Throughout the book, I was there with Melinda, emotion-to-emotion. It was amazing how this story brought so much more to my attention. I think this is a fantastic book, in summary. I would, and will, recommend it to everyone, male and female, because everyone can learn just a little bit more from this beautifully written story by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Bam_bam More than 1 year ago
This book was actually pretty good... I HATE reading! It is also one of my worst subjects. But this book actually made me want to read it. The artist actually made it easy flowing. I didnt want to put it down i was cleaning the house and reading it at the same time. Anyways if you have any spare time on your hands you should read this book.
theokester More than 1 year ago
Speak is another book that I dove into knowing virtually nothing about it from the start. I knew it was in the "adolescent lit" category and that the narrator spent some time doing some artwork trying to express herself. I was not at all ready for the deeply emotional and heart wrenching story of the novel. This isn't by any means a piece of adolescent "fluff" like the flood of teen books flooding the market in recent years. Rather it is an intense exploration of a teenager struggling with alienation, self-worth, honesty and change. It's about the struggle she goes through in trying to find her voice in the midst of emotional turmoil. With very few exceptions, the main character, Melinda, has gone mute. She speaks only when silence is absolutely unavoidable and even then, her words don't speak her true thoughts. As the title implies, she spends the novel trying to find a way to speak her mind, to find her voice. This book masterfully explores the communication barriers between adolescents and their peers and the adults in their lives. This book was an easy read and a hard read at the same time. The author did an excellent job of pulling me into the mind of a high school "outcast" and all the emotional baggage that goes with it. In addition to an excellent portrayal of high school and the dramas that go with it, she also managed to effectively give our narrator struggles and trials that really pulled on my emotions and made everything all the more real. And she did so without making any of it feel cheap or contrived. The honesty is absolutely real, which can make it frightening. The author included a note on "censorship" in the back of my edition. I suspect there are parents and teachers who would not want their kids reading this book. To them, I would ask if they actually read the book. There is nothing objectionable in it...no language, no graphic references, nothing. On the contrary, this book serves as a great eye-opener to teenagers that they are not alone in their struggles and their feelings of alienation and separation. And to those going through even deeper struggles like Melinda in the book, this novel can provide hope that they can overcome. I would definitely recommend this book to teenagers, to parents, and to anybody who has survived high school.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was sooo intreaging that I found I couldn't put the book down. I felt horrible for Melinda, she wasn't a social butterfly and everyone hates her for calling the cops on a party. Her friend, Rachel/Rachelle, won't talk to her and her boyfriend is the guy that raped Melinda during the party (but no one knows that including her parents). The ending is wonderful and in my view, a book isn't good unless the ending is to die for... BASICALLY, I CAN'T STAND A DISAPOINTING BOOK. Take it from me, this is a great book and is VERY realistic. It is a book that made me laugh out loud beyond numerous times. I forced my 48-year-old mother (i'm twelve) to read it and she loved it beyond words. Great and fluent writing and can be read by anyone that understands the fact that the world isn't as kind as a seven-year-old may see it. Unless you or your kid is cultured and knows about sex...don't read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Extremely Realistic I've read so many reviews and it breaks my heart to see so many people put down this book just because they don't understand it. It is not a boring plot, a flat character, or a predictable storyline. As someone who has experienced an extremely similar situation, I can say that this is portrays the exact journey of someone dealing with a traumatic event. This IS the life you experience afterward, you DO think it about it every second of the day, and lastly, you do lose hope. I realize that this is difficult to understand if you cannot relate, but you must keep an open mind. Not everyone lives the same life and this book exhibits a path that is too often traveled but never spoken about. It captures real pain and struggle and even more so, the difficult road to recovery and the time it takes. This book is not for adolescents, it requires an adult mind to fully grasp the tragedy of this story and how much Speak lives in the world around us.
Cherie_brooke More than 1 year ago
Have you ever been in a situation when you didn't have a voice to sepak out? Melinda Sordino in Speak, by Laurie Hasle Anderson, is one of those people. melinda Sordino was your typical teenage girl, util one night at a high school party she got into an extremely sticky situation and called for help. From there, her life spiraled down into a deep, dark abyss. At school, Melinda is hated by almost everyone because she "busted the party" and called the cops. Laurie Anderson does an amazing job in this realistic fiction novel, by making Melinda extremely real, life-like, and relatable. The problems that Melinda was going through may be the problems that everyday teenagers go through as well. Melinda's grades started to slip and she didn't care about school anymore. The only class she did well in, was art. Her drawing teacher, Mr. Freeman inspired Melinda to to express her thoughts and feelings not through words, but art. The most important theme that the author tries to convery, is to speak out for yourself, to not let anyone walk all over you, and to let your voice be heard. In the end Melinda gets the courage to finally speak out for herself, and to speak the truth.
CALEB_KELLER More than 1 year ago
i really enjoyed this book. It is definately one of my favorites i suggest this to many readers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson is now one of my favorite books. This book is about a young girl who lives in fear and loneliness because she was raped at a summer party freshman year. She tries to be herself in a crowd of strangers but can’t seem to find her voice. Her art teacher helps her to use her words and express herself through art. I thought the book was very fast-paced and enjoyable; a real page-turner. The word choice is especially strong because it uses the voice from the young girl to be the narrator. This impacted me because it personalizes the book to each reader. It leaves a message to each reader that, according to Anderson, “When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time”. The girl refuses to accept what happened to her and uses the word IT to name the person who raped her. This word choice makes that person who defiled her seem inhuman. This book promotes a certain type of strength to those who may feel like they do not belong or can’t seem to stand up for what they feel. “You have to know what you stand for, not just what you stand against.”  I would greatly recommend this book to any teenager or young adult who wants to feel inspired. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i think that the book speak was great, it was very well written. the book was very detailed, and has good meaning! i think that the auther could have put more intense stuff in it, but thats me. i like a good exciting book that gets me into it and is edgy. all in all, the book was awsome!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I beleive that this book does infact relate to high school life, but yet it doesn't in fact relate to all the bad things that kids of this generation would do, most adults no what it was like for them, but to be the person who got picked on all the time is what makes a story completely different.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. I recommend it ages 12 & up though because some of the topics are slightly inappropriate, but not that bad. The way the author writes pretty amazing. She makes the book depressing, funny, and insprirational all at the same time. It is a heartbreaking and heartwarming story of life after a tragic inceddent. Please read this book, it will give you a new view on life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Speak is a well written novel of a mentally scarred teenager who is unable to speak for herself and rarely ever to others. She hides a tragedy leading to the misfortune of high school and finding herself alone and forsaken. This story is beautiful as you see Melinda learn to once again SPEAK.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read Speak last summer. . . AMAZING!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book really touched me. It is really amazing
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book to gain more insight on how other teenage rape survivors felt and didn't find it in this book. This book was definately not a great as the reviews made it out to be. I would not recommend this book to anyone over 18, or to someone who was looking for insight as to what a teenage rape survivor really feels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I originally bought this book through the Teen People Book Club, and I couldn't wait to get it. The reviews were outstanding, as was the description, however, I was sort of disappointed when I finally finished it. To me, the book really had no plot, and really had nothing to do with the decriptions and summaries provided, the book went on and on about how horrible Melinda's Freshman year was, yet the author didn't use very many details, and the book sort of got boring, the ending was really BLAH like, as was most of the story.
MsPurple1999 More than 1 year ago
Speak In the novel Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, a young girl named Melinda Sordino was raped at a party where she was very intoxicated. She was not aware what was happening to her till the boy hurt her; physically, mentally, and emotionally. The entire time she was raped, Melinda could not speak. Not one scream did she make. From then on, she lost the ability to speak. Before the incident, Melinda was social and was friends with two girls, Rachel and Ivy. Rachel was the first to find out what happened at the party, but till then, Melinda had not spoken out about the rape. Andy Evans, an upcoming senior, was the boy who raped Melinda, when she was 13 years old. Since no one knew about the problem, Melinda was hated by everyone, even the teachers, because she called the police. She was now an outcast. Revoked by friends who’ve shared fun summers with and secrets.  Her sophomore year, was encouraged by her art teacher, Mr.Freeman, who made Melinda chose an idea to sculpt. Melinda drew, out a broken geographical globe, a tree. She thought, “that is easy”. All year Melinda struggled to make a perfect tree. It never turned out the way she wanted it. Then, finally she was told that it doesn’t have to be perfect, that she should express her pain, emotions, through the art. Then, on the last day of school Melinda finally produced the final task she had worked on all year, a disproportional tree, and her voice. I feel that the novel was very encouraging from the downward spiral she was having, and the encouragement from others as she struggled to speak the truth. I liked the honesty toward herself how she knew the right thing to do, but i disliked that she couldn’t speak. If she had only had the comforting of her family, then maybe she would have broken out about to incident. Toward the end of the book, Melinda is attacked by the same boy that raped her. She did not stifle her voice then, that is why I like the book and think it should be read by young adults. It should be read, as like the Holocaust. Not the content, but for the reason: to never happen again.                 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was beautifully written. The author brings a attention to a huge problem accross the world. The main character, Melinda Sorindo was raped at a party the summer before her freshman year at highschool. Through the book, you see Melinda's emotional struggle. She rarely talks, has no true friends, and her parents can't help her because they don't know what happened. No one does. Her friends hate her because she called the cops at the party she was raped at. Because no one knows what really happend, they think of Melinda as a freak.Through this book you watch Melinda struggle to speak, and confront the boy who did this to her. This book shows how one night can change someone's life, negatively or positively. You wait the whole time, encouraging Melinda to speak, and when she does, it's incredible. My heart goes out to Melinda and other sexual assault victims. May my support and that of others give you the courage to speak.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an example of more role model teens we need in the high school world. I loved every minute of reading this book because it was REALISTIC. It explains the troubles of not one teen but probably ten teens who struggle with being different in our judgemental society. This book forever changed my outlook on going to highschool. Im actually anticipating it now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing..... well writen for having the subject rape in it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
man did i love this book even tho it was not age apropret im only 11 but i read at a high school level it is a must read
Missus_G More than 1 year ago
I received this book as a gift from my younger brother and knew from the moment I saw the cover I would enjoy it. Every bit and piece of the story had me on the edge of my seat thinking if the girl would make friends, what would happen next, and what really happened. I especially liked the parts where they showed her inner psyche with her artistic abilities. You really will enjoy this story if you like a bit of mystery, a little craziness thrown in, and poetic justice. Then you can follow up after the book by watching the movie!
TAZIE More than 1 year ago
This a good book for middle school and high school students, parents and teachers. I know schools are making students read this book, but what about parents? I think parents should read this book so that when their kids are not acting normal, a red flag should come up. It's a good book to read, it's not a love story or anything like that. It's just about experiences that can happen to anyone in this life. If you have kids, or sisters, or neighbors, in the age of 5-21, then you should read this book, and get some knowledge on picking out points here and there that something is wrong with that kid.