by: Laurie Halse Anderson

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How would you feel if you didn't have friends to go through high school with?

Melinda is a freshman at Merryweather high school, and nothing is going her way. She hates all of her teachers, has no friends, and she is hated by everyone. All the kids at school know that she called the cops and crashed the party, but nobody knows why. Melinda is too scared to tell anyone that she was raped that night. When Rachel (Rachelle) and Andy go out together, Melinda tries to warn Rachel about him. Rachel doesn't believe her until after prom. Because of this, Andy wants revenge on Melinda. He finds her in a custodial closet after school and tries to take his revenge. This time, Melinda screams and fights against him. Luckily, the lacrosse team hears her screaming and they run inside to help. After that experience, she opens up and tells about what happened. Andy is punished and Melinda is finally able to finish her tree.
This book fits into the "coming of age" genre, because it shows Melinda's journey to find her voice. Melindas language and speech develop throughout the book. Near the beginning, she uses childish language. An example of this is when she says "If she can't find enough employees for September, she'll be in deep doo-doo when the holiday season hits" (Anderson 15). As the book continues, Melinda says swear words and other grown up things. Throughout the book she talks more and gains more confidence. When she becomes friends with Ivy, she talks to her in art class and at the mall. When she gets the motivation to change, she does it.

A few ratings

Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars

Recommends it for: Get me a Delorean! I'm giving this book to myself and every girl I knew ten years ago!


In my opinion, this novel was exceptional. I recommend it to any person who enjoys mystery/fiction/real life stories. I rate this book with three stars. The reason is because the chapters get a little boring after a while. But as soon as you think it can’t get better something unexpected happens and it reels you back in to its taunting pages.

“The book's overall gritty realism and Melinda's hard-won metamorphosis will leave readers touched and inspired.’” —Publishers Weekly

"I can't stop biting my lips. It looks like my mouth belongs to someone else, someone I don't even know" (Anderson 17).

Join the thousands of people already enjoying Speak, and purchase a copy today!

In a book about Laurie Halse Anderson and her works, Glenn included that in 2009, over 1 million paperback copies of Speak had been sold, and over 80,000 hard cover copies were sold.