Book Review: Speak
By: Kaisa Shingleton
The book Speak is about a girl who is having trouble at school because of something she did. The main character, Melinda, went to a party in the summer. While at the party something happened to her and she had to call the cops. When she came back to school everyone hated her and she was left out of everything and unwanted, because of this she doesn't talk anymore and keeps everything to herself. Later in the book a teacher tells her to sit with a girl at lunch who is new to the school. The girls name is Heather and slowly they become friends. (pg. 27-28) " The girl behind me taps me on the shoulder with her long black nails. She had heard Heather introduce me. " Sordino?" she asks. "You're Melinda Sordino?"... Another girl chimes in. " My brother got arrested at that party. He got fired because of the arrest. I can't believe you did that. Jerk," people tend to say rude stuff at her and make her feel bad about herself.
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The conflict in the story is character vs. society because everyone at her school is against her for something she did. ( page 4) " I have entered high school with the wrong hair, the wrong clothes, the wrong attitude. And I don't have anyone to sit with. I am Outcast." No one wants to be her friend or have her sit with them at lunch, she is pretty much all alone. The resolution is when she starts to tell people what happened and don't believe her at first but then catch Andy Evans in his act. Slowly she starts getting her friends back and everyone is nice to her.
The theme of the book is to speak out to people. Don't keep it all in yourself and suffer, tell others and they will help you. ( page 183 ) "I push the notebook back to her. She stares at the words. She pulls her chair around to my side of the table. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry, she writes. Why didn't you tell me?"
One word really stood out to me from the book was the word outcast. It pretty much describes the whole book. Since Melinda is always left out and doesn't really have any friends. A quote that stood out to me from the book was " We fall into clans: Jocks, Country Clubbers, Idiot Savants, Cheerleaders, Human Waste, Eurotrash, Future Fascists of America,Big Hair Chix, the Marthas, Suffering Artists, Thespians, Goths, Shredders. I am clanless. I wasted the last weeks of August watching bad cartoons. I didn't go to the mall, the lake, or the pool, or answer the phone. I have entered high school with the wrong hair, the wrong clothes, the wrong attitude. And I don't have anyone to sit with. I am Outcast..." ( page 4 ) This quote stood out to me because it made me think about people at our school. We may not have groups like the ones Melinda described, but we do have our own little groups and some people don't have a group or table to sit at. When I see people siting alone at lunch it makes me think about Melinda in the book.
I would rate this book 5 stars because I think it was a great book that not only made you want to not stop reading it, but also make you think about how others may feel at school who are left out. I would recommend this book to others so they can think about its meaning too. Even if it is a fictional novel it still relates to real life situations or feelings.
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