Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson


Melinda is hated by her entire school. She ruined an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. She is hated by friends and strangers. No one knows why she called the cops, no one knows what happened at the party. No one knows that at that very party, she was raped. She was raped by someone who, from then on, made her freshman year hell. Andy Evans is a known “bad boy” who every girl knows is trouble. “I never raped anybody. You wanted it just as bad as I did. But your feelings got hurt, so you started spreading lies (Anderson pg 193)”.

Character Analysis

In the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, the main character is Melinda. Melinda is the type of girl who does not care about her appearance. She is not one to care for make-up or dressing to impress. Melinda looks are just like any other normal girl, she is not one of beauty, but also not ugly. "My face is dirty. I lean into the mirror, eyes after eyes after eyes stare back at me. Am I in there somewhere? A thousand eyes blink. No make-up. Dark circles (Anderson pg 124)".


Melinda faces the conflict of character vs character which would be her and Andy Beast. She also faces character vs society. She called the cops on a big party, after that everyone was against her. She also faced Character vs self. She could never cope with herself after what happened at the party. She thought of herself as nothing. "You don't like anything. You are the most depressed person i have ever met, and excuse me for saying this but you are no fun to be around and i think you need professional help (Anderson pg 105)". "The seniors look my way before they leave. One girl nods her head and says, "Way to go. I hope you're okay." With hours left in the school year, I have suddenly become popular. Thanks to the big mouths of the lacrosse team, everyone knows what happened before sundown (Anderson pg 197)".


Isolation could mean the difference between having a life full of happiness and people, and a life filled with pure loneliness. Melinda is isolated by her whole school for the fact that she called the cops on an end of summer party. She keeps herself in isolation for the fact that her rapist goes to the schools and just the thought of him makes her feel depressed. Her isolation is self-imposed and she takes the time of her isolation to try and find herself. She needed her friends and family to help her, she needed anyone, but she had no one. it was not until she let people in and stepped out of her comfort zone, that she finally got the help she needed, the people she needed to go away, finally left. When she let people in, she saw that all her problems can be solved if she let's them be solved.

Textual Evidence

"I was raped too; sexually assaulted in the seventh grade; tenth grade, the summer after graduation; at a party; i was 16; i was 14; i was 5 and he did it for three years; I loved him; i didn't even know him. He was my best friend's brother; my grandfather; father; mommy's boyfriend; my date; my cousin; my coach; I met him for the first time that night and- four guys took turns and- i'm a boy and this happened to me, and- ... I got pregnant i gave my daughter up for adoption... did it happen to you too? U 2? I wasn't raped, but; My dad drinks, but; I hate talking, but; My brother was shot, but; I am outcast, but; My parents split up, but; I am clan less, but; we lost our house, but; I have secrets- Seven years of secrets; And I cut; myself my friend's cut; We all cut cut cut; To let the pain out; ... My 5- year- old cousin was raped- hes beginning to act out now...; Do you have suicidal thoughts? Do you want to kill him?" (little stanza's put together from different letters Laurie got after people read her book).

I find this the most meaningful quote from the book because these are real people, not fictional characters from movies or books. These are people of all ages, all genders, from all over the world. Rape is a serious issue that can happen to anyone at anytime.

Speak movie Trailer 2004 HD Kristen Stewart

Book Review

I rate the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, 3/5 stars. This book is an authentic honest book about what some teens are going through today. Although I was not the most fond of the fact that it was written as if a middle schooler wrote it, I think the author took us on an adventure with Melinda. I would recommend this book to many of the ages of 13-15 as a good book with a lesson.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Sexual assault is a big topic and every April people raise awareness for this. The official color for sexual prevention awareness is teal.

Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

For the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, Call our 24-hour hotline at (216) 619-6192

By visiting the page https://www.clevelandrapecrisis.org/, you can find out how to prevent rape, you can get help and even make a donation.


  • "Laurie Halse Anderson Biography | List of Works, Study Guides & Essays." Study Guides & Essay Editing. Web. 03 May 2016.
  • "Frequently Asked Questions." National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) |. Web. 03 May 2016.
  • "Supporting Survivors. Promoting Healing. Creating Change." Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. Web. 03 May 2016.
  • Http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcO9wi9ThtjuXvBLvh_fG0w. "Speak Movie Trailer 2004 HD Kristen Stewart." YouTube. YouTube, 14 Dec. 2014. Web. 03 May 2016.
  • "Sexual Violence." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 01 Apr. 2016. Web. 03 May 2016.
  • "Speak (Anderson Novel)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 05 May 2016.
  • "RSVP Educates Students for Rape Awareness Month." Latest Articles RSS. Web. 03 May 2016.