Speak

by Laurie Halse Anderson

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

I think it’s been said many times how Anderson has a talent for writing about really disturbing topics completely believably, so I won’t go into how amazingly well-written this book is.  I loved the theme of art and trees throughout the book and thought the art teacher was a fascinating side character.  I loved his relationship with Melinda.  The one thing I did not like was how all the young women at Melinda’s high school banded together with her when the truth came out – not that I didn’t like that it happened, just that I think it reflected more of Anderson’s wishful thinking than how the world – especially the teenaged, high-school world – works.  I also wasn’t sure if I was supposed to know what exactly happened at that party that made Melinda call the cops which of course broke it up, ensuring her social pariah status from Day 1 of high school, but I did know from the outset.  I wonder if that colors how I experienced the book.  While I was reading it, I was aware that I knew, but at the same time I couldn’t imagine anything else having happened.  It would be interesting to talk to someone who didn’t know going in… Feel free to comment if that’s you!

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