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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Speak (Teen Fiction)

Released March 2009

Puffin Books

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

I actually picked this book up to read because of my daughter's recommendation. Laurie Halse Anderson pens an emotionally rich tale of a high school freshman. Melinda is a typical teen, nervous about starting high school and she and her friends attend a party over the summer that changes everything. Something happened at that party that changed Melinda's life. She speaks to few, and those who do talk to her call her names and treat her cruelly.

The story is told from Melinda's point of view and the reader has no idea what happened until Melinda is ready to reveal the truth. You learn clues along the way, but most of the story focuses on flashbacks and present day scenes in which Melinda is alienated by her closest friends and prefers the quiet solitude found in her art class, where her art teacher helps her express feelings through her work.

For those interested in book to movie translations, Twilight's Kristen Stewart plays Melinda in the movie adaptation. It is just as good and had me grabbing Kleenex.

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