Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson

Title: Speak

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Publisher: Puffin

First Published: 22nd October 1999


Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country. (From Goodreads, 6th June 2013)


I have wanted to read this book ever since I watched the film a few years ago. I finally managed to swap a book for Speak on ReaditSwapit – a fantastic book swapping site! But it has been sitting on my shelf for quite a while. So part of my own ‘Dust that Book off Challenge‘ in which I picked a few books that have been on my shelf for a bit too long without being read and they must be read this year! Speak was one of these books.
To be honest, I was disappointed. This is not the first Laurie Halse Anderson book that I have read, but I just didn’t think it was great. I love that Laurie Halse Anderson tackles the issues that many shy away from. But I just found that this was a bit bland. She captured the feeling of isolation that Melinda felt. The difficulties she is dealing with are well thought out and expressed but there was something empty about this novel.

Maybe because this novel is aimed at younger readers I felt this void. But so many others love this book. I just can’t.

I wouldn’t say it is a must read. But is is a book that libraries and schools should have on their shelves to give that possible first line of support for others whom have gone through such difficulties.

3 out of 5