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


Rape Girl By Alien Klein

  Rape girl is a skillfully written novel about a 16 year old girl, Valarie, who is raped by a fellow student at her school, Adam. However, the students at her school take Adams side and increase Valarie’s alienation and suffering.

Alien Klein herself was a victim of rape and this shines through in her tactful writing of such a delicate subject matter. This novel is aimed at young adults and I think it is a must for all teens to read a novel like this. Although it is aimed more at females I think many males can learn a valuable lesson. No means NO.

Reporting rape is a hard thing to do, never mind having to deal with the fallout it causes and the alienation that Valarie faces. But no matter what, Valarie knows she has done the right thing. She knows she was raped. She attempts to press charges even though she was bullied for trying to. Rape is hard. But learning who your real friends are is a valuable lesson on the journey to adulthood.Valarie grows due to this tragic attack but will forever be scarred.

A novel expressing one of the under reported crimes that can rip peoples lives apart. But access to novels like this is a must for teens and adults alike to show that through strength you can get through and learn from such an experience and grow into a stronger and more understanding person.

4 out of 5