Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala

Speak No Evil

A revelation shared between two privileged teenagers from very different backgrounds sets off a chain of events with devastating consequences.On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, D.C., he’s a top student and a track star at his prestigious private high school. Bound for Harvard in the fall, his prospects are bright. But Niru has a painful secret: he is queer—an abominable sin to his conserv...

Details Speak No Evil

TitleSpeak No Evil
Release DateMar 6th, 2018
GenreFiction, Lgbt, Contemporary, Literary Fiction

Reviews Speak No Evil

  • Will Byrnes
    Are you lost if you know where you are going—just not how to get there? Niru has a problem. Sure, his parents are well off. Sure, he will be going to Harvard after finishing his senior year at an exclusive private school. Sure, he is a pretty good athlete, more than holding his own on his school’s track team. Sure, he has a great bff in Meredith. Life is good, right? Well, not entirely. When Meredith moves to increase the level of their relat...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    I should start by saying that this is a book with queer suffering front and center. I have more to say later about that, but I want to get it up front. I know there are many other readers, like me, who need to ration out stories of queer suffering. I started this book months ago and had to put it down, always knowing I'd come back to it, but needing to be in a place where it would be easier for me to digest. This is a lovely book and a difficult ...
  • Dan
    This slim volume packs a wallop. It's a moving gay coming-of-age story, a story about the ups and downs of close friendships, a look at contemporary racial and gender politics, and a beautiful exploration of the sacrifices we all make to fit into our communities—whatever those may be. Of the two parts, I was partial to Meredith's. That's where, for me, the book took on a larger significance. Of the two voices, though, I preferred Niru's. *Spoil...
  • KC
    Harvard bound Niru is a seventeen year old track star in Washington DC. His parents are successful conservative Nigerians. He and his best friend Meredith, who is white, leave school early due to a snow storm and head to her house where she tries to seduce him. Surprisingly he rejects her, realizing in that moment that he believes he is gay. Profound consequences, turning point decisions, and the overwhelming need for acceptance graces the pages ...
  • Laura
    What beautiful prose, what a devastating book. MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW!This book confirmed for me that if a queer character is going to be killed in a book, I need to know about it before starting that book. Because I just can't take it anymore. Queer suffering is all over literature, and violent queer death is, too, and I'm not saying that I can't read those books, because sometimes they are moving and heartbreaking in the best way. But I'm so, so...
  • Kalen
    Loved this book and it may end up being one of my favorites of the year. The first 3/4 is told in Niru's voice and the last quarter in his friend Meredith's voice. This is a short but powerful book with a lot of heartache and longing.
  • Braiden
    From the looks of reviews that have come before, from people who were hoping for something more akin to his debut Beasts of No Nation or even expecting something more literary and inflated, it seems that Uzodinma Iweala's Speak No Evil would probably have worked better if marketed towards young adults, joining the dialogue around race, police brutality, trauma, class and culture such as Angie Thomas's groundbreaking The Hate U Give or All America...
  • Jessica
    The story was strong, but the writing style, with its lack of quotation marks and paragraph breaks, was immensely frustrating.
  • Danielle
    Niru is the son of Nigerian parents living with well off parents in Washington DC. By all accounts he's living a charmed teenage life along with his best friend Meredith until she tries to take their relationship further and he admits to her that he's gay. When his highly religious father discovers the truth he changes the course of both Niru and Meredith's lives. I really enjoyed the first part of this book. It's a great look at different cultu...
  • Elese
    The cover is divine. A beautiful but somewhat uneven book. It’s one I’m going to need to sit with for awhile. Grateful for the reading experience and loved the DC setting.
  • Mark Igbinadolor
    Started and finished in the same day; laughed, was shocked, and at times felt it was I who wrote certain section.
  • Laura Tisdall
    This post will contain significant spoilers for Uzodinma Iweala's Speak No Evil.Speak No Evil, Uzodinma Iweala's second novel, following thirteen years after his debut Beasts of No Nation, seems at first glance to tread very familiar ground. The synopsis may be enough to put some readers off. Niru, the youngest son of Nigerian parents, has grown up in Washington DC, quietly trying to fit in at a predominantly white school while excelling bot...
  • MisterHobgoblin
    Speak No Evil is a difficult read but well worth the effort. Niru is a final-year high schooler in Washington DC. His parents are ambitious, wealthy Nigerians for whom appearances matter. They live in the best neighbourhood, rub shoulders with Washington's movers and shakers, invest in art - but still hanker after the old country and their corrupt relatives. Niru himself is athletic and bright, holds an early offer for Harvard, and the future is ...
  • Vivian
    Being a teenager is difficult enough without being the child of immigrant parents with high expectations, being one of the few minorities in an exclusive school, following behind a popular and over-achieving sibling, and being gay. These are exactly the circumstances that Niru finds himself in and he's unsure of how to handle it all. Niru is introverted whereas his older brother was extroverted and quite popular. Niru is a better athlete, but his...
  • Susan
    I received an Advance Readers Copy of this book at an event for librarians. A short, quick volume that will stay with me for a long time. Great writing with a well-developed main character, Niru. The book is a good mix of the standard coming-of-age story with some very specific elements that make the story go beyond the standard - the setting of high end sections of Washington DC, including an exclusive private school, the tension between a US ki...
  • Kind Konfetti
    I wanted to give this book 5*s, I really did, but the twist towards the end was trying to pack too much in. Niru was a great character, but the writing made him seem detached. The style of writing took some getting used to but it helped develop the isolation and bereft feelings, especially in the second half of the book. I loved how Iweala captured that blurred line for children of immigrants raised in a different culture. And how Niru fought his...
  • Susie | Novel Visits
    {My Thoughts}What Worked For MeComing Out – Speak No Evil is many things, but at its heart is a boy, Niru, coming out to a girl, Meredith. The two had long been friends, had dated here and there, and Meredith very much wanted their relationship to be more than just friendship. Niru, afraid, but no longer able to stomach the pain his rejection caused Meredith, admitted to her that he may be gay. There was much to Niru’s coming out, most of it ...
  • Siobhan
    Speak No Evil is a powerful and gripping novel about speaking the truth and escaping being confined by others’ words. Niru is a top student and runner at his private school in Washington DC with a place at Harvard when he leaves. His Nigerian parents are attentive and protective, but Niru must keep a secret from them: he is gay. Only his best friend Meredith knows. But when his father founds out the truth, Niru faces brutal fallout and his frie...
  • Daryl
    Received an ARC of this from Goodreads' First Reads program. This short novel tells the story of Niru, a Nigerian-American high school student and track star who comes out as gay to his best friend Meredith (who has deeper feelings for him). When Niru's father discovers that his son is gay, he takes him to Nigeria and to a series of religious "counselors" who try to "fix" Niru's sexuality. A very interesting story that touches on a lot of contemp...
  • Morninglight Mama
    This is the first book to blow me away this year... probably a lot longer than that! It's slim at just over 200 pages, but it packs a huge story in its pages. Hugely emotional, hugely impacting, hugely telling about identity for people of color and LGBTQ folks. I haven't read Iweala's debut novel, Beasts of No Nation, but I want to now after being drawn in by his unique style and voice. It took a little adjusting to his nontraditional formatting,...
  • Thing Two
    Unfamiliar with this author, I read an advanced digital copy of this book. I’m not sure if this is a young adult title, but the protagonist is a high school boy who is trying to fit in with his conservative father’s expectations about his own sexuality. The difficulty I had with the book is the sex—almost immediately this boy from a super religious family seems to imply that his church leaders are encouraging him to use any means available ...
  • Kim Bakos
    I didn't enjoy this book at all. First off, it was very difficult to read - none of the dialog is in quotes or set off in different paragraphs, but is all part of long, run-on sentences. There are lots of African words scattered throughout, and without any glossary, it felt like I was missing much of what was said.The story was OK, although very sad. I'm sure the author was making a statement on police brutality against the black community with t...
  • Annie
    When should a friend meddle in one’s life? And when should a friend stay silent? In the case of Meredith and Niru, in Uzodinma Iweala’s deeply affecting novel, Speak No Evil, it’s easy to see what Meredith should have done in retrospect. Speak No Evil is told in two parts. We first hear from Niru, who comes out to Meredith after she tried to initiate sex. Then we hear from Meredith, six years after a devastating event changed both of their ...
  • Sharon
    It has been more than a decade since debut author Iweala published Beasts of No Nations, but within the first few pages, readers will agree that his beautifully devastating second book was well worth the wait.This short and tightly written novel says so much, tackling issues of familial obligations, the balance between honoring heritage and the need to forge your own path, dealing with social and racial prejudices, sexual identity, and so much mo...
  • Thegirlintheafternoon
    Task: Popsugar Challenge 2018 - A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist - 3.5/5 starsI wish I could quote the entirety of Jessica Woodbury's excellent review of this complicated novel, which nails my feelings about it: this is a very well-done and devastating novel about queer suffering, which is still a part of queer experience and must be expressed. If I ultimately found the shift in perspective unsatisfying, I think the author intended that dissatis...
  • Danica Ramgoolam
    Powerfully written novel of a young Nigerian boy's troubles growing up in D.C. and struggling with his sexuality. I am not a huge fan of the new "literary" style of just putting the dialog in the paragraph like a huge run-on sentence but I got used to it. I also was not expecting it to be so tragic but it was true to life and true to the times. The characters felt very real and he captures the setting amazingly.
  • Lulu
    This book was beautiful. The storyline was so interesting, and took the most unexpected, heart-wrenching turn halfway through, but really it’s the quality of the writing that transported me. Especially in the first half. I don’t remember ever feeling so present and in the character’s shoes as I did in this book. Everything was so vividly and so accurately portrayed, down to every breath. Read it.
  • Val Rich
    I cried through the last part of this book and get teary whenever I think about it, so deeply did it touch my heart. We are a cruel world to people who are different, who bear the burden of society's judgement. This speaks to the horrible prejudices against people who are gay, people who are black and the horrifying actions of police who misread a situation. I recommend this beautifully told book to everyone. It is so profoundly powerful.
  • Miko Lee
    Audiobook is narrated wonderfully by Prentice Onayemi and Julia Whelan. Story of high school best friends in DC in their senior year as the prep for their future. First half told from the perspective of Nehru a smart and sensitive Harvard bound African American man dealing with coming out to his very traditional family. Second half is told by his best friend, a white American female who is in love with Nehru. Such a painful and poignant ending. B...