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...
  • MaryBeth's Bookshelf
    Speak No Evil left me gutted, speechless, and heartbroken.This is a coming of age novel told from two perspectives. First, Niru, a young Nigerian man with a privileged upbringing and extremely strict parents. When Niru's father discovers that he is gay, he takes Niru back to Nigeria to "cleanse him" of this evil. Meredith is Niru's best friend, with emotional struggles of her own. Meredith also comes from a family of privilege, where appearances ...
  • Vivek Tejuja
    Very few books get me all disturbed and thinking about the world we live in. Yes, most of them are impactful, so to say but none off-late have had the lasting effect that “Speak No Evil” will (of which I am sure). I don’t know what it is about this book that makes you so uncomfortable as a reader that you don’t want to read further. I will not spoil anything for you, but the ending is not what I expected. I was shocked and stunned (but th...
  • Sabrina
    3.5 stars
  • 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...
  • Mandy Mikulencak
    The writing in some novels is beautiful and masterful; in others, the characters and plot carry you along like you're in whitewater rapids, hanging on for dear life. Iweala does both in this gut-wrenching, emotional tale. I read it in one sitting! I'm not providing a synopsis as others reviewers do (you can read the jacket copy). Instead I want to convey that this author is an important voice in fiction, both in message and style of delivery. I j...
  • Neville Longbottom
    Speak No Evil follows the story of Niru, the son of conservative Nigerian immigrants who lives in Washington DC and attends a prestigious prep school. His life quickly changes when his father reacts violently to finding out that Niru is gay. His relationship with his best friend Meredith is tested as both of their lives are altered forever. I really struggled with reading this book. It wasn’t so much the subject matter, although it is quite hea...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Jessica
    The story was strong, but the writing style, with its lack of quotation marks and paragraph breaks, was immensely frustrating.
  • kelly
    Nah, I didn't like this book. Thankfully it's a short one (about 200 pages), so I was able to muster the courage to get through it quickly, without chalking this one up to a DNF."Speak No Evil" is the story of Niru, the first generation, American-born son of conservative, upper class Nigerian parents. Although he lives a life of material wealth, he cannot escape the realities that cause him considerable distress: impossibly high standards set by ...
  • Stephanie
    Thanks to Harper for sending me a review copy!Iweala tells the story of Niru: son to ambitious and conservative Nigerian parents, student at a prestigious D.C. prep school, star athlete bound for Harvard. At its heart it's a coming of age story as Niru, so privileged and thriving at first glance, navigates questions of sexuality and race and culture. I love how the story unfolds and widens through each chapter; it's written tenderly and compassio...
  • Mainlinebooker
    Niru was born to two conservative Nigerian parents and grew up in an affluent DC neighborhood where he was a star athlete at a private school and recently notified of his early admission to Harvard. Meredith,his best friend,is a daughter of prominent Washington insiders, who secretly loves him and accepts him the way he is. However, when she tries to get him into a sexual situation, he opens up about his fear that he is a homosexual. Life is neve...
  • Atharv G.
    3.5 Stars This story was profoundly moving. Niru was such a strong, endearing character that it pained me to read about his suffering. He was so honest and unique that I really felt connected to him over the course of the novel. Although Meredith was a believable character, her narrative voice was not nearly as strong as Niru's. As a result, my enjoyment of the story declined slightly with the shift in perspective. I understand why the author str...
  • 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...
  • Andrea
    ouch, this book hurts. my heart was not ready.super short read but packs in so much information in its pages. i was not expecting it to be as depressing as it was but the emotional depth it creates is chilling and haunting.the writing style has a bit of a learning curve( there are no quotation marks or paragraph breaks between dialogue) but I think ultimately, this helped me get into the main character's headspace much quicker. deals with depress...
  • Beth Younge
    This was such a quick and interesting read. I liked how it focused on the idea about being gay and the effect that can have on those around you. I was gripped the whole time throughout and i wanted to know what happens to Niru and if he achieved that happiness he wanted. The relationship between his family and him was complicated and difficult and it was full of tension. The way the story turned into Meredith's point of view was flawless and it l...
  • Nicole Means
    Powerful reminder to all parents— sometimes our children may not turn out like you expect, but chances are they will turn out way better than expected. Love and embrace your children despite their quirks, dreams,etc- we must learn to allow our children to be who they are destined to be. Highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to learn an important lesson on empathy, acceptance, and the power of unconditional love.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Joslyn Allen
    Review published: https://chronicbibliophilia.wordpress...Late winter and early spring brings the publication of two novels – which I coincidentally read in succession – which have significant thematic as well as tonal overlap. “When We Speak of Nothing” by Olumide Popoola and “Speak No Evil” by Uzodinma Iweala are both novels about young, black, and queer characters whose parents are of Nigerian descent. They embrace the intersection...
  • 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...