Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson


The first ten lies they tell you in high school."Speak up for yourself—we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated a...

Details Speak

Release DateJan 15th, 2019
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
GenreYoung Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Reviews Speak

  • Madeline
    "THE FIRST TEN LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL1. We are here to help you.2. You will have enough time to get to your class before the bell rings.3. The dress code will be enforced.4. No smoking is allowed on school grounds.5. Our football team will win the championship this year.6. We expect more of you here.7. Guidance counselors are always available to listen.8. Your schedule was created with your needs in mind.9. Your locker combination is p...
  • Zoë
    2017 Reread: I read this for my young adult literature class along with scholastic articles about the book, which added a great new layer to my interpretation of the novel. Original Review: I've owned this book for years and never got around to reading it until yesterday. I'm happy I did because this was one of the best books that I have read lately. Speak was very well paced and I never found the story to be dragging or boring. I loved the chara...
  • Emma Giordano
    4.5 stars! I think this is a really powerful novel that should be read by so many, especially teens. Speak is a fascinating tale of learning to use your voice when you previously believed it did not matter. The message is one I think all can benefit from and I’m so glad I finally read it.Trigger warning: rapeLaurie Halse Anderson is a fabulous writer. She has a very distinctive writing style; It’s an unfiltered stream of consciousness that fe...
  • Emily May
    I didn't think I'd be so gripped by this book but the author captures the pains and troubles of everyday high school life with such honesty and raw emotion that I couldn't help recognising half the characters from my own high school days. There's Rachel, the ex best friend who's had a personality transplant over the summer... Heather, the temporary friend who's just waiting to be snapped up by a cooler clique... and, of course, the protagonist wh...
  • Cara
    Once I finished reading the last word I knew I was going to reread it. Yes that profound.Honest. Authentic. Real. Use all those words and their synonyms and you have this book. I literally wanted to hop into the sea of words and tell Melinda Sordino " I'll be your friend! Don't despair !" Alas I couldn't do that though. I had to see her struggle. It's painful but since I watched the movie (which was done well by the way) first before reading th...
  • Lola
    Well, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. I mean, the summary doesn’t reveal much (kind of like Melinda herself) and so, obviously, I made my own assumptions of the plot. Turns out, there’s no killing involved. It’s not a mystery or a thriller; it’s a psychological story. If I had known before, I think I might have enjoyed this a tiny bit more.So, Melinda. She’s confused, scared—terrified—and convinced that she’s alone ...
  • V. A Court of Wings and Ruin is NEW ADULT/EROTICA but Goodreads editors won't tell you to include it in the choice awards
    The following review will touch upon serious topics and under the spoiler section I might hide TMI (too much information) tags. If you don't want to know about my own personal journey don't read because it might be umconfortable and triggering. I'll use strong language.I also want to point out that I read this book long ago and that I won't re-read for this review. I just want to discuss the following question(s) which I found in the review of on...
  • Elena
    It is easier not to say anything. Shut your trap, button your lip, can it. All that crap you hear on TV about communication and expressing feelings is a lie. Nobody really wants to hear what you have to say. Speak, to me, is taken more as a lesson than just a book. A lesson worth reading and worth analyzing every little detail, no matter how the writing is and no matter how repetitive it can get. It's a short novel where the life of an individua...
  • Laurie
    Just okay. I was particularly disappointed with the ending and felt that there was an element of glorification in this novel that I didn't appreciate. Let me explain:Although I loved the fact that Melinda finally finds her voice and a way to express herself, I felt as if the story was wrapped up a little too quickly and too neatly. Let's be honest, that ending was more than a little unrealistic. You can't simply put a pretty bow on the end of thi...
  • Susanne Strong
    4 Stars.Speaking. Sometimes it’s absolutely impossible, isn’t it? Sometimes you are so filled with anxiety and fear, you can’t even think of the words, let alone spit them out. And sometimes, life itself is crippling. You will undergo something that overtakes you, that consumes every waking thought, that fills you with fear and changes every aspect of your life and still you cannot talk about it. To anyone, whether you have someone to confi...
  • jessica
    oh goodness me. i dont even want to begin this review because, even though im sticking to my rating, i feel super guilty for rating this so low. but its been awhile since ive read this and i finally feel like i can articulate why this book just isnt for me. firstly, i want to say that the topic of this story is extremely important and deserves the representation it gets in this. melindas high school experience is vastly different than my own, but...
  • Maureen
    3.5/5This is such an important book for the content and message it presents. The writing was fantastic and Melinda was such an interesting character to read. I didn't totally LOVE everything about it, but overall it was a fantastic book.
  • Elyse Walters
    Library - Overdrive-ebook! I’m very late to this reading this really wonderful young adult book.....but oh,I’m sooooo glad I read it! Melinda Sordino, sarcastically witty, bright, and courageous, is very memorable character. A freshman in High School, .... most of the time Melinda’s goal in life is to go home and take a nap. We emphasized with her.....as she is misunderstood- and shunned by friends. Melinda doesn’t understand her own situ...
  • Debra
    4.5 stars*This is another book which I would not have picked up had it not been for a book challenge. So happy I did. This serves as a nice reminder that stepping outside of what we would normally choose can, and in this case, did pay off.High School. Some remember it as the happiest time of their lives while others are so happy when it is over that they never want to look back. Where do you stand?Melinda is an outcast, a pariah, she has no frien...
  • Jessica Abarquez
    Reference information: Title: SpeakAuthor: Laurie Halse AndersonPublisher: Penguin Group Year: 1999# of pages: 198 Genre: intense read Reading level: 9th grade Interest level: late high schoolPotential hot lava: Thoughts of suicide and rape.General response/reaction:This book was so moving. Yes, it was difficult to read and very intense, but it was extremely good! I sort of knew how it was going to end because I cheated and looked it up, but it w...
  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    I know. A ton of people liked this book. I'm giving this crap a one star though. I never did connect with this books main character. I finally was to the point where I didn't give a shit anymore when the big reveal came about why she was having so many problems. I felt somewhat sorry for her then but it still just didn't pull through enough for me.
  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    Hmmmm I can definitely see how important this book is and would have been at the time of its publication, but the thing is, I was bored until the last 30 pages. I felt really disconnected to the story and I don't know why. I am so glad that books like this exist in the YA genre though, and that this one was around a long time ago because these things happen and really do need to be discussed. Such an important message.
  • Thomas
    "Speak" is about Melinda Sordino, an angst-filled freshman who is hated by all of her "best friends" because she called the cops during the end of the summer senior party. Everyone got busted. Her parents aren't much help either, always fighting about what's best for Melinda and communicating through post-it notes on the refrigerator wall. These are only a few of the things that have Melinda depressed. When what really happened at the senior part...
  • Mary
    Wow. I started reading this to entertain myself on a long subway ride home at 2 am, thinking I'd skim a bit and start reading it the next day. The next time I looked at the clock it was five in the morning and I was devouring the last lines of the novel. It is dangerously, fantastically gripping, not necessarily because the plot is so amazing, but because Anderson gets Melinda's voice so very, very right. Melinda is such a thoughtfully rendered p...
  • Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
    Updating to add a trigger warning which I really should've before *TRIGGER WARNING FOR RAPE*I debated for a long time what to rate this and decided on 4 stars because this book honestly perfectly captures the thoughts and feelings that run through your head when you go through a situation like Melinda's. This book was extremely hard for me to read as it hit very, very close to home and for that reason, I just couldn't give it 5 stars.
  • Em Lost In Books
    There are no doubts that it is a very important book for the subject it deals with. We need so many more books on this subject but I want them to actually “speak”.So something happened at a party to Melinda and she stops speaking. She is not popular in school; in fact her friends have started to cut her. They don’t want to see her anymore as they find this “not speaking” behavior strange but they don’t try hard to extract the reason f...
  • karen
    bleg. greg loooooved this book and said it made him wish he had written his own angst-books in high school, but i was a teenage girl and he wasnt, and this just didnt do it for me. its not poorly written at all, i just have never liked books that were about clique-y high schools because i couldnt relate to them at all. maybe i just went to a smaller, or a nicer, high school. but i can definitely see the value of this for a teen reader, and i real...
  • Ariel
    This is a very powerful book: it deals with rape and depression in one of the most realistic and poignant ways I've read. I rated it 4.5.The only reason I didn't give it a 5 was because I could not see myself in Melinda. I am very self-aware and I know that I would not have responded in any of the same ways that she did. This does not devalue any of the book though. I could still absolutely empathize with Melinda, I completely understood and appr...
  • Tamora Pierce
    I just re-read SPEAK for the first time since it came out, so you know I'd forgotten the details of the story. I remembered it being a harder read this time than it was the first time. I'm not sure if knowledge of the big reveal made the tension bigger for me this time, but I still have to say this is a smashing read.Melinda called the cops on a wild end-of-summer party before she started ninth grade, and now she doesn't have a friend in the worl...
  • Kat (Lost in Neverland)
    I liked Speak. For the most part.Mostly the end. The majority of the book was pretty bland. I had a voice in my head pestering me and saying; "Oh my god, who the fuck cares?!" Thankfully, it paid off in the end. The ending really made the book for me. Though I wish Melinda had given Andy (aka IT) a good kick in the balls. Indeed. www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaXd2AmWtPI&a...I'm sorry, I'm having WAY too much fun with this! But when you watch it, it's ...
  • David Schaafsma
    SympathyPaul Laurence DunbarI know what the caged bird feels, alas! When the sun is bright on the upland slopes; When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass, And the river flows like a stream of glass; When the first bird sings and the first bud opes, And the faint perfume from its chalice steals—I know what the caged bird feels!I know why the caged bird beats his wing Till its blood is red on the cruel bars; For he must fly back to hi...
  • Elizabeth
    Bleak YA novel that reads as a cautionary tale. This was assigned reading for our #1 in her Language Arts class. Students were asked to read this book for a bullying unit though it is more about the injustice of rape (it does not address the particular damage of rape). It is the story of a young girl who is so disconnected from everyone that she is unable to speak after being assaulted until her rapist targets her ex best friend. She tells no one...
  • Mon
    Maybe I'm being too cynical, and that the protagonist (I forgot her name already, so I'm just going to call her Jane) did go through something worth lamenting for 200 pages. But for God's sake just because your character is a silent withdrawn introvert doesn't mean your plot has to be the same, it's 150 pages of nothing then BAM! she speaks up! finds courage! The end!!!! LOOK MY HEART IS BLEEDING AND YOU CAN HEAR MY SCREAMS BECAUSE IM LITERALLY T...
  • Louize
    "When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time." Silence dominates Melinda Sordino’s freshman year in Merryweather High School. A recent traumatic experience that led to a very complicated misunderstanding sent a sudden collapse on her being. Aside from being completely mute in public, Melinda’s private and social life is in ruins. Slowly, she began to lose interest in everything, including her family and school. If possi...
  • Aj the Ravenous Reader
    More like a synopsis than a review. Lol. ^^ The title of this book intrigued me and somehow demanded me to read the book. My intuition that I will not regret reading this book did not fail me because this book tells of an inspiring and touching story of a young girl, Melinda who lost herself, her confidence and her ability to speak after she was raped by the most popular senior a year ago. Because of her inability to speak, Melinda loses her best...