Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak. United Sates: Farrar Straus Giroux. Print.
Written by: Laurie Halse Anderson
Reviewed by: Courtney McClane
Recommended Audience: High School
In this novel written by Laurie Halse Anderson, Melinda Sordino begins her freshman year at Merryweather High School in Syracuse, New York. Over the summer, her friends and her all went to a party. Melinda did not feel comfortable and ended yup calling the police. Because of that, Melinda’s only friend is Heather, a new student. Melinda has stolen some late passes, so she uses a janitor’s closet as a hideout to avoid teachers she dislikes and painful interactions with her no longer friends. Her only escape at school is her art class, where she is working on a year-long project to create a tree.
In the school hallways, she occasionally sees a senior Andy Evans, and she slowly begins to face what he did to her. Whenever he sees her, he tortures her in ways that make her relive her first experience with him at that party. She starts to ditch whole days of school. Her parents and guidance counselor at the school try to get her to open up about her grades dropping, but Melinda refuses to talk to them. However, over many months of painful silence and self-harm, Melinda finally admits to herself that Andy Evans raped her at that party last summer. After facing the fact that she was raped, Melinda begins to recover from the trauma of this event. She is worried about Andy Evans’ intentions for her old best friend, Rachel because they are starting to date. Melinda finally tells Rachel what happened to her. Rachel does not believe Melinda, but Melinda begins to feel free after speaking up.