Speak - Laurie Anderson

Teenage angst has become a very redundant topic in modern literature. Many novels offer nothing new or bold, and simply repeat stories we've heard multiple times before. However, the novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is an exception to this stereotype. Her writing stands out among other books and offers insight into touchy subject areas that are important and need to be addressed. The novel Speak tells the story of a very confused girl trying to cope with problems that no one should have to, while at the same time trying to survive high school.

Prior to her freshman year, Melinda had everything she wanted. Popularity, friends, acceptance, and academic success. However, one night changed all of that. Something intended to be harmless fun would haunt Melinda and change everyone's perspective of her, and her perspective of everyone. Her only escape from the bitter reality around her now has become Mr. Freeman's unconventional art class. What exactly happened to Melinda to put her in this state, one may ask? You'll have to read the novel to unravel the captivating mystery for yourself.

Speak is written in the first person point of view, and as a writer, Laurie has mastered the perspective. The most common downfall of typical novels of this genre is the author's inability to write in character and capture a believable teenage attitude. Laurie does not have this problem in the slightest way. Everything she writes feels real and authentic. By the end of the novel you feel as if Melinda was someone that you go to school with, which puts the moral of the story into a very real, awakening perspective.Speak puts a daring twist on the typical tales of a teenage outcast.

This novel has something for everyone. If you're looking for a deeper meaning, or just a book to snuggle up with on a rainy day, Speak will not disappoint you.
Posted on April 19th, 2008 at 09:49am

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