Book Opinion | Speak

Hi friends,

Somehow it took me over a month to read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. There was just never enough time in the day to read it straight through like in the summer time, but here I am, ready to write another book opinion!

I have been wanting to read this book for about five or six years . . . maybe four, my memory is fuzzy. Not sure if it was before or after I read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (which is also a fantastic YA book akin to Speak that you should read if you haven’t already!) but I read it sometime between the past four to six years. I did not know there was a movie until I watched it in my senior year health class and I found the movie to be pretty satisfactory—-hair-pulling at times, but understandable at all the other times.

But this is a book opinion not a film one!

The book starts out pretty ordinary, nothing too extreme, nothing that popped out screaming “OMIGOD!” (Legally Blonde the Musical reference, anyone? (my attempt at coming to terms with this musical)). After some time, it came to the point where I was kind of bored with it simply because of Melinda’s character. I think that’s a really important thing to note because oftentimes with real-life people suffering from depression, some people don’t really handle that well. Some people get so fed up and tired of people suffering from depression because they don’t really understand what’s going on. In Melinda’s case, every single time you just want to tell her, “Speak up. This silence is what’s getting you nowhere. I know it’s hard but if you don’t try, what the heck are you doing?!” Obviously it’s not as explicit and accusatory as that 100% of the time (sometimes it is though!), but as spectators, you have to realize that sometimes depression just renders you incapable of doing anything and you don’t know why. (spoiler alert: she’s depressed if you couldn’t tell. side note: should I have included that earlier? no because if you want to read this book, then you probably already know what this book is loosely about)

I’m certainly not an expert on depression and not one to be talking about how it feels to have depression so don’t take my complete word, please, but it’s important to note these type of things, I guess. When Melinda finally finds the strength to get out of her slump, it’s such a prideful moment for you as a reader (or at least, for me) and it seems like such a simple and easy task. After reflecting about it through this post though, I’ve realized that it took so much of the book to happen before she got to this point because it takes a lot in real life to get out of the ditch (apologizing for bad metaphors right now). Anderson did a really good job with that progression.

I know I haven’t talked much about the plot but I usually don’t with these opinions unless it’s a review or if I really feel the need to talk about specifics.

Really good book. Definitely check it out if you haven’t read it!

Hannah
12 October 2015

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