Home > Literature, Social Commentary > Books Can Speak to You

Books Can Speak to You

Saturday I reread an old favorite of mine from junior high and high school that had opened up my world a tiny bit to the experiences other people have.  The way Melinda thinks in the novel felt so real that it seemed like I was absorbed into a journal.  It shows the simple, undeveloped thought of a 14 year old but still manages to go to new levels as we follow her through her year from Hell.

Title: Speak

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Year: 1999

Genre: Young Adult/Teens

Themes: Life Struggle, Rape, Depression, Social Status, Fear, Loneliness, Teachers, High School.

I really appreciate the genre of young adult fiction that actually means something profound to the people who read it.  It is books like these that change the way people view the world.  These books speak to the humanity inside all of us.  I commend the author for creating this work and helping to connect young people with their confused feelings.  So many have dealt with difficult things and do not know how to proceed with their lives.  Melinda was extraordinarily strong even though she became withdrawn and depressed.  She clung to what she could in her life.  It only takes that one special person to keep someone from going over the edge.  Her teacher, through very subtle ways, was that place of stability for her.  He gave her an outlet for her fear and anger and without being overbearing he helped her.  It is truly a sad story but you have a feeling Melinda will get through it and she will be okay in the end.

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  1. December 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    So now after reading up a little more on this book I see there was some controversy over the material in this novel. That pretty much breaks my heart to hear that this book could be banned in schools for being “soft core pornography.” That is just simply ridiculous. If you think that this is in any way related to porn I feel sorry for your utter ignorance and inability to feel emotion for those who have been sexually assaulted. You are the sick one for thinking that about this book.

    Also, apparently there is a movie version of this starring Kristen Stewart? I don’t know if I could bring myself to see that movie. I don’ t know if I would have the amount of sympathy for Kristen’s portrayal of Melinda as much as the beautiful inner monologue she provides for us in the text.

    It makes me sad that we have to turn every good book into a movie. It just doesn’t feel right. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love movies, but sometimes I really cringe when these types of movies come out.

    Hopefully they don’t turn this into another The Lovely Bones disaster. Good book, but to me, there was no feasible way to make it into a movie. Its all about capitalizing on what people (consumers) like.

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