Saturday, September 24, 2011

Book Review No. 4 - Speak

By:  Laurie Halse Anderson
Series:  N/A
Publisher:  Puffin - April 2001
Pages:  148 eBook  
Rating:  5
Book Cover Rating:  5 (It truly fits the book!)
Read:  Sept. 2010
Genre:  Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Sexual Violence

First Line:  It is my first morning of high school.

Has Been Challenged Multiple Times!!
Recommend by :  Wesley Scroggins

Black Disaster Fairy's Take:

This book was attacked by Wesley Scroggins in a article last year about this time.  There is a particular part of his claim that had my eyebrows peak and my brain try to wrap around his intriguing statement, "material that should be classified as soft pornography." 

Soft Porn?!?

This guy is considering rape to be soft porn?  WOW!!!  Let's get this out in the open right away, I am a twisted person who came over from the dark side, who reads books that contain sexual violence.  However, I would never ever consider rape to be porn.  That is creepy even for me!

 ~~ Warning, it is hard to not write this review without spoilers.  If you do not want spoilers please stop reading. I do not want you to stop talking to me.~~

Melinda is our main character/narrator.  She does not get much description but for me it worked.  Many can relate and put themselves in her shoes.  We enter the book by going into the high school as a 9th grader.  (Geez, that was a while ago for me.)  High school can be the greatest years, full of amazing memories but so far for Melinda it is the time where no one talks to you & people throw mash potatoes at you.  I could not possibly dare to begin how that would feel.  Just completely humiliating, too cruel.

Save a Tree – Read an e-book Button
Book Love <3
Tree Love <3
Soon we find out that everyone scorns her because during the summer she calls the cops at a huge party were a few people get tossed in the slammer due to her actions.  Naturally, now she has the bulls-eye of hate on her, even her friends classmates do not even speak to her.  If only they knew the reason why!!  Speak up Melinda!!  Ok, that was me screaming at her!  
"My goal is to go home and take a nap."
Instead she draws into herself, retreating from family, school, and people who are trying to be her friend.  She found a place that she could call her own.  A place she could go and hide.  I must admit that I loved her closet!

"My journal entry of the day:  Exchange students are ruining our country."
Anderson does not say out right what happened to Melinda.  This taboo subject normally has people walking around what happened.  She did a good job with this while leaving clues.  Biology class is the biggest clue that should ring bells.  

"Our frog lies on her back.  Waiting for a prince to come and princessify her with a smooch?  I stand over her with my knife.  Ms. Keen's voice fades to a mosquito whine.  My throat closes off.  It's hard to breathe.  I put out my hand to steady myself against the table.  David pins her froggy hands to the dissection try.  He spreads her froggy legs and pins her froggy feet.  I have to slice open her belly.  She doesn't say a word.  She is already dead.  A scream starts in my gut - I can feel the cut, smell the dirt, leaves in my hair."

I just love her wording here!  

This book hit me, it is profound writing on a subject hard to touch because of society expectations.  I loved struggling with Melinda.  Watching her work on her tree subject for art, yelling at her to pour out her hate, fear, and hurt into the tree (of course only in my head).  Then there was this spark, she wrote on the bathroom wall.  Courageous of her.  What she wrote, not that she did.  That spark shot off as soon as there was a reply.  I almost cried when I read that.  Powerful statement, all on a smelly bathroom wall.

BDF highly recommends this book!!  Thanks to Scroggins!  It was a unique book with a voice.  It will be a re-read more then once.  Unbelievable!

Literary Day Dreams

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