Throwback Thursday : Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Throwback Thursday #Bookish  is a meme I created (or rather, resurfaced) on this blog. Basically, every Thursday, I share with you one book I have read at least one year ago, and share with you my initial thoughts and present thoughts about it!


Title : Speak

Author : Laurie Halse Anderson

Genre : Realistic YA Contemporary


Read in : 2014

Goodread summary:

“Speak up for yourself–we want to know what you have to say.” From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson’s powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.

Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature.

Initial thoughts : liked this book, in fact, even loved it – but never really took it for what it actually is. Speak is an important piece of fiction, but I never realized that while reading it. Maybe it was because I was young, or maybe I wasn’t ‘into’ it, but when I read it – it was a YA contemporary for me, albeit a bit darker one. However, it was never a ‘serious piece of fiction’ for me, like it really is. I could never quite understand it’s depth – or appreciate it for what a brilliant darn book this is. Back then, I was mildly impressed by the book.

Present thoughts : I get that this is an imprtant, and mainly – extremely realistic – work of fiction, and more than loving it, I respect it. I’m dying for a re-read, but I just don’t have the time (sigh). Over these two years, I’ve read loads of other books dealing with sexual abuse, but nothing has resonated the actual trauma and suffering the victim has to go through like this one book has. What the reality is – what actually happens. I’ve read various versions of abuse, various versions of victims, but this was was real and it was poignant. 

So that was my post for this week’s  Throwback Thursday. I wrote a whole lot about this meme in this post, do check it out! And feel free to join me!Post your own Throwback Thursday and link it back to this post or the post whose link I mentioned above.


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