Learning how to speak out is challenging but it will feel better later on

Learning how to speak out is challenging but it will feel better later on

Speak is a book about a high school freshman who is forced to keep quiet after a sexual assault at an end-of-summer party hosted by a bunch of school cheerleaders. Melinda Sordino, the main character in this book, is both reserved and witty when it comes to being in her own bubble. She decides to keep quiet despite being taunted repeatedly by “IT” which is a nickname for Andy Evans, a narcissistic senior who was the one behind her sexual assault. This book has a very interesting plot switching between suspense and drama within the characters. 

I recommend this book because it describes the character’s emotions and it’s a book that probably some people can relate to if you’ve ever had to deal with a person such like “IT.” 

The book covers a very serious topic which just makes it more interesting and gets you hooked even after reading just one page. Though it may not be a book for everyone, it definitely is a great book to give a chance if you enjoy novels or young adult fiction. 

When introducing the characters, Melinda stands out from the rest. She uses sarcasm, nicknames, and nail-biting to focus on something other than her trauma. When starting the book she seems like a normal 14-year-old girl entering high school until she’s raped. She then becomes quiet and very secretive. She loses trust in others and is terrified of being alone with a boy. 

She has trouble trying to speak out about what happened to her but at the same time wants to repress the traumatic event and ignore it. While refusing to open up to her parents and guidance counselor, she finally admits to herself that Andy Evans raped her at the party last summer. She tries convincing her friend Rachel that she didn’t call the police that night of the party to get them in trouble but instead was trying to report her own rape, which leads to her losing her only friend that she’s had since grade school. With the loss of her only friend she becomes sad and more insecure of her surroundings as Andy was still in school taunting her.

After the sorrowful events, she finally builds up courage to confront Andy Evans after attempting to rape her for a second time in the supply closet at school, which she considers her safe spot. He tells her she’s a liar and that she should regret telling Rachel that he raped her but Melinda doesn’t budge.

Towards the end, Melinda finally has enough courage to speak out about her assault to her art teacher, Mr. Freeman, whom she trusts and respects. She does this by developing a friendship with Ivy and beginning to sketch various trees, which she later uses to express her feelings during art class. 

Speak is an overall great book because it is very interesting to read about and very suspenseful with what will happen next. Though the book does contain rather strong language, it doesn’t change the level of interest and engaging style of writing the author uses in this book. I’d really recommend this book to anyone.