"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.
One of the reasons I decided to read this one was basically this: its been on my shelf for over a year and it also has been recommend by so many people I could say no any longer. And I am so glad I decided to read it! It is a very emotional story and there are a lot of things that make the story come to life. She seriously reminds my of myself minus some of the worst stuff. It was a great read i know i will be recommending to people in the future. It was a story that deserved to be told. I am also glad i waited until now to read it not when i bought it over a year ago (maybe two?), I don't think i would like it back then as much as now and it would be harder to get into the story. It was written very well and i was sucked in on page one! Read it off and on and finished it in a day. I seriously recommend this book to older teens.