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Review: 'Speak' by Laurie Halse Anderson

An honest, coming-of-age story of a teenage girl facing her fears and surviving high school.

I am brand new to blogging and I am SO excited to start writing book reviews for Patch! I am an English major working my way through my sophomore year of college and I am a student, through and through. If I could be a professional student for the rest of my life, I would gladly do it. But alas, I cannot. So, the next best thing is to take up writing/editing which just so happens to be my second love!

My reviews will be based on six things: 

  • Synopsis
  • Readability: Do I want to read further? Am I thrilled by the subject matter?
  • Moral/Message: What did I find while reading? Is there a lesson?
  • Age group: Is it appropriate for children yet interesting for adults and vice versa?
  • Writing: What is the overall tone of the book? Style? Grammar?
  • Overall Rating

Synopsis: The first book that I am reviewing is called Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I am thrilled for this book because it was turned into a major motion picture starring Kristen Stewart and Michael Angarano. It centers around a girl named Melinda who has just started her freshman year of high school. Having called the cops at a party over the summer, she has single-handedly "ruined" everyone's lives and has destroyed any hope she may have had of enjoying high school. Unfortunately, no one knows why she really called the cops or what happened to her that night. Long story short, she has no friends because they have all abandoned her. 

Readability: The very first page of this book sucked me in right away and I could not put it down until I was finished. My high school years were some of the best years of my life, yet I can understand where this girl is coming from with her teen angst and worries about fitting in. I think every freshman has felt that way a time or two. 

Moral/Message: The moral in this book spoke strongly of standing up and not being afraid to face your fears. This is such an important message for teens to grasp because so many kids today end up hating their high school years. Those years should be the best of their lives! So, this book definitely attempts to get that point across.

Age Group: I would say that this book is appropriate for teens and up. I would not recommend it for anyone younger because there is some language and content that I would not deem appropriate for anyone in a younger age group.

Writing: The style of writing in this book is different. It's not in standard paragraph and chapter form. It is written more like a journal. The protagonist is sharing her view of high school in a very immature and childlike style. Yet, somehow, the tone is still gripping, honest, and to the point.

Overall Rating: If I had to give an overall rating to this book, I would give it a B. I loved the message in this story but the writing threw me off, slightly. Plus, the content was a little bit uncomfortable. Still, it proved to be a good read that held my attention until the very end.

I hope you enjoyed my first review! Please feel free to add your thoughts. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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