Melinda Sordino’s freshman year is off to a horrible start. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, and now her friends—and even strangers—all hate her. Months pass and things aren’t getting better. She’s a pariah. The lowest of the low. Avoided by everyone. But eventually, she’ll reveal what happened at the party. And when she finally speaks the truth, everything will change.
I read Speak years ago when I was in high school. So, when the author recently released a new book, Shout, I knew I wanted to reread this before getting into Shout. I borrowed the audiobook from my library and started listening a few hours before I knew I’d be in the car for a few hours. It’s a short audiobook so I knew I’d be able to listen to it quickly.
Speak was, at times, really hard to listen to. The content of the story was tough. It follows a girl who was raped at a party just before the start of her freshman year of high school. We get to see the effect this has on Melinda as she tries to navigate her new school. She’s lost all of her friends because she called the police at the end of the summer party. It was really hard to listen to this without screaming that she should just tell someone what happened. But when she finally does, she isn’t believed. The hardest part of this story was knowing that things like this happen every day in real life.
I really loved the way Anderson ended this book. Melinda finally finds her voice and stands up for herself. I also listened to the anniversary edition of the audiobook so I got to listen to a Q&A with the author at the end. She talks about the importance of consent and parents teaching their children about these topics, no matter how hard and uncomfortable they can be. There was also a short message from Jason Reynolds. He tells a story of his mother sitting him down and teaching him about consent. “Women are not furniture for you to sit upon when you want.” I really enjoyed Speak and all of the extra content that came along with this edition. If you haven’t read this book yet, you need to.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.