Speak by L.H. Anderson was a short book (143 pages), but it delivered a strong message. The protagonist, Melinda, doesn’t say much and as the novel progresses says even less. As the novel is written in deep POV we’re only privy to past details if the protagonist is thinking about them in the present moment, so the reader has to wait a while to find out exactly what happened to Melinda at the party that sparked her reluctance to say much and for most everyone in her school to dislike her, even her old best-friend. Sorry, my writing brain is coming out! I’ll stop. *zips mouth*
So, because of what happened at the party Melinda went to she no longer has any friends and has to hang out with the new girl at school, Heather. Heather is all kinds of self-absorbed, something that Melinda eventually protests in the latter stages of the book. *High five* that she eventually stuck up for herself.
I loved the writing style, it was immersive and real, but I think I enjoyed the characterisation more. Everyone, from Melinda to her teachers felt so real. Melinda was really quirky, like when she did up the store room for her personal hideout and retained her unique sense of humour regardless of what happened to her.
As much as the book felt light, it had a really important message. I suspected what happened to Melinda at the party from the outset, but the way she dealt with it and ultimately healed was unique and very believable.