Friday, May 14, 2010

Melinda learns to in SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson

OK Junkies, so Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson has been on my radar for a while, but there were a few reasons that I resisted reading it.

  1. The cover kind of creeped me out.
  2. I knew it was about rape.
  3. I knew Kristen Stewart starred in a Lifetime movie version of the book.
  4. The students in my remedial reading class said it was boring.
  5. I flipped through the pages and it LOOKED boring.
I know, "don't judge a book by its cover" but I do, Junkies, I do, I can't help it.  I get this idea in my head about books that I haven't read.  But sometimes it's fun to be proven wrong.  

Why didn't anyone ever tell me that this book is funny?  I mean I guess it's kind of weird to be all "Hey, there's this book that had me laughing out loud.  It's great.  It's about this teenage girl who's raped at a party..."

The subject matter and Lifetime movie thing really had me thinking Speak would read like an after-school special.  Boy, was I wrong.

And I think the reason my reluctant readers found it boring is because there's hardly any dialogue.  That's the whole point, Melinda doesn't speak.  She's lost her voice and she struggles to find it through art (hence the creepy cover).  The lack of dialogue makes the unread page appear boring (brain says: eek, too much text!)

But Melinda's take on the world is anything but boring.  I was laughing by the third page with her list of "Ten lies they tell you in high school."  Melinda's cynicism is dark and hilarious as she blossoms into heroine-hood. 

So, Junkies, read Speak, it's funny--not boring.