Book Review: Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson

It’s been a while since I’ve encountered a new book that I just loved. I readily admit that I’m not one to just grab a random book and go read. And I just decided that I’m not going to be that way anymore. There is so much good literature out there, and I’m always waiting for it to encounter me instead of me encountering it.

But I digress…

Speak was powerful. There’s simply no other way to describe it. The writing, the style, the layout, the silence… This book was crafted mightily with a subtlety so gentle and an understatement that roars.

I found myself sitting in her shoes more than once as she lived the horrors of her freshman year of high school. But more than that. I compared myself directly to her and her experiences, especially her art teacher. It was sometimes difficult to truly move myself out of her shoes as though I had become her.

Rarely has a book gripped me so strongly that I craved to read it. And not often has a book captured my mind such that when I turned the last page, I mourned both the loss of the character but also the power of the word.

Anderson has created a masterpiece. Each stroke, each word, and each image combine to create a book as powerful and soul-wrenching as Munch’s The Scream. This is not just one that I will read again, but one I will eagerly own, share, and consume if only for the incredible glimpse into my own soul. And at just under 200 pages, it’s an incredibly fast, quiet read.

I would award this a 4 out of 4 stars if only because it reminded me how much I enjoy reading (I haven’t read much lately with everything going on), but it stands on its own power and proudly earns that rating all other considerations aside. Should you pick it up–and please do–you will not be disappointed.

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One Response to Book Review: Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson

  1. Pingback: A New Book List… Kind of…. « the prodigal

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