Speak

A book review.

So I mentioned in my post-vacation post that I read two books. One was a Buddhist book, which was meaty and deep. I’m almost always reading the meaty stuff.

But for the vacation, I thought, “If I even get to these books, I want one to be a vacation, like my vacation.”

I went to the bookshelves in the garage and looked through to see what would pique out at me. And I grabbed a skinny little thing with a beautiful cover called Speak.

Yeah, just Speak. So profound. How could I not take it with me and read it? Especially with all this creative doubt I’m constantly processing and sometimes blogging about and yet still manage to keep pushing the publish button.

On the cover is a pretty silver sticker that I only partly peeled off during my handling of it. Eventually I did look at this round shiny silver-dollar sized attention-grabber. So much for shiny. If it had been a scratch & sniff…

American Literary Association –
Michael L. Printz Award For Excellence In Young Adult Literature

Young Adult? Are you serious? I grabbed a book that was meant for my daughter?

“Ha Ha,” I thought, “Joke’s on me!”

I’m not sure how old Laurie Halse Anderson is or if she wrote this based on her own life (flipping to inside back flap now…) Ok, she’s married with two kids living in Pennsylvania. This is her first novel. Good to know, I guess.

Speak is memoir-style and a quick yummy read. What I appreciated most about this story is seeing the same struggle I have, that we all have, in speaking our truth.

Melinda is the 14-year old main character who holds our hands through her first year of high school, holding in and holding onto a deep dark secret that is eating her alive.

Have you ever been eaten alive?

Melted into this cathartic tale of how saying our truth sets us free is lots of humor for a 14-year old; maybe that’s really Laurie’s experience showing through, not sure.

Anyways, I recommend the book not just because it reveals the universal truth of the cost of holding secrets & telling the truth and learning how to set ourselves free, but because I needed a simple vacation book for my cruise, that wouldn’t be meaty and deep.

But I still got meaty and deep. In a young adult memoir-styled book about a ninth grader from Syracuse.

Melinda did it. And I will (continue) too. Speak.

Special Video Bonus

Watch the author read a poem written from letters she’s received over the last ten years. And when you decide to pick up this book, I hope you also find the courage to open your mouth and Speak!

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