Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publication date: April 1, 2001
Genre(s): Young Adult (Realistic Fiction)
After reading Wintergirls, I immediately became a fan of Laurie Halse Anderson. Speak was the most voted book from the "Help Me Choose" video, (which you can find on my YouTube channel). It was a pretty short book, and pretty decent to. Honestly though, I cannot compare it to Wintergirls. Though every book does have its own taste to it. Speak talks about Melinda Sordino, who has suddenly decided to not to speak. After busting a party by calling the cops when she thought a friend was dying, everybody hates her for it. Melinda thinks that its better to just avoid everyone, stay alone, and just not speak. When we get into Melinda's world, we understand her twisted views of the world. It was very interesting to see how Melinda looked at things, and it really had me thinking.
The most thing I enjoyed about this book is probably the artistic scenes. As an artist myself, I really loved how cryptical the art classes were, and the journey Melinda had to take in order to finally understand. Art is a beautiful way to express one's soul, so it was breathtaking to read about how Melinda's artwork turned out to be in the end. Below is a beautiful quotes from "Speak" that I thought everyone should read.
"Mr. Freeman: "Why not spend time on art: painting, sculpting, charcoal, pastel, oil? Are words or numbers more important than images? Who decided this? Does algebra move you to tears? (Hands raise, thinking he wants answers.) "Can the plural possessive express the feelings in your heart? If you don't learn art now, you will never learn to breathe!!!"
As Melinda keeps taking her art classes with her teacher, Mr.Freeman, we kind of see her developing as an individual. Art is a great way to learn things about life, and I love that Laurie Halse Anderson chose this way to do it. There are so many ways to learn about being yourself, and that it's okay to make mistakes, and etc. Below is another beautiful quote showing exactly that.
"Mr. Freeman: "You are getting better at this, but it's not good enough. This looks like a tree, but it is an average, ordinary, everyday, boring tree. Breathe life into it. Make it bend-trees are flexible, so they don't snap. Scar it, give it a twisted branch, perfect trees don't exist. Nothing is perfect. Flaws are interesting. Be the tree."
Overall, Speak was a wondeful book that had me re-reading paragraphs over and over again. The writing is just breathtakingly beautiful. It's not just understanding the literal meaning for this book, but also the meaning behind it. Speak felt like a life lesson to me. It's not just a book, but an artwork. I definitely recommend this book who are looking for books with more meaning that usual.