Speak (英語) ペーパーバック – 2011/5/10
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"In a stunning first novel, Anderson uses keen observations and vivid imagery to pull readers into the head of an isolated teenager. . . . Yet Anderson infuses the narrative with a wit that sustains the heroine through her pain and holds readers' empathy. . . . But the book's overall gritty realism and Melinda's hard-won metamorphosis will leave readers touched and inspired." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review"An uncannily funny book even as it plumbs the darkness, Speak will hold readers from first word to last." --The Horn Book, Starred Review "A frightening and sobering look at the cruelty and viciousness that pervade much of contemporary high school life, as real as today's headlines. . . . The plot is gripping and the characters are powerfully drawn . . . a novel that will be hard for readers to forget." --Kirkus Reviews, Pointer Review "Melinda's pain is palpable, and readers will totally empathize with her. This is a compelling book, with sharp, crisp writing that draws readers in, engulfing them in the story." --School Library Journal "A story told with acute insight, acid wit, and affecting prose." --Library Journal "Melinda's voice is distinct, unusual, and very real as she recounts her past and present experiences in bitterly ironic, occasionally even amusing vignettes. . . . Melinda's sarcastic wit, honesty, and courage make her a memorable character whose ultimate triumph will inspire and empower readers." --Booklist
Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author of books for kids of all ages--including Fever 1793, Chains, Twisted, and many others. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous national and state awards, as well as international recognition. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Anderson was honored with the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award given by the YALSA division of the American Library Association for her "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature."
Anderson was born in Potsdam, New York in 1961. Growing up, she loved reading and listening to family stories. She graduated from Georgetown University in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, she was freelance journalist, and then worked part-time at a bookstore to earn money while working on her fiction. Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in northern New York, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes.
...Hope you like it!
The story starts a few months after something traumatic happened to Melinda. But what happened to her is not revealed until later on as the story slowly unfolds.
All we know at first is that she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops and now her old friends won't talk to her and people she doesn't know glare at her. No one knows why she called the police, and she can't get out the words to explain. Her parents are too wrapped up in themselves to notice that something is wrong and her only so-called friend, Heather, is just with her until she finds someone cool to hang out with.
So Melinda retreats into her head and becomes silent on the outside. But it's not so comfortable in her head, either - there's something banging around in there that she doesn't want to think about. But, try as she might, it just won't go away...
What makes this novel unique is the inner dialogue of Melinda Sordino. It has been written in the first person narrative from her point of view. Melinda has a wonderfully sarcastic sense of humour and her thoughts really made me laugh. She is very opinionated and outspoken but she keeps these thoughts to herself and utters not one word out loud. She is also suffering inside and being tortured by a memory that she desperately wants to forget.
This book is very special to me. This is the only book that I have found that relates to me in every was possible. In a way I feel as if it has been written for me!
Melinda Sordino begins to suffer from Selective Mutism after a traumatic experience. This is a condition that means a person cannot talk in most social situations and to almost everyone except a handful of people. Selective Mutism is basically a fear of talking.
I have suffered from Selective Mutism for as long as I can remember and I found that I could totally relate to Melinda. I know what it is like to be unable to talk. I too have an opinionated, outspoken inner dialogue that no one but myself ever hears!
I know what it is like to have no friends, to be isolated and alone and completely misunderstood. Laurie Halse Anderson has really done a fantastically amazing job of describing what this is like. I tip my hat to her!
Laurie has also magnificently taken on the extremely upsetting subject of rape and the subsequent consequences and affects of such as traumatic experience. I too have had a very bad experience and so I could relate to Melinda. I totally understood how she was feeling and what it is like to be haunted by a memory that you wish would disappear.
SPEAK is a phenomenal book. Riveting and compassionately written, it is emotional and inspirational. It is ultimately as story of social acceptance and self acceptance with very clear messages to get across to the reader.
Although it has been written for the young adult market I personally think that it is a book adults would enjoy as well.
It is cleverly written and without a doubt one of the best books I have ever read.
Thank you Laurie. Words cannot describe how much this book means to me.
Melinda as a character is very relatable, although not hugely memorable. She finds herself ostracised by her classmates, and they are realistically high-school-cruel. Written in 1999, Speak is actually very close in time to my own high school experience, back before mobile phones and Facebook, in a time when gossip was spread by lunchtime whispers and bathroom graffiti, and Halse Anderson nailed it perfectly. What makes Speak so very readable is the realistic portrayal of high school life - cliques and bitchiness, cold-shoulders and indifferent parents and teachers and more of a focus on Melinda's school performance than her radical personality change.
For the vast majority of the book, Melinda is isolated from other students, teachers and her parents, and being inside her head for the majority of the book really makes it an intense read - her pain, disappointment and confusion are all very real, raw emotions that come through the pages.
I could have very easily read this book in one sitting - it was compelling, saddening, maddening and at times even frustrating - I wanted to literally reach through the pages and hug Melinda or punch one of her fickle, shallow former friends.
Despite being 14 years old, this book doesn't feel dated and the emotions, reactions and sitatuations feel incredibly realistic. The only downside for me was that some of the deeper issues felt like they were a little glossed over, and although Melinda obviously felt the impact of her actions very deeply, it did feel a little too 'neat' of an ending.
Speak is a book that I would recommend to any Young Adult reader, and in fact to any young adult, as it does examine some serious issues and how jumping to conclusions about people can cause some serious hurt.
Melinda is very likable and even though her story is very dark there is still a few funny parts that just balances out the darkness and depression. I really liked Melinda from the start and even though I couldn't even imagine what she is going through I felt that Laurie is did a wonderful job with getting into Melinda's head. I liked how we get glimpses from Melinda's summer where it all happened. I had a lump in my throat when Melinda finally reveals and actually tells someone what happened to her.
I only have one negative about it and that was her friends. Well her ex-friends. Honestly if I was at a party and one of my friend phoned that police. I would automatically think they had to have reason and I wouldn't stop being friends with them. I just found this part a bit unrealistic.
Overall though. Speak is a fast read that is dark and thought provoking yet has its funny moments. I read this after I read Twisted not knowing the twisted was the follow up novel. However, the stories have nothing do with each other and can be read as stand alone novels.
a very tough time, thats a bit of an understatement. She was raped at a party by an older guy from
her school and I think at first she thinks its her fault because she had been drinking. After what
happened she called the cops from the party and now everyone at school, including her best friend hate
her because she never told them what happened. The whole novel is set during the course of the school
year and centres around Melinda trying to find her voice. Trying to find a way to tell people what
happened to her and find the help she needs to overcome her ordeal. Its the first of Laurie Halse
Andersons books I have read and I will definately read more of her work in the future. This book is aimed
I think at people much younger than myself but I really enjoyed her writing. The story is tough to read
and although my experience at schools was nowhere near as bad, I could understand the feelings of not
fitting in and the emotions around having long term friends ditch you. Overall and very good book indeed.
I read this immediately after finishing Just Listen by Sarah Dessen which was a gentler exploration of the themes explored in Speak. Both are excellent stories and deal with assault, each in a different way.
I recommend this book to teenage readers, as the central issues covered should not be shied away from and these things do happen. Reading about someone else's experience is surely educational.
This story is about a freshman starting high school called Melissa who was raped at an end of school party summer party. She has no friends and her only new 'friend' uses her as a means to her own ends.
The way this story is told allows the reader to become Melissa, like Melissa's lack of description, allowing her to become more relatable. This means the reader is able to gain some perspective into what a situation like that would be like.
I really liked this book as it was not only eye opening but often humorous due to Melissa's harsh and sarcastic humour. I think everyone should give this book a read.
The book shows just how horrible high school can become if you don't fit in.
It does drag on a bit and it's almost like in places the writing was forced. It isn't a bad book but I think it's more for young "emo-style" readers than anyone else. I read this book when I was 21 and didn't feel it was too young, but felt it was a bit bland and would be more suitable for someone of 13/14 where the storyline would have a bigger impact.
I started reading this a few hours ago, and didn't stop until the last page was turned.
Normally, I read in one sitting because the story is gripping, or I just needed to know what was going to happen next. Although both points were true of this book, the reason I read "Speak" in one go was because I just did not want to leave Melinda.
She broke my heart. She made me want to reach through the pages and envelop her into a huge hug and tell her that I was there for her, that I was listening.
Melinda is a character who I can relate to on so many levels, evoking emotions within me that I thought I'd buried away long ago.
We've all been through high school. I'm sure most would agree that for the majority, its a traumatic experience: uncomfortable, lonely and incredibly painful.
What Melinda has gone through is something most of us haven't. But the feelings she struggles with, the isolation she feels at school is something I feel is more familiar to the readers.
I know for one that I hated high school. There were often days where I woke up and simply could not face it. There were many more where I'd try and disappear into the walls, desperate to escape.
I had friends, I was not bullied. But I was sure as hell miserable.
That's why Melinda's story is so resonant. It strikes a chord deep within you. Her voice will captivate you, the beautiful stream of conciousness working so brilliantly for the story. Melinda is an broken character. The events that have led her to becoming the isolated freak of the school so damaging that she nears complete breakdown, but she is also incredibly, overwhelmingly brave.
What Anderson has done in "Speak" is tackle issues that are far too often shied away from, and forced us to confront them. It could so easily have gone wrong; so easily have undermined the trauma Melinda has gone through, but instead she has managaed to create a piece of writing that not only makes your heart ache, but makes you want to stand up, to speak out.
A few years ago I read Thirteen Reasons Why, something which deals with similar issues to "Speak". It is a fantastic, breathtaking novel, and I thoroughly reccomend it. But dont go thinking they are the same, because they each have different stories to tell.
I am a firm believer in that books should be written for a reason. Far too often in young adult, books are written for the sake of it, for the trends, rather than having a purpose, a message we need to hear. "Speak" is a vital message we need to hear. Its a book that everyone needs to read