Speak-Laurie Halse Anderson
Classic YA novel about an outcast teenager, Melinda, and her secrets.
I'm catching up on my YA classics because some of them I can't believe I've not read before. Speak is one I remember passing up years ago because it seemed, plotwise according to the synopsis, run of the mill. Oh boy, I remember thinking, a teenage girl with no friends who doesn't speak...let me read something else instead. Geez, was I wrong. There are twists to the character so I'll restrain myself to merely mentioning that the trauma was very realistically treated.
There's a note at the end that says that while Anderson did not undergo the trauma, the hatred and pain of high school outcast life was drawn from her own experiences. And I can believe that. The whole novel was raw, just raw, much like Melinda herself. But there was a poetic quality to the writing that prevented it from being depressing. The reader can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Dialogue is sparse and so this is more of a character development monologue rather than a typical novel. This means as Melinda goes through her journey of healing alone, you the reader are right there-in her realistic head. Melinda as a character is a strong one, hard to forget.
Recommended to all readers of YA.