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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars speak
I recommend Speak for ages 13 and up, especially, if you are going into high school. It talks about first experiences in high school, the struggles with her classes and teachers, and includes her experiences on the bus. "The bus picks up students in groups of four or five. As they walk down the aisle, people who were in my middle-school lab partners or gym buddies glare...
Published on July 19 2004

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3.0 out of 5 stars Unrealistic
This book made me mad. It's well written, and has an OK premise, but it's extremely unrealistic. Adult reviewers stating that this book is so sad because it's something that could happen inreal life must have had the most horrible childhoods in existance. I am extremely thankful to know that I have such good people in my life, and can rest assured that I would never be...
Published on May 27 2004 by Katie


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars speak, July 19 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Speak (Paperback)
I recommend Speak for ages 13 and up, especially, if you are going into high school. It talks about first experiences in high school, the struggles with her classes and teachers, and includes her experiences on the bus. "The bus picks up students in groups of four or five. As they walk down the aisle, people who were in my middle-school lab partners or gym buddies glare at me. I close my eyes. This is what I've been dreading. As we leave the last stop, I am the only person sitting alone." She met a new girl named Heather. "Another wounded zebra turns and smiles at me. She's packing at least five grand worth of orthodontia, but has great shoes. 'I'm Heather from Ohio', she says. 'I'm new here. Are you?' I don't answer. The lights dim and the indoctrination begins." This book gave me a heads up on what high school will be and some of the experience that an ordinary student would go through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Learning to SPEAK, July 8 2004
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This review is from: Speak (Paperback)
At first I wasn't even sure what this book by author Laurie Halse Anderson was about but when I saw it at a bookstore one day I decided to give it a try as I'd heard nothing but good things about it from both critics and casual readers. I don't read much YA books anymore but I really wish I could have discovered this back when I was in High School still. Then maybe I would have felt less alone for I can relate to the protagonist in many ways. I was somewhat of an outcast myself and while I didn't have to live with the secret Melinda Sordino does in this story I started my freshman year in a strange new town not knowing a single soul, which can be a very scary thing for school is no walk in the park, and just getting by can sometimes be tougher than getting good grades...
"Speak" briefly follows Melinda's first year of High School which is sometimes humorous and sometimes dark. She's mostly a mute, talking as little as possible, and has little to no friends as the year progresses. The now popular Nicole, who had been her best friend since they were kids, has turned her back on Melinda, as has everyone else, it seems, for she'd ruined their end-of-the-summer party by calling the cops on them. But what they don't know is why she did it and the secret she's had to harbor within herself since that horrible night. So to sum this up, "Speak" is pretty much a journey through Melinda's struggles to SPEAK and to let the truth be known before it eats her up inside; preventing her from moving on and living the rest of her life.
I usually read fantasy and horror novels but I found this to be very engrossing, and I believe everyone who reads this young girl's "fictional" experiences can relate to it in one way or another.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Speak is Captivatingly Humorous, June 25 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Speak (Hardcover)
Speak is a truly remarkable novel. I had to read it for school, and, oblivious to the fact that it is pure genius, didn't want to at first. However, after reading 18 pages worth on the way home from the bookstore, I couldn't put it down. It kept me on my toes. I read it the next day during breakfast- even while brushing my teeth! (Don't ask me how, but I did- honest.) I applaud its combination of wit and seriousness. Although it's about a serious issue (rape), Melinda's sarcasm adds a touch of needed humor. Speak is about Melinda, a girl who was raped at 13 at a senior party last August. She called the cops, and now no one at Merryweather High will speak to her- all except for David, her lab partner, and Heather, an exchange student from Ohio. Melinda is an outcast, choosing not to speak at all- not even to her parents. She tells no one of last summer's incident, and has a few "run-ins" with the Beast himself. This book has believable characters and an enjoyable plot. I highly recommend Speak to anyone looking for a good read. I would most definately read this book again. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars because, well, it's awesome! Outstanding job, Laurie Anderson! I can't wait to read more of your literary masterpieces!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book EVER, May 30 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Speak (Paperback)
Speak is the Best Book you could ever read. In speak the main character is Melinda and everyone hates her. She crashed an end of summer party by calling the cops, but no one knows why she called them. Also she is having inner problems with herself on what to do and what not to do and other stuff like that. The whole high school is against her which makes it even harder to get through freshman year.

I rate this book a 5 because it was really good. The way it was written on the page made it more fun to read by having paragraph breaks in a different kind of way. Also the whole plot of the story was cool. It was about something that I've never read before. The author puts you into the character fully and it's like you've known Melinda all her life.

A scene that was really heartbreaking was when a girl from Ohio, Heather, moves her and desides to be Melinda's friend. Then halfway through the year, Heather gives up on Melinda because "she was such a party-pooper". So now Melinda has no friends. Another scene is when Melinda and her ex-bestfriend are in study hall passing notes about the party. Melinda spills everything out but doesn't say who rapes her. Finally she passes a note saying it was Rachels boyfriend who hurt her and Rachel won't believe her.

To wrap things up, this was a 5 star book (ranked by me) because it really draws you into the story. This story would be perfect for anyone from the age of 13 to whenever. It is a really good book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Unrealistic, May 27 2004
This review is from: Speak (Paperback)
This book made me mad. It's well written, and has an OK premise, but it's extremely unrealistic. Adult reviewers stating that this book is so sad because it's something that could happen inreal life must have had the most horrible childhoods in existance. I am extremely thankful to know that I have such good people in my life, and can rest assured that I would never be alone through such an upsetting time.
I can't understand why Melinda was so sad about losing such horrible friends. Talk about a blessing. Just because they didn't know the whole story behind her decision to call the police does not excuse their behavior. Although I can understand one or two bad friends deciding to cut someone out of their lives for a stupid reason, an entire group of people casting someone aside is complete nonsense. I was offended by the fact that I was supposed to be deeply affected and think that most schools and teenagers are like the ones in Melinda's life.
On a positive note, Melinda was realistic. On the off chance that anyone could ever actually be unlucky enough to be in her predicament, I'm sure that many would behave just as she did. Her actions, choices, and the things she thought were understandable, and made the story bearable. I only made it through the entire thing because I actually felt so deeply attatched to her.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all ages, May 20 2004
By 
This review is from: Speak (Paperback)
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is truly an amazing book. Laurie brings the readers into the life of a young girl named Melinda. Melinda faces many major problems that occur everyday in today's society: being ostricized, failing classes and family pressures are some examples. What makes this book unique is the way Melinda deals with her problems; she stops talking. Everyone must communicate in one way or another, and Melinda communicates through her art.
Art is the one class she isn't failing, the one class she enjoys, the one class where she can really express herself. Art is more then just her way to communicate it's also her way to escape. Melinda is forced to face more than any one should have to face at any age, let alone hers, and she's forced to do it alone. As I read I could almost feel Melinda's pains and worries, this book is powerful and moving and it really make you think of how improtant communication is to our society. Laurie catches her readers at the first word and keeps them in suspense until the last letter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes Silence Can be Used to Say a Thousand Things, May 15 2004
By 
Kendall Bierer (Middle School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, Florida) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Speak (Paperback)
Shh... don't speak. It's not as hard as it may seem, especially not for Melinda Sordino. Everything is going wrong for her. All of her friends hate her, her clothes don't match, and even people that don't know her hate her from a distance. This is all because she called the cops at the end of a year party in August. She was taken advantage of, and she was too naive to know at the time. Now she is realizing that by calling the police her reputation has gone down the drain... but she doesn't have the voice to speak up and tell anyone about what really happened. Who would listen?
On the first day of school, she sees all of her friends in their new cliques, hanging all over new guys, and all in separate classes. So this is high school? The late passes, sleeping during class, and feeling like an outcast among the rest of her peers? This is what she looked forward to?
Her parents are beginning to worry about her. She has basically become a mute. She doesn't speak... she just nods her head. Her grades are dropping each marking period and the only class that she can really create emotions in is Art class. At the beginning og the year she is assigned a project to create a tree with emotion in it. But the trees are what she finds very difficult. They are actually much harder than they appear with their different sized leaves, roots, and trunks. Art becomes more than a hobby though; it becomes her way to put her feelings on paper. Everything begins shaping up when she meets a person named Heather who becomes her friend it's amazing though the way high school works. Heather drops her after the second marking period ends to hang with a better group called the Marthas.
What is she to do when her ex-best friend, Rachel B., starts dating Andy Evans (IT)? The moon was so much closer in August, but she can't keep silent about that night anymore. She was drunk and he seemed like a Greek God in all of his perfections. She thought that she was going to be able to start out high school with a boyfriend. God was she wrong. She has to warn her but will Rachel even listen?
This book is so realistic that my heart was literally jumping inside when I read that she was encountering Andy Evans... IT! I cringed at the thought of her scabbing lips and bleeding hands. She goes through so much in that first year of high school. Fresh meat truly is what she became, but like all things the reputation begins to fade from being incredibly terrible to not that lousy, and the hate isn't as strong. There are so many lessons to be learned from this book and so many things that need to be cast into our world. Maybe through this girl's eyes was the only way. This book sure got the message across to me with all of its vivid descriptions, catching plot, and subtle messages. I suggest that everybody should read Speak by Laurie Hales Anderson.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Struggle to be Heard, May 14 2004
By 
Lisa S. (Los Angeles, California United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Speak (Paperback)
Melinda Sordino begins her freshman year in high school as an immediate outcast. Nearly every student knows that she called the police at a party the summer before, but no one ever asked her why. As she becomes more and more alienated, she sinks deeper into her own thoughts, rarely uttering a word to anyone. Through the voice in her head, she tells readers of the cruelties and ironies of high school, but at the same time, readers know that she does not wish for this absolute exclusion. However, there are those who wish to help her, an art teacher, an old friend who seems ready to forgive, her science partner, but she must first acknowledge what happened at that party and deal with her pain before she can grow and move on.
This wry examination of high school sociology through the eyes of a traumatized girl reveals the cruelties that occur to so many young people in school. Her extreme situation forced her into a greater alienation than most must deal with, but her final triumph shows that anyone can finally be heard. This book serves as an important addition in the discussion of abuse, but it also gives an example to more typical students that many high school students feel alienated, and it is up to individuals to develop the strength to make themselves heard.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Speak, April 27 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Speak (Paperback)
This was a very good book for adolecent girls. I liked it very much. THe main character , Melinda, tells of her ninth grade struggle. Melinda is an outcast because of her only cry for help. She gets raped at a party that her ex-best friend took her to. She calls the cops on "the beast", aka Andy Evans. Instead of getting Andy, the cops bust the party. This book expresses her conflicts with herself as she tries to live with this situation. In the book, Melinda hardly speaks at all. Not to her parent's, to the one "friend" she has, Heather, nor does she talk to any of the teachers.
My favorite part of this book is when Melinda finnally gets the strength to confront her ex-best friend, Racheal. Racheal is now going out with "Andy Beast". Melinda doesn't want Andy to hurt her friend like he hurt her. She warns Racheal in the library and tells her about the incident at the party and finnally tells who did it but Racheal doesn't belive her and just thinks she's jealous of her popularity. The Prom approaches and Andy is taking Racheal. Racheal confronts Andy about Melinda. Although he denies it, he tries to get down Racheal's pants and it goes from there. Melinda's warning paid off.
This book shows a great climax(above) and describes the character's very carefully and with great detail. The character's even have nick-names describing them. The social studies teacher is called Mr. Neck and the english teacher is called Hairlady. This book is a really good book for all young women to read. I strongly recomend it to teenage girls.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Speak, April 23 2004
This review is from: Speak (Paperback)
In the book Speak there is a girl named Melinda. Melinda was entering high school when i started the book; it started out slow and then as i got farther in the book it got interesting. Melinda was having trouble in school because she thought she was an outcast at Merry Weather high school. Melinda's parents would always fight over little stuff, and Melinda would go to her room and turn her music all the way up so she could not here her parents argue. Also at the end of the summer rachel took Melinda to a end of the summer party and I'm gonna stop where i am so that you can find out what happens to Melinda. this book was awesome this is the best book i ever read in my life. I give the author a lot of credit for writing this book it was a good book. I could relate to this book because there was an expeirence that i had in the past and this book reminded me about it. But anyway lets get back to this book there is so much to tell you about this book that i cant tell you because i would give away the main plot about the book.
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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Paperback - April 25 2006)
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