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Speak | [Laurie Halse Anderson]

Speak

From her first moment at Merryweather High, Melinda Sordino knows she's an outcast. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, a major infraction in high-school society, so her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't know glare at her. She retreats into her head, where the lies and hypocrisies of high school stand in stark relief to her own silence, making her all the more mute.
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Publisher's Summary

From her first moment at Merryweather High, Melinda Sordino knows she's an outcast. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, a major infraction in high-school society, so her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't know glare at her. She retreats into her head, where the lies and hypocrisies of high school stand in stark relief to her own silence, making her all the more mute. 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. Try as she might to avoid it, it won't go away, until there is a painful confrontation. Once that happens, she can't be silent, she must speak the truth.

In this powerful audiobook, an utterly believable, bitterly ironic heroine speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while learning that, although it's hard to speak up for yourself, keeping your mouth shut is worse.

©1999 Laurie Halse Anderson; (P)2000 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (256 )
5 star
 (108)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.1 (161 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (154 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    FanB14 05-21-12
    FanB14 05-21-12

    Short, Simple, No Spoilers

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4299
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    134
    124
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    286
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Recommend with Slight Reservations"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Yes. The stereotypes are yawn-producing. Cheerleaders=pretty & shallow; Jocks=stupid and etc. I'd like to see authors have the depth and creativity to defy stereotypes. After hearing the tired cliches, it takes me a minute to return to the story.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The difficult subject matter contained just enough detail without being too graphic or gratuitous. Effective use of metaphors with garden and tree project. It's a good story to read w/your teenage daughter and have discussions about the scary topics of rape and depression.


    Have you listened to any of Mandy Siegfried’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, have not.


    Was Speak worth the listening time?

    Yes. It was a solid read for a YA novel. I would recommend with only slight reservations. I enjoyed the narrator's performance.


    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Bronx, NY, USA 11-28-07
    Kimberly Bronx, NY, USA 11-28-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    "Well worth the purchase"

    The audiobook accurately reflects the angst, power and pain that the books brings forth. The reader of the books convinces you that she is Melinda and is in the process of experiencing all that the character she is portraying is feeling. I used this audiobook as an instructional tool and my students loved it.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David SurreyUnited Kingdom 05-17-08
    David SurreyUnited Kingdom 05-17-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    29
    3
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    0
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    "Fantastic audio book for 15+"

    I have listened to several hundred audiobooks and this was on of the best I had heard. I listened to this on holiday and it was so good I finished listening within two days.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin Apollo, PA, USA 01-29-10
    Erin Apollo, PA, USA 01-29-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Hearing is Seeing "Speak""

    I loved reading the book, but hearing the book read was like seeing Melinda's story take on a whole new image in my brain. I could see the story play out like a movie and it was better than anything I've seen or heard related to this story.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Scarborough, Ontario, Canada 02-21-10
    Charles Scarborough, Ontario, Canada 02-21-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "A Great Reading"

    Mandy Siegfried read this story well. I'm a new fan.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff 11-02-08
    Jeff 11-02-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    610
    8
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    0
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    Overall
    "Wonderful"

    The book is fun, witty and moves quick. It's a very short listen, but seemed to be the appropriate length to develop the main character and the story. The narration is very good.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Day Houston, TX, United States 09-26-10
    Day Houston, TX, United States 09-26-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    7
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    0
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    Overall
    "Riveting"

    The girl they have reading this book is awesome. She captures the character brilliantly. I really felt like I was listening to someone pour out their heart and soul, and was in tears at certain parts.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Carlin Chelsea, MA United States 04-11-14
    Kate Carlin Chelsea, MA United States 04-11-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    3
    3
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    "Great for the Classroom"
    Would you try another book from Laurie Halse Anderson and/or Mandy Siegfried?

    Students are currently reading 2 Laurie Halse Anderson books in ELA. Mandy Siegrried does a great job, but I do find her pacing slower than the story and listen to it at 1.25x instead of the recorded slower pace.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mr. Freeman is a strong character, being there for Melinda as she opens up. He gives her opportunities to express herself.


    What does Mandy Siegfried bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Mandy Siegfried has a squeaky voice which fits great for many of the characters. She also has pretty good range for the interior monologue.


    Could you see Speak being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Speak has already been made into a feature length film. Abigail Breslin would play a good Matilda, Alison Gold should play Heather; . Asa Butterfield as David; Bella Thorne as any of the Marthas'; Birdy as Nicole; Ariel Winter as Ivy; Martin Garrix as IT (Andy Evens)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian DAYTON, OH, United States 06-07-13
    Brian DAYTON, OH, United States 06-07-13 Member Since 2012

    I am a 14 year old girl. I love reading but i have a reading disorder so reading is very hard for me. I love listening to books so much!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You will never forget this book."

    I have read Speak about 7 times. Every time, i cry. I can't help but cry. this is a one of a kind book and you wont find anything else like it. It will have you on your feet screaming for there to be justice, and crying when there isn't.
    Speak takes place in Syracuse, NY. The main Character is a 14 year old girl named Melinda, who everyone hates. Something had happened over the summer that had made even her best friends turn there backs on here. You don't find out what happened until about half way through the book.
    Melinda takes an Art class where on the first day of school everyone has to pick out of a broken globe the topic they will use for the rest of the year. Melinda gets trees. through the book she is trying to make trees.
    About half way through the book she stops talking. No one really wants to talk to her anyway. She becomes friends with a girl named Heather form Ohio. I always thought that was funny because Melinda is always saying that the things she does must be an Ohio thing, I'm from Ohio. Heather joins a club of girls who do a bunch of good things. Melinda doesn't join.
    If you are wanting to know if you should read this book, the answer is yes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adriana Irvine, CA, United States 04-19-13
    Adriana Irvine, CA, United States 04-19-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wished there was a tracklist"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The book is great, I downloaded this audiobook for my class. My 8th graders are reading this book and I wanted them to also listen to it.

    I just wish there was a tracklist to make it easier for me to know where the chapters start.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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