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Speak

20th Anniversary Edition
Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,345 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Speak up for yourself - we want to know what you have to say."

From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. 

As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: She was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. 

Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. 

A timeless novel about consent and finding the courage to speak up for yourself, the 20th anniversary edition of the classic novel that has spoken to so many young adults now includes a new introduction written and read by acclaimed writer, host, speaker, and cultural commentator Ashley C. Ford as well as an afterword written and read by New York Times best-selling author of All American Boys and Long Way Down Jason Reynolds. This edition also features an updated Q&A, resource list, and essay and poem written and read by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Praise for Speak:

“In a stunning first novel, Anderson uses keen observations and vivid imagery to pull readers into the head of an isolated teenager.... Will leave readers touched and inspired.” (Publishers Weekly)

“An uncannily funny book even as it plumbs the darkness, Speak will hold readers from first word to last.” (The Horn Book, starred review)

Accolades for Speak:
New York Times Best Seller
Publishers Weekly Best Seller
Michael L. Printz Honor Book
National Book Award Finalist
Edgar Allan Poe Award Finalist
Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults
ALA Quick Pick
Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
Booklist Top Ten First Novel
BCCB Blue Ribbon Book
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

©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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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  • 4 Stars
    259
  • 3 Stars
    77
  • 2 Stars
    28
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    23

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

✫✫ 4 Stars ✫✫

This was my second time listening to this book but it was so long ago that I only remembered that it pulled me in and spit me out in one day. This time wasn't much different. I enjoyed the writing style and how most of the book takes place in Melinda's head. You knew from the beginning that she had issues but not what the issues were. Being in the mind of a troubled 9th grader is a tough pill to swallow but in the end she made me proud. This book touches on serious issues that teenagers deal with everyday including bullying, sexual assault and feeling completely alone so if you have triggers this might not be the book for you.

The narration was perfect in my opinion, very well cast.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Erin
  • Apollo, PA, USA
  • 01-29-10

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.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Speak was about a tramatized teen learning to talk

I loved it, simply loved it. The Narrator was very Descriprive and the Story was very Inspirational

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Charles
  • Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
  • 02-21-10

A Great Reading

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

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The voice could have more emotion.

This book has been and always will be one of my favorites but the narration could have had more emotion. This is not an easy story for people to tell so the voice should make it feel that way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • SurreyUnited Kingdom
  • 05-17-08

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 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DMS
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 09-26-10

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 5 people found this review helpful