|Nomadic SA Chick||
Page Count: 198
Fiction Genre: YA, Realistic, Contemporary
Dates Read: December 1-4, 2015
Reading Challenge: Mega Challenge
Topic: Set in a school
Good Reads 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. In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.
This book completely blew me away. I remember seeing this book in high school, and just walking past it, not giving it a second thought or even checking out what it was about.. I wish hadn't done that. I wish I would have looked again; picked it up; read it. This book is very powerful. This book packs a punch. This books provides healing. While this book cannot speak to every survivor's story, it hits on a lot of the emotions we survivors feel. The anxiety we experience; the way little things can trigger memories; and the unexpected places we find safety and solitude. No, this book isn't reflective of every survivor, but it is reflective of how difficult it can be as a survivor, especially when you don't speak about your incident.
Anderson uses a great talent to paint Melinda's story and her life. On the surface she seems like an average teen who doesn't fit in, but you start to realize there is something more to her story. Her imagery is vivid and gripping. Anderson pulls you into Melinda's world, and you feel like you are living Melinda's experiences. It's terrifying at times. You will ugly cry with her ... Okay, I ugly cried with her.
I recommend this book with caution. I know we see "trigger warnings" all over the place these days, but this is one of those books that could easily trigger something for someone. That is why I cautiously recommend this book. This book could be difficult for people who are sensitive to sexual violence.
Ratings (based on a 10 point scale)
Quality of Writing - 9
Pace - 8
Plot Development - 8
Characters - 9
Enjoyability - 8
Insightfulness - 9
Ease of Reading - 8
Photos/Illustrations - N/A
Overall Rating - 5 out of 5 stars