The book raises a complex problem, and therefore total concentration is needed to express its main idea. The topic of this book touches on a complicated and ubiquitous topic – the problem of drowning out one’s trauma. The book demonstrates what hurt many young people even now – adults’ detachment and unwillingness to understand, quick conclusions of peers, unsuccessful attempts to understand themselves.
The introduction, written by Lori Halse Anderson, talks about Melinda Sordino, a high school student traumatized after being raped at a party. Still, she prefers not to talk to anyone about the violence that happened to her. Melinda rebels in silence; the girl survived the horror, but a knee strike was enough in that situation.
Psychological trauma makes the main character withdrawn, and she does not find support and understanding among friends and parents. It is hard to read about how her mother distanced herself from her problems, considering the prolonged silence of teenage rebellion and stubbornness (Laurie, 2019). In contrast, Melinda silently tried to shout to others, ask for help, receiving ridicule and reproaches instead.
Melinda found herself in a situation where she was blamed for what happened to her, and her only way out was to grow armor and stop paying attention to the outside world. However, when her ex-girlfriend gets into a similarly dangerous situation, Melinda tries to save her because no one should become a victim (Laurie, 2019). She finds the strength to start talking and makes everyone listen to her.
No matter how painful they may sound, the described events are happening now and will happen in the future. It cannot be said that this book reveals all the plot points (the author herself admits that there may still be a sequel), but it raises a critical topic of sexual violence. Throughout the book, Melinda is confronted with the physical, psychological, and behavioral consequences of an act of violence.
Laurie, H. A. (2019). Speak. Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR).