Monday, July 1, 2013

Book/Movie Review: Speak

{Book:} Speak
{Author:} Laurie Halse Anderson
{Copyright:} October 1999
{Pages:} 198
{Description:} I wasted the last weeks of August watching bad cartoons. I didn't go to the mall, the lake, or the pool, or answer the phone. I have entered high school with the wrong hair, the wrong clothes, the wrong attitude. And I don't have anyone to sit with.
                  I am Outcast.
                 The kids behind me laugh so loud I know they're laughing about me. I can't help myself. I turn around. It's Rachel, surrounded by a bunch of kids wearing clothes that most definitely did not come from the EastSide Mall. Rachel Bruin, my ex-best friend. She stares at something above my left ear. Words climb up my throat. This was the girl who suffered through Brownies with me, who taught me how to swim, who understood about my parents, who didn't make fun of my bedroom. If there is anyone in the entire galaxy I am dying to tell what really happened, it's Rachel. My throat burns.
                Her eyes meet mine for a second. "I hate you," she mouths silently.

{Movie:} Speak
{Director:} Jessica Sharzer
{Release Date:} January 20, 2004
{Cast Includes:} Kristen Stewart, Steven Zhan, Michael Angarano, Eric Lively, Elizabeth Perkins

{Alesha's Thoughts:}

I absolutely adore this book. Thought it’s centered around a very touchy yet all-to-real for some topic, it grabs the readers attention, holds it and takes them on an unforgettable journey.

The book is written from the main character, Melinda’s point of view. You literally read the book as though you are Melinda and this horrific event has been laid upon you. In the beginning she doesn’t come out and say what happens but she lets the audience know that something horrible happened to her and it has ruined her for her freshman year of high school.

The book is broken up into four parts and each part is broken up into subparts. She walks you through her day to day activities, going to school, going to Heather’s, cleaning the yard, Art class, etc.

One of the main ideas of the book is the Art project she is assigned at the beginning of the year. She draws a subject out of a broken globe and discovers herself spending the rest of the year trying to perfect her masterpiece of a Tree.
The Tree, in my opinion, is the biggest symbol of this book. Trees represent life and growth and maturation, all of which Melinda experiences as the pages turn. She finds herself in a shadowed corner, almost-mute with no one to trust or talk to about what really happened. 

As the year progresses, she slowly discovers who she really is and ultimately comes to the conclusion that the horrible thing that happened to her at that party last summer will no longer define her.
She finds her voice.

I love this book because, as mentioned before, it is about an all-to-real subject; rape. Melinda is raped by a senior boy, Andy Evans, at a party. She ends up calling the cops but never reveals to anyone, cops included, why she did so. No one finds out until the end of the book when Andy corners her in the supply closet and Nicole finds her with the lacrosse team.

I love that this book gives a voice to not only rape victims, but victims in general. It gives a sense of power and overcoming to those who have suffered something horrible and feel there is no way to get around it.

Much like the group “To Write Love On Her Arms”, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson assures people everywhere that it is entirely possible to overcome anything, to grow from it like a tree and to start again.

I’ve also watched the movie and am pleased at how it transcribed on film. It is one of Kristen Stewart’s earlier movies, when she was new to the scene, and I loved her as Melinda. Though while reading I pictured someone a little different than Kristen as Melinda, casting Steven Zahn as Mr. Freeman was genius. He is exactly the kind of person I pictured playing him!

Alesha's Rating:
10 out of 10 for both the book and the movie

Want to buy this? Click here!
Book: Amazon
          Barnes and Noble
Movie: Amazon
           Barnes and Noble

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