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Review: Speechless

September 19, 2012

Title: Speechless
Author: Hannah Harrington
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Format: ePub from NetGalley

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there’s strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she’s done. If only she can forgive herself.—from Goodreads

Alright guys.

Remember how much I loved Saving June last year?

It was a lot.

A LOT.

So, when I heard about Miss Hannah Harrington’s newest book, I was immediately psyched, but also a little wary. I was concerned that because I loved Saving June SO MUCH, I would have expectations that were far too high for Speechless and would only be disappointed with it.

That was not the case.

Speechless, centers on Chelsea, a gossipy sophomore girl who lets the wrong piece of information slip and then takes a vow of silence as a sort of penance/self-punishment. In many ways, I loved that Chelsea took this kind of stance. When you realize there’s a bad habit you need to break, the best thing to so to better yourself is to stop doing that thing, right? But in this specific situation, the bad habit—talking—is kind of essential when trying to communicate with, you know, your parents and authority figures and bitch-asses.

So, in a way the vow of silence seemed selfish and, at times,cowardly. Often, it works to Chelsea’s disadvantage because she’s stuck being the brunt of bullying or is unable to stand up for herself to others. But in the end, Chelsea learns when it’s most important to use your voice, and when it’s smarter to keep your mouth shut.

But there are some really fun features about this book too—one of which is an art project dedicated to the work of Charles Schultz, which made my Peanuts loving heart so very very happy. (I swear to you, my mom’s ringtone is “Linus and Lucy.” My love for the Peanuts is a little absurd.) And Chelsea meets some really great people along to way—diner owners Dex and Lou (who could be the grown-up versions of a couple characters out of The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Asha, the most self-aware and happy outcast imaginable, and Sam.

Oh Sam.

Sam skateboards and works in the diner and argues with NPR and is generally fantastic. He TOTALLY sounds like a guy I would have fallen for in high school. Or, you know, now. He doesn’t necessarily have his life figured out, but he’s wise enough to be able to forgive, to know the difference between curiosity and nosiness, and when to use his voice to stand up for others. So, a fantastic person.

Overall, this book is about finding happiness and a new identity in the midst of feeling as if you’ve lost everything in life. Although that seems a bit dramatic, losing friends and realizing most people think negatively of you is a big deal, especially for a high school sophomore. But, because Chelsea is a sophomore, the realization of who she truly is and wants to be gives her time to still really enjoy high school and become comfortable with who she is before going to college, where she’d probably just go through another identity crisis of some sort anyway.

In the end, this book has a lot to say about the reasons why a notorious gossip girl chooses to take a vow of silence. So if you’re looking for a fun read with heart and a reminder that words should be carefully weighed, then Speechless is exactly the right book for you.
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2 Comments leave one →
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