Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1999. Print.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is about the protagonist Melinda Sordino and her journey through her freshmen year of high school. She started school with no friends but in the end she had more than she thought she would. In school she struggles with paying attention and getting good grade and her home wasn’t much better. She had a mother that was always working and a father that really didn’t care. In the end art helped Melinda through the school year giving her something to lean back on.
There are many major conflicts in this book that can be seen directly from the start. Melinda was an outcast with no friends. (4) Her “Best friend” was rude to her and didn’t talk to her. (5) Not having any friends was hard and she needed one. Then she met the new girl Heather and they become friends. Everything was fine for a while, but she knows that everything that is bottled up will come out. A huge conflict in this story was at a party that happened at the end of the previous school year. Invited by her friend Rachel they went and drank. Then after she met a boy, Andy Evans, she was raped by him. (135) After this happened she called the cops and the party was destroyed.(136) Every time she sees Andy she is afraid of him that he will hurt her again. Andy finally finds the secret closet Melinda has and Attacks her and tells her to stop spreading lies about him. (194) she is saved by the lacrosse team in the end. These conflicts make the book come alive.
Laurie Anderson does a great job of characterizing Melinda. She is shown as a girl who is quiet and more keeps to herself. She is afraid mostly of getting hurt. She needed friends that would help her through anything. She is an artistic person who finds art as a way to speak her mind but always struggles because she is afraid of letting her emotions go. “I don’t know how what I am supposed to feel.” (122) she finds...