Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Melinda Sordino was raped by Andy Evans at a party during summer in August. She called the police but she was too shocked and scared from the event that she couldn’t say anything to the woman on the phone. Someone from the party found out she called the police and told everyone. The police came and arrested some of the students, but by that time Melinda has already left and gone home.

Ever since then none of Melinda’s friends have talked to her. They ignore her and blame her for ruining the party, never knowing what truly happened that night. Melinda tries to talk to her ex- friends but they either just walk away from her when she comes to them or they just ignore her. A transfer student from Ohio, named Heather, befriends her and hangs out with her. As the year goes on she breaks off their friendship just because she wants to be with the popular crowd and being with Melinda hinders her from living that dream.

As her ninth grade passes on Melinda starts receiving bad grades on every class except for Art. One day she finds an unused janitor’s closet, and she makes the room a ‘safe place’ she can go to for comfort. In Art class Melinda expresses her feelings into the trees she makes. They are usually gloomy and dark looking, and Mr. Freeman comments on one of her sculptures about it showing “pain.” Rachel, Melinda’s ex- best friend, starts dating Andy ‘Beast’ Evans but when Melinda tells her about him raping her, she accuses her of being jealous. Despite what Rachel says she dumps Andy during prom and accuses him of having raped Melinda in front of the other students.

During the end of the year, Melinda cleans up the janitor’s closet and packs up everything that belongs to her. When she tries to leave though, Andy shoves her back in, angry at her for being the cause of his break-up. He tries to rape her again but this time she says, “No,” and shoves him away. She digs a piece of a mirror, which she broke while he was distracted, against his neck until it...
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