Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson – A Review

The Book

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Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, with art by Emily Carroll
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux
Released February 6, 2018
Goodreads
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr
Artist Links: Website | Twitter |

Synopsis

This book is the graphic novel adaptation of the novel, Speak. It’s about a teenage girl named Melinda, who has just entered her freshman year of high school at Merriweather High.

Over summer break, she attended a party with a friend, and she was raped by an older student.

She doesn’t tell anyone about what really happened that night, and this story is about her internal struggle and about the bullying and ostracization she faces at the hands of the other students.

Review

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This book was difficult to read, but it tackles an extremely important topic, and feels especially important right now, during the #metoo era.

So many victims of sexual assault stay silent about what happened. In my own life, I’ve had many friends who experienced some form of sexual assault, and many of them did not contact the police or speak up about what happened. There are many reasons for this, from being afraid that the police aren’t going to take women seriously or will blame them for anything from wearing a dress to being out at night. This book encourages people to speak up because rapists don’t deserve to get away with their crimes.

The art by Emily Carroll is incredible and perfect for the story. It’s done in black, white, and gray, but is far from simple. It reflects the tone of the story well, and of the darkness and depression that Melinda is experiencing.

Verdict

5 out of 5 stars. It’s heartbreaking, but it’s a story that everyone should read.

Resources

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, there are a ton of great organizations that can help.

RAINN – the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline

Planned Parenthood

Rape Crisis Center

 

 

Author: Penny Wright

Absolutely bookish.

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