Friday, 1 March 2013

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

by Hannah Harrington

Summary: 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.
I think this book has earned Hannah Harrington a spot on my instant read list. I liked her first book, Saving June, but I loved this one. 

The book had a similar kind of feel to it as Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers and I loved that - there aren't many authors who can write those sorts of stories and have me enjoy them, but Hannah pulled it off.

I have a lot of respect for authors who can write characters that are really unlikeable but then make me care about them somewhere along the line. In this book, she did that with Chelsea. I really did not like Chelsea in the beginning - she was shallow and annoying and kind of a pushover, and she cared way too much about popularity, and seemed blind to the fact that her best friend was awful.

But then, things happened and she does things that change her and change the way I thought of her and in the end, I actually liked her. She made some big mistakes and did some awful things, but she learned from them and grew as a character in a way that didn't seem forced (sometimes those, "I've seen the error of my ways, I'm a good person now!" storylines seem fake and don't happen naturally, but that wasn't the case with this one and in the end it felt like Chelsea was the person she really always was and always was supposed to be and the changes in her life just allowed that to shine through).

I adored the side characters. Sam, Asha, Andy, Dex, Lou, and the art teacher whose name I've forgotten because I suck at remembering last names, they were my favourite part of the story and what really made the book for me. They were lovely. 

And, I really liked that the book showed that just because you're not the one saying something bad doesn't mean you're innocent. Standing by as bad things happen--saying nothing, doing nothing--when you can do something about it makes you guilty too. I don't know if that was the intended message of the book or not, but that's what I got from it (although I already knew that) and I liked that it was the main character taking a vow of silence that really showed that - not saying anything at all for a while taught her the value of speaking up for what's right.

There were some things in the book that made me angry (due to what was written, not that there was anything wrong with how it was written) - like characters seeming to get away with bullying--and at one point, a racist comment--but at the same time, I know it was realistic. In a perfect world, bullying wouldn't happen but we don't live in a perfect world, not even close, because often bullies get away with the things they do. So, while it was frustrating to read about some of the things, I get that it was realistic - the story would've felt less genuine if all of the bullies in the stories got what they deserved in the end.

I can't really think of anything else to say. I'd rate it 4 stars out of 5, and if you're a fan of Courtney Summers then I think you might really like this one too - even if you're not, I still recommend checking it out.


1 comment:

  1. I also liked Saving June but loved Speechless-Harrington is definitely a contemporary author to keep an eye on!



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