Thursday, September 30, 2010

Review. Loudly. SPEAK!


By Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher:  Puffin
Read E-Book on the Nook
Book Art:  Is Amazing, a most proper cover that contains the major elements!  Props for the cover artist!!!
Genre:  Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Sexual Violence 

Reason Why the Mad Scientist picked up this book:  

Mainly it is due to the fact that a man by the name of Wesley Scroggins said I should not read it.  At that moment I knew I had to find out why.  I am so happy to find out that he is a pompous nub who should of read the book before he placed quotes way out of context.

First Line: It is my first morning of high school.

Concoction of a Review:

The voice of the story, is the main character.  Melinda enter the book going into high school as a 9th grader. She has no friends because she called the cops, who break up a huge party.  She has mash potatoes thrown at her, and she is wearing a skirt she hates, and her family is dysfunctional.   HS is supposed to be full of memories, however, this does not seem to be the case.  She draws into herself, retreating from family, school, and people trying to be friends.  She tries to forget.

She stops talking, mostly.  Melinda also has scabs on her lips and she no longer fits her clothes.  What happened to her?  Anderson does not come out right away in the book and say but she does leave hints throughout the book.  Normally, when you think of such as rape, it becomes a taboo area.  Something that is not discussed often but I just love how Anderson has Melinda struggle through the book. 

The writing on a subject such as rape is hard to touch because of society expectations.  My favorite parts of the book were when we got to watch her grow and develop her tree art projects.  I just wanted her to spill everything into one of her trees.  Melinda had to be filled with hate, fear, and hurt.  Although, I really did love the turkey carcass art.  It was so gloomy and weird but the wonderfully odd part is when others also expressed how they liked it.  

Then there was the bathroom wall.  Wow, I want to say this was the turning point for me but I can just feel that it was for Melinda too.  She wrote on the bathroom wall about her attacker.  Not only was it courageous of her to finally speak up in at least this way but it was courageous of the other girls who replied back adding their thoughts.  Melinda was not the only one who was living with this secret!  A bathroom wall, a marker, a rape, the final minutes to complete her art project.  It all leads to Melinda Speaking Up!  Superb ending!  

What a profound book.  It was a beautiful read!

"I think it's some kind of psychiatric disorder when you have more than one personality in your head.  If I kick both of them out of my head who would be left?"
"I need a new friend.  I need a friend period.  Not a true friend nothing close,or share clothes or sleep over giggle giggle yak yak.  Just a pseudo-friend." 

5 Blasts

A properly profound book that the
Mad Scientist Recommends!

A Letter:

My Dear Mr Scroggins,

You wrote a nasty article about a few books.  I jumped up and said to self, "This Scientist does not like a fascist guy to be broaching on my rights.  Self, let us see what all this hub bub is about.  While we are out shopping for a silver tipped parasol and new beakers we shall run to the bookstore!"

Mr Scroggins, you made a particular claim that had me shifting around in my knickers and squirming with unsettling feelings.  You said in your article that you thought Speak as required reading material was softly pornographic for the kids in the district who would be reading it.  Let me ask you a question?  When was the last time you talked to your shrink?  What kind of man of intellectual status consider rape to be soft porn?  As I ponder on this, you may understand why there is a huge outcry over your article.
  1. You think rape is pornographic
  2. You think it is OK to take away another's right
My Dear Mr Scroggins, however, ashamed I am for you I am please to say that without your article this brain would of been short one beautiful story about a girl working through such a taboo issue, like sexual violence.  Without your article, I would have no one to thank for my minding grabbing a hold of a book with a voice.

Now, Mr Scroggins I do believe it is time for you to dig a hole... what you do with it will be for you to know.

Adoring my malicious ways, 


  1. I seriously dig your blog! *opens up silver tipped parasol* I'm so glad you found Black Disaster Fairy and myself. We have a love of all things parasol and we are always looking for others! We even dedicated an entire post to Lord Conall Maccon; here is the link if you'd like to see what we think of him.

    You can join me and BDF for some tea as well. *waves fingers*

    In the Closet With a Bibliophile
    Wicked. Sexy. Books.

  2. I love how everyone has really joined together and stood up for this book!

    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  3. I think I've seen and heard of more people reading this book since it was banned than before the Scroggins fiasco. Really nice review!

  4. WOW! Perhaps we should get some book bloggers to sign that letter and mail it to him.

    Outcry heard, typed, & Mailed.

    I have to say that I do love your mad ways!

    Black Disaster Fairy

  5. Welcome to the book blogging world! I think it's so great that your first review was Speak in light of the recent controversy. Way to get the word out! On a side note - I totally love your blog design!

    I'm stopping by on the Hop! I look forward to watching your site grow!

    The Bookish Type

  6. This one is definitely on my wishlist. Thanks for sharing a fab review.

  7. Great review! I forgot about the bathroom scene. You're right - definitely when she speaks up.
    Mr. Scroggins did us a favor by putting Speak in the spotlight.

  8. Fantastic review! I'm reading this one now, basically for the same reason you did! :P I love the letter you wrote to Mr. Scroggins. I honestly would have missed out on reading some fantastic books had he not tried to ban them. :P


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