Friday, February 15, 2013

Speaking is overrated

SpeechlessReview: Speechless by Hannah Harrington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chelsea can't stop her mouth from revealing everything she is told. She is the queen of gossip in her school. She also belongs to the 'in' circle. Her best friend, Kristen is the most popular girl. Her clique are the members of the basketball team, and her interests are fashion blogs and shopping. Yes, the perfect portrayal of a stereotypical high school... However, things are getting out of control at Kristen's party on New Year's eve, and Chelsea's big mouth opens a can of worms, inadvertently fueling a horrible attack of a fellow student, almost getting him killed. Her life becomes a social nightmare, making her adopt a voluntary vote of silence. This will lead to an alternate perspective on school life for Chelsea.

I welcome with open arms this story to the YA genre. Its setting, events and characters are obviously amongst the teenage, but touches many sensitive themes that everyone encounters: the power of hurtful words, gossips, homophobia, acceptance, bullying, love, family, forgiveness, friendship, etc. I really liked this book. Is way more straightforward and less woozy than Harrington's Saving June, but its thematic, equally complex. Specially the bullying & homophobia.

My only critique, is that even though its meant to be Chelsea's journey, I was expecting more of her teachers, parents and school counselors. I was specially annoyed by the lack of response, or acknowledgment of the school towards her bullying. [ Specifically, her drunk picture that is posted everywhere and the constant words written on her locker.  (hide spoiler)]

This book is meant to be a path for self-discovery and a reflection about choices. Important ones (when to speak and what to say) and not so important, but every bit relevant (what is your favourite colour?).

Speechless leaves you wiser, with a craving for tuna melts and knitting.

This book was kindly provided to me by the publisher Harlequin, through NetGalley. Thank you for allowing me this read.

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