Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Review That Speaks Loudl


By: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher:  Puffin
Pages:  198 Paperback
Rating: 5
Book Cover Rating:  5 (It truly fits the story.)
Read:  September 26, 2010
Genre:  Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Sexual Violence 

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

Recommended by:   Wesley SCROGGINS

This book was recently attacked by Wesley Scroggins in an article.  The book blogging world is all up in arms over this article, creating a Speak Loudly Movement.  You should join in this outcry if you feel that your rights are being broached on by our dear friend Mr. Scroggins.

There is a particular part of his claim that had my eyebrows peak and my brain try to wrap around his intriguing statement, "required to read and view material that should be classified as soft pornography."  Soft porn?  This guy is considering rape to be soft porn?  WOW!  Let's get this out in the open right away, I am a twisted person who came over from the dark side, who reads books that contain sexual violence.  However, I would never ever consider rape to be porn.  That is even way to creepy for me... & that is saying allot.

Now on to the good stuff ~~ Warning, it is hard to not write this review without spoilers.  If you do not want spoilers please stop reading.  I do not want you to stop talking to me.~~

Melinda is our main character/narrator, her voice.  She dose not get much description but for me it was great. (For this book it works, many can relate and put herself in her shoes.)  We enter the book going into high school as a 9th grader.  High school can be the time for great memories but so far for our Melinda it is the time where no one talks to you and people throw mash potatoes at you.  I could not possible dare to begin how that would feel.  Just completely humiliating, too cruel.

Soon we find out that everyone scorns here because during the summer she calls the cops at a huge party were a few people get tossed in the slammer because of it.  Naturally now she has the bullseye of hate on her, even her friends classmates do not even speak to her.  If only they knew the reason why?  Speak Melinda.  She draws into herself, retreating from family, school, and people trying to be friends.  I must admit that I loved her closet, to have your own place to go and hide.

Anderson does not say out right what happened.  This taboo subject normally has people walking around what happened.  She did a good job with this while leaving clues.  Biology class is the biggest one that should ring bells.  I just love her wording here.

"Our frog lies on her back. Waiting for a prince to come and princessify her with a smooch? I stand over her with my knife. Ms. Keen's voice fades to a mosquito whine. My throat closes off. It's hard to breathe. I put out my hand to steady myself against the table. David pins her froggy hands to the dissection tray. He spreads her froggy legs and pins her froggy feet. I have to slice open her belly. She doesn't say a word. She is already dead. A scream starts in my gut - I can feel the cut, smell the dirt, leaves in my hair."

This book hit me, it is profound writing on a subject hard to touch because of society expectations.  I loved struggling with Melinda.  Watching her work on her tree subject for art, yelling at her to pour out her hate, fear, and hurt into the tree (of course only in my head).  Then there was this spark, she wrote on the bathroom wall.  Courageous of her.  What she wrote, not that she did.  That spark shot off as soon as there was a reply.  I almost cried when I read that.  Powerful statement, all on a smelly bathroom wall.

The ending closed so well.   Unbelievable.

5 - Loving Hugs.  

Thanks Scroggins for recommending such a unique book with a voice.  It will be re-read more then once.  Now I recommend it to everyone. 

A few Quotes:

"Next thing you know, she'll be drinking black coffee and reading books without pictures."

"My journal entry of the day: Exchange students are ruining our country."

"My goal is to go home and take a nap."


Allison said...

I loved this book- great review!

Lu said...

Great review!

Black Disaster Fairy said...

Thanks. I guess I was having a few editing issues. But now the post is looking good.

Black Disaster Fairy :)

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