by Hannah Harrington
published by Harlequin Teen
on August 28, 2012
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'm hit with a sudden wave of sadness. But it's a distant kind of sad -- like when you look at your Barbies and realize you don't want to play with them anymore, because you're growing up and you've moved on, and in your heart you know it's time to make room for other things."Speechless has been sitting on my bookshelf, collecting dust, for a few days over two years. I finally decided to pick it up, reading it in one sitting on the treadmill. (Well, I guess, make that one standing.) Harrington and her debut novel, Saving June, have been making the hype rounds for quite some time, and this one was supposed to deliver as well. Little did I know that was exactly what was going to happen.
I began Speechless on a bit of a rough note. Chelsea wasn't likable at all, and I spent about fifty pages wondering what was so great about this book. While closing the book, I found the answer: the magic of Speechless lies in the transformation Chelsea makes, from prissy popular-girl to someone who is more willing to sit back and listen. Sometimes you're too busy talking to listen, and that's exactly what Speechless succeeds at conveying. I started it on a sour note and ended on a much sweeter one.
Engrossing and never preachy, Speechless speaks. It is an exemplary contemporary YA novel, one I'm so glad I read.
"'Hate is . . . it's too easy,' he says. . . . 'Love. Love takes courage.'"