Reading Level:: Young Adult
Publisher: April 20th 2006 by Puffin (first published 1999)
"I wonder how long it would take for anyone to notice if I just stopped talking."
Melinda never said a word about what happened that night at the party. She never said anything when she was accused of calling the cops, getting a lot of people in major trouble. She never spoke up against her classmates when they pushed and bullied and belittled her for it. She never told her bestfriend Rachel why she called them or how it feels to have your bestfriend say she hates you. She never said anything to her teachers who scolded her for going from a good student to a failure. She never told her parents who just can't understand what their child has become.
She never said anything, to anyone, at all.
Sometimes what you have to say is so horrible, it's unspeakable.
"I have no friends. I have nothing. I say nothing. I am nothing."
This book is the very reason I am so enamoured of the YA genre. Books like this, and Thirteen Reasons Why and I'm sure countless others I've yet to encounter are on a playing field all their own. They are written not only so that everyone can understand, but in a voice that reflects the conflict of emotions that happens in the heart of every teenager. "Like OMG, SHUT UP" that's the surface and the majority of YA books and those happy go lucky books, while entertaining really don't give you any insight into humanity, which more than anything right now our impressionable youth needs. Books like this that deal with actions and consequences and force you to think on it's terms teach you so much more than you could ever imagine you'd learn from a young adult book.
EVERYONE should read this book. I'm glad it's required reading material for some programs. It should be required reading material for life.
The usual words that spring to mind to describe this book are "haunting", "beautiful", "dark" but those are so generic. The language of this book doesn't paint pretty pictures, it paints black holes. The story doesn't haunt you, it stays with you, right there, always, not like a ghost- like a heavy rock you can't move, and you'll stumble on it again and again. I can tell you this if you read it- you will never forget it, even if you want to.
The edition I have is the Platinum Edition, excellently packaged (covers/jackets as bookmarks=bonus) and includes a discussion with the author, Laurie Halse Anderson.