Author: Hannah Harrington Publisher: Kennsington / Mira INK Published: August 28th 2012 (AU) / September 7th 2012 (UK) Pages: Unknown Format: Ebook Source: Netgalley.com Add It:Goodreads, Amazon, TBD
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’s has taken a vow of silence–to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting everyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets if hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse. But there’s strength in silence, and in 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.
The Rumours Spread There are some reviews where I sit with my fingers poised over the keyboard while my mind tries to think of the best way to articulate the thoughts and emotions that are swirling around in my head. Sometimes the words come easily and sometimes they take forever to form. In some reviews, however, I struggle so much with knowing what to write not because I don’t know how I feel about a book, but because I feel so strongly about a book that I don’t want to ruin it’s perfect words with some scrubby ones. Speechless is a book that I know I am going to struggle to fully define well but the first thing I know without absolute certainty is that this book rendered me speechless.
The Action is Taken Knowing where to begin with this review has been incredibly difficult; knowing how to describe this book has been even harder. The reason for this is that I was completely moved by this story. I could relate to it so much, and it simply is written so well, with such powerful marvellous words. The plot was easy to follow and although it did follow a general pattern of other books like it (I kept being reminded of Welcome Caller, This is Chloe-a book about speaking out in a different way), it still managed to keep it original and entertaining. Really, looking past the plot, it was the messages that this book carries with it that truly made it such a great read for me. Dealing with issues of bullying, friendships, morality, and learning to be who you are, not who you want to be, this book is simply inspirational.
Consequences Appear What really brings this story alive are the characters. Just like in Saving June, the characters are strong, three-dimensional, and simply come bursting to the brim with depth. At first I really didn’t like Chelsea. In fact, I really, really, didn’t like her at the beginning and I had to grit my teeth as I read her words but then the story continued going and I very quickly found myself not just falling in love with her character but truly understanding her character. Chelsea goes through a very coming-of-age story and you can just see how her own actions are weighing her down. I loved her journey, it was inspiring. She was so lost after everything collapsed under her but instead of just rolling over, she picked herself up and did everything she could to make everything better. A brilliant, strong character who simply wasn’t aware of just how strong she was.
While I really should mention Sam next, I can’t ignore the fact that Asha is my second favourite character. She’s so lovely and friendly and just sees the good in everyone and all throughout the film I just wanted to pick her up and give her the biggest hug. I think the journey she travelled in this book is small in comparison to Chelsea but is still so great and amazing and I was so happy for her. I truly loved her and could actually see one of my friends in her and it made me want to tell that friend to never change. Moving onto Sam, I have to admit that I really, really, really liked this guy. He was sensitive and caring, yet he was protective and cautious all at the same time. He knows he doesn’t have all the answers, that things aren’t black and white but he’s willing to work on things. He’s admiring and brilliant and someone that I just loved reading about.
Scores are Settled The ending of this novel was perfect. It was a brilliant balance of things being calm while there’s still things that could go rocky and unsure. It gives the reader a sense of hope, but also a sense of reality. Things in life are never clear cut. Things don’t just end happily and this book makes sure to know that while the future is unknown, at least, for now, things are as they should be. I loved the ending as much as I loved the rest of the book, it simply manages to tie everything together. They’re moving forward, working out the problems in the school, in their lives but they’re doing it together and praying for a better future than the past gave them. It is a brilliant message and one that really struck home for me.
Normality Resumes All in all, this book is simply magnificent. It was read by me in a day – which never happens – as I was truly compelled to keep turning the page and refusing to do much of anything else. It has some deep, meaningful messages hidden within the pages and is a perfect vision of friendship and growing-up. It’s not easy, it is something we have to work at, but when we get it right, it’s the best feeling in the world. This book shows how we shouldn’t judge people on first sight, we don’t know what they’re like or what they’re dealing with and that sometimes even the meanest people in the world are actually soft and gooey in the centre. A brilliant, emotional, moving read that I would recommend to people in a heartbeat.