Laurie Halse Anderson
Source: Borders sale :(
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
I didn't think I'd read this book before, but knowing it was a classic for teens I thought I would read it. I didn't think I'd read it before, but by the end I remembered. I've definitely read this book before, I just can't remember when. I remember liking it then (whenever that was) and I loved it again this time.
Anyone who has even remotely battled depression as a teenager can identify with Melinda right away. What we don't know right away was that her depression stems from the fact that she was raped. It happens right before her first year of high school and because she called the cops at the party where she was hurt, the rest of the school casts her as an outcast. Melinda has no friends, no chance, terrible grades, and bickering parents. The novel follows her through the four marking periods of the year.
Melinda was hurt and very depressed, but at the same time I found her to be a strong character. She knew herself even though she didn't think she did. If she were real, I would tell her to continue on with her art because it gave her so much strength and something to live for. I would love to see a followup novel someday about how Melinda is doing as an adult.
Like I said, it's a classic and I give it five stars, so check it out. On a related note, Speak is one of those books that annoying people like to "ban." Since I am participating in the Banned Books Week Hop this September (hosted by I Read Banned Books and I am a Reader, Not a Writer), I will be giving a copy of the Platinum Edition of Speak away, which includes a blurb by the author about censorship, to one lucky blog follower. Stay tuned!