This was one of those books that going into the project I knew I had heard of and knew the story but couldnt remember whether this was from hearing from friends or seeing the movie. I guess in some ways it felt very anticlimactic because I knew the climax storyline (its on the description of the book, so everyone knows its) and so it wasn't a surprising read. That being said, doesnt mean the book wasnt good.
Speak follows the story of Melinda, a high school freshman who has a secret inside that is eating her alive. She was raped at the end of school party in 8th grade, she was 13 and drunk and called the cops after it happened, too traumatized to say anything they came and broke up the party. No one knows that Mel was raped and therefore she gets the reputation of being the class loser, who called the cops and busted every at the end of year party.
The following year in school she has no friends and since that night continually says less and less until she isn't speaking at all. Through the guidance of her teachers, parents, and hesitant friends Melinda eventually finds the courage to move past this rough time in her life and speak out against what happened.
I think that this story doesnt resonate as deeply within me as it does with other people because I have been extremely lucky throughout life and was never pressured by boys to do things I didnt want to do. Hell, I didnt even kiss a boy until I was 16 years old. I was sheltered and respected and for those reasons while this book made me extremely sad for Melinda, it didnt make me realize anything about my own life. (which are generally my favorite sorts of books)
I have heard stories from friends and acquaintances who were really changed by this book, that they had been sexually abused or traumatized in a way and this made them tell someone or move past it. I think for that reason this book can't be rated in numbers or stars, because for some people it was everything.
Side note: I couldnt read the book without picturing Kristen Stewart (who plays Melinda in the movie) and I kept thinking to myself how perfectly she worked as that character, another movie before book adaptation that I wasnt upset reading. Hooray for that!