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.
My thoughts on the book:
Speechless is a bildungsroman (coming of age story) in the truest sense of the word. Chelsea literally grows before the reader's eyes. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her transform from a bratty mean girl into an actual human being. While she was annoying at times, she was real. Every character in the story was realistic, unique, and flawed. There isn't a ton of action in this story, but I still couldn't stop turning the pages. I had to know what happened to Chelsea. This is one book that you don't want to miss.
Chelsea is the narrator of the book, and while she's difficult to trust in some ways, I knew she was telling the truth right off the bat. She isn't shy about disclosing mistakes she made or that others made. I really didn't like her for the first half of the book, but once she started maturing, she really grew on me. My dislike for her during the first half of the book is what made me rate this novel a B instead of an A. I didn't enjoy the first half because I wanted to smack Chelsea, but I still had to see what ended up happening to her. I wanted to know if she'd turn into an actual human or stay a brat forever. Also, I am completely in love with Sam, and Asha is a fun character, too. Everyone at the diner is terrific. I enjoyed getting to know all of these unique characters. Harrington did a terrific job of creating realistic, flawed characters.
The plot is pretty heavy handed with some social issues, and I have to admit that I'm glad Harrington chose to address these problems. Harrington illustrates what happens when hate and bigotry run amok. Hate crimes are never okay, and she makes that point very clear. She also addresses bullying and the problem of athletics in schools. Overall, this is a pretty deep book, and it really makes you think. I'm so glad that dialogues have opened about these issues now and that people are talking about them. That's the only way to change things.
The plot is pretty steady, and the pacing is excellent. There is no "big reveal" or "action scene" because there is no mystery, and this book isn't an action-filled story. However, there does come a time when Chelsea is forced to face her demons, and that's a very intense point in the novel. Even though there is no action, this book was still an emotional read for me, and I wasn't bored for a second. I literally couldn't put this book down. Be prepared to lose some sleep with this one.
Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone. It opens up a dialogue about things that need to be discussed, and it shows that sometimes a person has to do what's right, even if it means losing everything they thought they loved. This is a wonderful coming of age story, and it cannot be missed.
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