Friday, August 24, 2012

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Speechless by Hannah Harrington


Five/five stars

Speechless is Hannah Harrington’s second highly anticipated novel. I had such high expectations for this novel because of Saving June, Harrington’s first novel. Hannah Harrington writes a perfect novel about a girl struggling to deal with what she has done, friendship, bullying, learning to love yourself and others, secrets and lies, and sexuality. 

Chelsea Knot is known for her big mouth, so when she walks in on possibly the biggest secret of her life, she has to tell everyone within a five metre radius. Then, when things take a turn for the worst and Chelsea is sworn to secrecy, for the first time in her life she does the right thing. So how come people cannot see her silence for what it really is?

The cover is plain and simple, yet captivating. Many people say that the cover is everything. Like food presentation; you eat with your eyes. Not in this case. The cover is plain white with the title and author names. Yet somehow, it is capturing the attention of many people. It is mysterious and intriguing.

The novel starts with Chelsea admitting that she cannot keep a secret. From there onwards, the story grows. Within the first 50 pages, Chelsea lies to her parents, walks in on two boys messing around at a party, tells everyone at the party (which results in the hospitalisation of one of the boys), tells her parents and the police and loses all of her friends and popularity. Just like that.

Two days after the incident, Chelsea begins to get bullied at school. She is struggling to deal with what she has done and what people are doing to her, so she takes a voluntary vow of silence. She gets support and a whiteboard from one teacher and a detention from another.

Although Chelsea is not talking and is getting badly bullied, she has somehow made a group of friends. And before she knows it, Chelsea makes a friend from the loser group. Just because of telling the truth, revealing a secret, her trademark, she loses her popularity and ends up friends with a group of people she would never have taken a second look at two weeks ago.

Not only does this novel deal with bullying and friendship issues, it dealt with sexuality. By Chelsea telling everyone what she just saw in the guest room at the part, she caused a homosexual to be bashed. Hannah Harrington, among other things, wrote about equality. Most importantly, she wrote an underlying message about sexuality.

Of course, being a contemporary novel, there had to be a love interest. Unlike most contemporary novel, Speechless did not focus on just love. The romance was slow and didn’t consume the whole book.

Speechless had an interesting plot. From popularity to friendless, bullying, homosexuals, trusting yourself and finding love during a hard time. I really enjoyed not only reading about Chelsea’s story, but reading the deep underlying messages. They, too, were a large part of the story.

I thought Chelsea was going to be a self-absorbed, stuck-up popular girl with a big mouth, and she was, at first. But during the novel, Chelsea rediscovered herself. She was guilty and sorry. She was a different person. I liked Chelsea as a character. She was realistic and had many flaws, but that was okay.

Asha, Dex, Noah, Lou and Andy were good characters individually, but they were perfect collectively. They were understanding and fun.

The love interest, Sam was also a very well written character. He was different and kind. I liked the fact that Sam and Chelsea weren’t pining over each other like they couldn’t breathe without each other. It was a slow, but meaningful relationship.

I would recommend this to people between 14 and 20. This is a young adult novel, but I think that some adults, maybe parents would read this. It discusses bullying and all parents should know what to look for. There are some themes in the novel that some children would not understand. Fans of Hannah Harrington’s first novel Saving June, would also enjoy this book; Speechless was just as good as Saving June.

Overall, this was a very well written contemporary romance by Hannah Harrington. Speechless is a quick read, but very enjoyable. It had lots of underlying important messages that everybody should understand. I loved this book and would recommend it to all of my friends.


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