Author: Hannah Harrington
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: Paperback; 288
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Adult Language, Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Fans of Contemporary books that deal with tough issues, and do it beautifully.
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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.
To be honest, the very first thing I noticed about Speechless was the gorgeous cover. I realize you might find that a little odd. There are no faces, no swirls, no fancy typeface to draw in the reader. However it is exactly the lack of all those accoutrements that caught my eye. Simplistic. Beautiful. A blank slate. Then, the synopsis. Thank you whoever wrote this! Thank you so very much for not giving away the entire plot in a few paragraphs. I promise you, vague or not, this synopsis is perfection. Speechless holds much more than you are expecting.
Chelsea Knot is definitely not a perfect person. What she is, is realistic. A girl who is flawed, selfish, and raw. Harrington starts out the book by showing us a Chelsea that is pretty easy to dislike. One who spreads rumors, and hurts people. However as she learns the error of her ways, she grows by leaps and bounds. The Chelsea at the end of Speechless is an entirely different person, and just being there for her journey will make you fall in love. In fact, the entire cast of characters that support Chelsea in her time of need are easy to love. I could go on and on about Asha, Sam, Dex and Lou, but I won't. I'll let you meet them for yourself.
What I loved most about this book is that Chelsea's story is full of hope. It is full of growth, and understanding. Speechless touches on tough topics, and it does it well. Instead of relying on angst to draw the reader in, we get to dive deep in Chelsea's head and learn right along with her. There is a message here, that bridges that gap between all ages that might pick up this book. I think Harrington says it best with: "Hate is... it's too easy," he says. "Love. Love takes courage."
Despite it taking some time for me to feel the writing style of the book, I soon became immersed. In fact, a sigh escaped my lips when I reached the last page. A sigh of contentment at how perfectly this book is paced, and executed. Even the romance in this book is spot on, and builds slowly. Gorgeous. Speechless has just further cemented my opinion that Hannah Harrington is a master of her craft.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.