Monday, February 4, 2013

Speechless - Hannah Harrington

"Keeping Secrets isn't my specialty  It never has been, ever since kindergarten when I found out Becky Swanson had a crush on Tommy Barnes, I managed to circulate that fact to the entire class, including Tommy himself, within our fifteen minute recess - a pretty impressive feat, in retrospect. That was ten years ago, and it still may hold the record for my personal best."

When Chelsea Knot see something juicy, she can't help but spread the news, and fast. Unfortunately something she spreads gets the wrong response and a boy is beaten unconscious. Chelsea knows it was wrong for what happened to happen, and she knows she was at fault, so she vows never to speak again. Writing notes to communicate means she has to think about each and every thing she wants to divulge. Chelesa was once one of the most popular girl in school but her acts and her silence have caused everyone to hate her, that is except an unexpected friend from detention who may just lead her towards a group of friends worth knowing for a change. Maybe this vow will help her find what she needs the most, forgiveness towards herself.

***

To live up to the authors debut, Saving June, I knew Speechless had to be something special. Unfortunately I know it received mixxed reviews in the US last year but thankfully my own feelings weren’t mixed and I thought Speechless was a poignant tale which deserves some serious respect

Cheslea isn't a nice person in the first couple of chapters. Its pretty obvious as you carry on reading that her actions early on in the book stem from trying too hard; to be popular, to be loved, and to keep her social standing. Unfortunately she seems to think this is the most important thing in life but once you get to know her you know there is other stuff which she has buried. She is actually really caring and understanding, she has aspirations but because of Kirsten, her ex-best-friend, she started to think they weren’t important. When she looses everything she decides her silence is best for everyone as she can't hurt anyone else, if she was such an awful person she wouldn't have come forward about the events of New Years Eve and she certainly wouldn't care about hurting people. The whole story focusses on Chelsea and her silence but there's way more to it than just not speaking.

The layers within Speechless are brilliant and you get a fair fews things going on at once. The main story stems from the vow of silence, but that comes from Chelsea’s actions and those actions have implications for others. The other’s mainly being Noah, Warren, Joey and Kristen but also Noah’s friends who Chelsea meets. I was really impressed with the way you find out so much about some characters and how finding out about them opens Chelsea’s eyes to what else is going on in the world. Chelsea has some serious lessons to learn about life and people and her place in other people’s lives. I really enjoyed watching Chelsea on this learning curve and how much of a nicer person she is because of it.

There’s a lot going on in Speechless but the story flows well. I liked that the chapters were titled with ‘day five’ etc as it showed just how much time had passed without forcing it into the text somewhere. The story was really good and it showed a kind of butterfly effect in a way, with how things can spiral out of control very quickly and what that can do to others. I was fascinated from the very start and think it’s a book that will get many readers hooked in.

Speechless was published on February 1st by MiraInk. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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3 comments:

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I'm glad this lived up to Saving June. Looking forward to giving it a go!

Cait said...

I'm glad you liked this one, I really enjoyed it. It didn't pack quite the emotional punch that Saving June did, but it made me feel really introspective and thoughtful

Cait x

Nina @ Death Books and Tea said...

I'm glad you liked this. In my opinion, it wasn't quite as good as Saving June, they're both great. Hannah is an excellent writer. Great review :)