- The summary caught my eye. I wanted to read more of this type of YA fiction.
Summary from GoodReads:
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.
When I read the summary of Speechless I was left wanting to know more. I mean, we’ve all been there, right? Either spreading the gossip or being the target of spread gossip. It’s heartbreaking what simple words can put into motion, but especially in today’s world of bullying, it’s something we need to be oh-so-aware of.
So in Speechless, Hannah Harrington addresses what happens when someone blurts out something that is someone else’s intimate secret. She illustrates exactly how it begins, set into motion, and how it spirals to something worse. And then, she explored the clean-up.
That clean-up is where things began to fall apart a little for me.
For being a book about a secret, an awful big fuss was made about the person who spilled the secret, and very little information was given about the one who was hurt by it. I understand that the story was intended to center around Chelsea Knot, and her inability to keep a secret and subsequent vow of silence, but there was a lot of pity-partying and wallowing in guilt on Chelsea’s part and even more focus on making sure she was the one able to laugh, love, and move on with her life.
But the victim of her secret-telling? Oh, he just gets to make a cameo appearance.
And that, my friends, is not how a book dealing with this subject should be treated. About halfway through, although entertained enough to keep reading, I found myself increasingly unable to sympathize, or even be happy, for Chelsea. I had enough of her – I wanted to know what happened to her victim, how he was handling things, how he was dealing with forgiveness/anger/despair/hurt/pain. Is this how books dealing with bullying and gossip-mongering should be dealt with? Do we really need to glorify the person doing them other than give them the means to make amends and then let them do it, end of story?
I wanted to love Speechless. I was anxiously looking for a story on bullying that I could give to boys and girls around me who are dealing with this very real subject matter. But ultimately, I was disappointed in the route taken to get to the end.
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- Method of Obtaining: I received a copy of this to review from the publisher through NetGalley.
- Published by: HarlequinTEEN
- Release Date: 8/28/2012