Speechless by Hannah Harrington
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: August 28, 2012
Format: Trade paperback
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I adored Hannah Harrington's first novel, Saving June, so I had high expectations for Speechless. Harrington far exceeded my expectations; I am in love with her sophomore book.
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.
The concept of the book is so intriguing--taking a vow of silence in order to prevent anyone from getting hurt. It crossed my mind that reading a book with a narrator who doesn't speak could be boring, but Speechless is anything but boring. Just because Chelsea doesn't talk doesn't mean she doesn't communicate with others and have conflicts in her life, including some that stem from her chosen method of communication.
I love Chelsea. She started out as a shallow, superficial character, but she's also a sympathetic and likable character, and by the end of the book, she has grown as a character. She's well-rounded, and her responses to every situation she finds herself in are prefect--interesting and true to her character. I also really loved Sam. He is incredibly crush-worthy, and he was my favorite character. What I loved the most about the characters was that Chelsea wasn't the only one who changed and grew throughout the book; Sam and Andy did, too.
The best thing about Speechless isn't the characters, as awesome as they are, and it's also not the writing, which is beautiful and wonderful and perfect. The best thing about Speechless is the idea that words are powerful and we must choose them carefully. Harrington shows just how powerful words can be with the things Chelsea said, as well as with the things she didn't say. Speechless is the kind of book that will forever have an impact on me, and because of that, I'd like to do something I don't normally do in my reviews, which is share my favorite quote from the book.
"Hate is easy, but love takes courage" (p. 267).