25 July 2012
1. favorite book
Me too! But this has been one of the most important books in my reading history for so long, I thought it deserved some recognition.
I first read this book at least ten years ago, at a time in my life when I really needed to start talking. (As I recall, I checked it out and snuck it out of the library under my shirt...I was smart enough to recognize a book with 'mature' themes when I saw it, and I was pretty sure my mother wouldn't want me reading it. Sorry, Mom.) Believe it or not, I was a shy kid back then, and of course super-insecure. Outside my family, at least, I kept a lot to myself. If something made me angry, no way was I going to admit it. If something made me sad, or afraid (violent movies, for example), I wouldn't say a thing. If people I wanted to be my friends were pushing me around, I'd take it without a word. And no way did I ever share the things that really mattered to me with anyone. Even my closest friends - or rather, especially them. It was too important that they keep liking me; naturally I couldn't trust them with the real, confused, messed-up freakish me.
Altogether, I kept my mouth shut, and my relationships safe and polite. Then I read this, about a girl who literally does not speak at all, and for far more serious reasons. I don't have some made-for-TV redemption story on the subject (it still took me years of trial and error, drama class and some serious relational shakeups to develop the self-respect to go ahead and Have Feelings About Things, for starters, to say nothing of expressing them), but this book definitely provided me with a big stepping stone for getting to that point.
Aside from all that, too, Melinda Sordino is just the kind of girl I can relate to. The whole book is from her perspective, as she deals with being ostracized at school and misunderstood at home (she does have loving parents, even if they are cut off from what's going on in her head), and turns to art to try and make sense of what's happened to her. I wouldn't call her a particularly pleasant person, you know. But she's Real.
While researching for this post, I realized that it's since gotten several awards, and even a TV movie! I don't know how I feel about Kristen Stewart playing Melinda, though...the trailer's a little melodramatic and, as usual, basically gives you the whole storyline, but here it is.
That's it for today, friends! So, what do you think: did you have a different dark YA in mind (I know some of you did!)? Have you read Speak? And while we're at it, what's your favorite book? Why?
Posted by Ren at 7:42 AM