Speechless by Hannah Harrington
Publishing Company: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult—Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: August 28, 2012
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's has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting everyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets if hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.
But there's strength in silence, and in 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.
Turning that first page of Speechless, I had no idea what to expect. Turning that last page of Speechless, several thoughts ran through my head at once. First, "That was so moving." Second, "I really wish I had a physical copy of this so I could drool over the pretty cover." That second thought probably wasn't the most relavant thought, but I was first intrigued by this novel because of how simple yet eye-catching this cover was. Yeah, totally biased of me, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who judges a book by its cover at first. Right? Also, the cover completely reflects the content of Speechless: straightforward but alluring and gripping. And as a whole, Speechless just blew me away.
Chelsea Knot's a gossiper. She can't keep anything under wraps and it takes the almost-death of somebody to finally push her over the edge. Now she's vowed to be silent, on a self-discovery mission. At first, I didn't care for Chelsea. I felt that she was obnoxious and conceited, but I felt that she did redeem herself after her vow of silence because she found who she really was, behind the make-up and deception. Chelsea, underneath the years of lying and aiming to impress the queen bee of high school, was a strong girl who really just wanted to be accepted, and befriending the most popular girl in her grade was the answer. The fantastic thing about Speechless is you get to see Chelsea realize that she doesn't need those things; she just needed a few friends who liked her for her.
Hannah Harrington has a flair for writing really gritty and relatable contemporary novels for teens. What teenager in high school doesn't want to fit in and be accepted? What teen doesn't have to deal with that long, arduous journey that is finding themselves? Hannah crafts a raw tale of a real teen's problems and insecurities through school. Speechless is a wonderful coming-of-age novel, and teens everywhere will be able to relate to the topics Hannah discusses. I'd recommend this novel to any young adult out there, and as a teenager myself, Speechless really hit close to home.
Speechless also brings into light the fact that you don't need to be popular to have friends and be happy. Chelsea finds unlikely companions, unexpected romance, and learns so much about herself during her period of silence throughout her journey in Speechless. It's inspirational and so moving. For example, this one quote was so beautiful and I loved it:
"Hate is...too easy," he says. His face is calm, calmer than it has any right to be, his eyes not wavering from mine, like he's so completely sure of what he's saying. "Love. Love takes courage."Isn't that quote so powerful? I absolutely love that quote and it was so meaningful and inspirational. That quote just made the deal for me, and I fell into even more love with Speechless.
Raw, compelling, and powerful, Hannah Harrington has done it again with Speechless, weaving a beautifully relatable novel for teenagers.