Aug 032012

Title: Speechless

Author: Hannah Harrington
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Pages: 336

Source: Borrowed from Alexa


From Goodreads:

The story of a girl named Chelsea Knot who takes a voluntary oath of silence after her gossip-mongering ways yield unexpected consequences…

Saying she’s sorry isn’t enough.


Hannah Harrington has done it again! Saving June was my favorite contemp last year and Speechless definitely gives it a run for its money.

Let’s get my typical squee moment out of the way first – Speechless is set in Michigan! While Grand Lake is a fictional city in the book, it was based off the town where Hannah Harrington grew up (close to where I went to college). More books should be set in Michigan in my opinion :)

Squee moment aside – let’s get into the story. After Chelsea makes her big mistake, she takes a vow of silence in the hopes of never hurting anyone again. I loved this idea because it took a lot of strength and discipline on Chelsea’s part and showed she wasn’t as weak or shallow as you might think she was (or that she thought of herself). Can you imagine being completely silent and communicating with only a whiteboard? And in high school?

During this vow of silence, Chelsea’s “friends” completely turn on her and she’s forced out of the comfortable social system she’s grown so accustomed to. Friendless and alone, Chelsea meets some classmates and begins to make unexpected but meaningful relationships for the first time in high school. Sam, Asha, and the rest of the diner gang were awesome and I loved every single one of them.

The very best part of this story was watching Chelsea repair the relationships with people she inadvertently hurt and beginning to truly find herself. She had to learn some tough lessons at a very young age and handled them better than I probably could have at that age.

I think the main thing I took away from this story is to really think twice about what comes out of your mouth. You never know how bad the repercussions can be and who you can be hurting just with a few words. On a similar note - I’d be absolutely terrified to be a teen today. With the Internet and social media, bullying has moved up to a whole different level that I’m not quite sure I could have handled that as a young girl.

Speechless is definitely a must-read and Hannah Harrington continues to impress me with her powerful writing style and amazing character development. 

  11 Responses to “Book review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington”

  1. How have I missed this cover?! I have only seen the white version – even on Goodreads. Anyway — YES TO THIS BOOK. I really love Harrington’s writing and definitely felt this story was an incredibly display of her talents. So glad you enjoyed it too, Tara! :)

  2. I just got this book in the mail and I can’t wait to read it. I’m not sure when that will be… soon? haha. As you know my list is long long long but I’m so glad to hear such great things about this title. I still haven’t read Saving June either. I know, I should just quit work and read all day. THANKS! I’ll take your advice. ;)

  3. Speechless sounds great! I am so glad that as a kid all we had was AIM and cyberbullying was not the extent that it is today.

    I’m pumped to have Speechless on my kindle as well as Saving June!

  4. I like this cover even more than the plain white one. I’m glad you liked this! I’m loving contemporary this year, and this sounds like one not to miss. Great review. :)

  5. I’m so, so, so happy that you loved it! I really enjoyed it as well, and the lesson we took away was practically the same.

  6. I absolutely loved Saving June, so I am so happy to hear that this compares!! This is on the top of my wishlist for sure! Great review!

  7. Mmm..the idea sounds interesting but a tad far fetched? O.o At any rate, I admit that the cover is enticing. I actually thought it was some sort of abuse survival story. lol

  8. I am so psyched to read this one! It just looks so great and I loved loved loved Saving June. Glad to hear this one is awesome as well :)

  9. Great point about being careful about what you say!
    Thanks for review,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  10. [...] Speechless explores the real-life teen issues of bullying, mean girls, LGBT awareness and hate crimes. Compared to the many books already out about bullies, Harrington’s novel stands out for its authentic voice and unflinching portrayal of what it means to be part of the bullying. In October 2012, Harlequin TEEN will be releasing a brand new survey that has interviewed 1,500 girls between 13-18 years old on the subject of bullying. Read my review of Speechless [...]

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