Friday, April 26, 2013

Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Title: Speechless
Author: Hannah Harrington
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Release date: August 28th 2012
Pages: 288
Genre: Conteporary Young Adult
Source: Bought
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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.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Like everyone else, I loved Hannah Harrington's debut, Saving June, so I was very excited for another one of her novels. Speechless is a much lighter read than Saving June, so her style is very different in her second book. And even though it can't compare to my love for Saving June, I still really enjoyed Speechless.

Chelsea should be a hard character to like. At least in the beginning, she's the kind of person that I wouldn't be able to stand in real life - obnoxious and self-righteous. But, for some reason, I still felt for her - I always love when living in someone's mind makes us like someone we wouldn't normally have a connection with. Over the course of the novel, as expected, Chelsea grows a lot, and I really enjoyed being there alongside her.

The secondary characters are fully developed, too, for the most part. I loved Chelsea's relationship with Sam, the boy she meets once she's exiled from her usual crowd - subtle, slow, understated, and perfect. I still wish her friendship with Asha would have gotten a little more attention, though, because she seems like a really interesting character as well. Even Kristen, Chelsea's ex-best friend and antagonist of the story, has some depth - I especially enjoyed reading about Chelsea's dynamic view of Kristen.

The whole vow of silence thing is strange, at first. I was worried about how Hannah Harrington would pull off this story without any real dialogue, or at least without the main character being able to say anything, but she makes it work. The only problem I had was at the beginning of her vow of silence - I wish we could have seen Chelsea struggle a bit more with not speaking. There are plenty of times when it's hard for her to hold back, not to talk back to someone, but I mean the smaller things she would've struggled with. I don't think any of us could imagine how hard it would be not to speak for a month, just because we're so used to it - honestly, I think there'd be a couple of times where I would simply forget and accidentally start talking. Chelsea didn't struggle with that at all, which I found kind of unrealistic.

I don't want to give too much away about this because I appreciate that the summary stays vague, but I really liked reading about the secret Chelsea spilled. I wish we could have gotten to know more about the boy whose secret she spilled, how all of this affected him. I wanted to know more about everyone's reaction to all of this, too - Chelsea's high school reacts as one big mass, but I would imagine an issue like this to spark some kind of controversy, maybe divide people into two sides, something like that. I wish that whole issue could have been explored more.

Other than that, though, Speechless is a great read. It's poignant and the perfect balance of sweet and heartbreaking. I loved it, and I can't wait for even more from Hannah Harrington!


  1. I have been wanting to read this book. :D Thanks for reviewing, Hannah. Now I know what to expect!

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