Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Speechless by Hannah Harrington
Release date: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Harlequin Teen through NetGalley
Link: Goodreads / Amazon

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Synopsis:  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.

***I'll be doing this review a little bit different. I will be doing it as a list but in no particular order.***

1. Chelsea Knot is a brat. When we first meet her, I was immediately put off by her inability of keeping secrets and her way of thinking. What she valued about being best friends with Kristen and how popular Kristen made her, really irked me. I figured she would move on and grow up as the story progressed but by the end, she didn't change that much. She was still the same shallow, snotty girl, but learned how to think before speaking. Honestly, I liked her better when she wasn't speaking than when she started talking again. She did, slowly, matured during her months of silence. Chelsea stood up to Kristen several times; when Chelsea decided to tell the police what had really happened and when Kristen picked on Chelsea's new friend, Asha.

2. The author, Hannah Harrington, did such a wonderful job in portraying high school bullying. It was so well done and realistic that at times it was a little disturbing to read.

3. One of my favorite things about Speechless were the secondary characters, Sam and Asha. Sam was just so sweet and dorky and adorable. He was the guy who went online to research fashion designers so he could use it as a reference during a conversation with Chelsea. *sigh* I love it. Asha is one of the sweetest, kindest soul I have read in a while. She became friends with Chelsea even when her own friends were hesitant about it. I love people like Asha. I wish I could be more like Asha.

4. And my favorite thing about Speechless is the message of it. "Hate is easy but love takes courage." Chelsea is slow in learning to forgive herself for her past mistakes but I loved when she realized this:

"But even though I know my flaws are many (many many many), and there are always ways I could be better, and I should never stop working for that - I also need to give myself a break. I can cut myself some slack sometimes. Because I am a work in progress. Because nobody is perfect. At least I acknowledge the mistakes I've made, and am making. At least I'm trying. 
And just because I have room for improvement, doesn't mean I'm worthless, or that I have nothing to offer to, like, the world."

Even though Chelsea didn't become a favorite main character, I found this to be an enjoyable read. It read very realistic and I enjoyed getting to know the characters. I am looking forward to reading more of Ms. Harrington's works.


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