Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Review: Speechless By Hannah Harrington

Title: Speechless
Author: Hannah Harrington
Genre: Young Adult Chick-Lit
Source: Harlequin (UK) Limited and NetGalley

Goodreads rating: 4.12 out of 5.00 (2, 000+ ratings)
Goodreads link

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.

Review by Chantelle

I LOVED THIS ONE! Absolutely loved it. I've read Speechless a few times now, and each time, I experience the same heart ache, the same laughs and the same joy from reading it. Hannah Harrington has created an amazing young adult contemporary novel that not only has a truly swoony romance, but also a valuable life lesson in it that makes this a must read! I mean it guys, you have to make time for this one. 

In Speechless, Hannah Harrington tackles the fickle double-edged sword of gossip and popularity. I applaud her tact and approach to this relevant but sensitive issue, which she executes beautifully through relatable, flawed characters. Chelsea Knot is part of the popular crowd, a position she's earned through keeping the right company and being atop of the latest gossip. However, one night she shares a secret so carelessly that the vicious consequences result in a classmate being hospitalized. Chelsea wants redemption, but her actions have made her a social pariah. Inspired by an article she read, she decides to take a vow of silence as a sort of damage control. On one hand this makes her an even easier target for bullies, but on the other hand silence may be just what she needs to finally listen to the people who might genuinely care for her.

Hannah Harrington's writing is reminiscent to that of Kody Keplinger (The DUFF) who I love; they have that same in-tune voice to the teen generation that isn't overdone. Although not everyone can relate to popular redheads like Chelsea, we can all relate to feelings of alienation, or the experience of peer pressure. The situation of doing something to fit in, or the inner debate whether to stand up for something that's wrong is so accessible universally that I highly recommend this novel as it explores it so well. 

One of the best things about Speechless is that although it was in ways a lesson in morals, it didn't feel lectured, or as if Harrington was bashing me in the head with it. However, the VERY best thing about Speechless is the ROMANCE (capitals intended), which is so cute that is hurts. I am seriously  contemplating also taking a vow of silence so that I can get me a piece of that, just saying... 

      “He winks at me, and the surge of butterflies in my stomach is so strong I think I may throw up right there. I need something to calm my nerves. The most obvious remedy is more alcohol. They don't call it liquid courage for nothing.”

You REALLY want to find out what happens...

Recommendation time! As you know, I don't really choose 'similar' books in regards to content, but more so books that are similar in style or theme. Here are my picks for books set in high school, that are more than just girl meets boy:

  1. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
    In my opinion, the most convincing love story to emerge from 2012! My review coming soon...
  2. The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
    I think the title says it all, frankly it's a must-read.
  3. Pivot Point by Kasie West
    Chick-lit with a paranormal twist, check out my review!

A massive
 thank you to Harlequin (UK) Limited and NetGalley for providing me a copy of Speechless!

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 5/5