June 30, 2013
Speechless, a book review
published in 2012
the cover makes it... 6/ 5 stars
Goodreads / Amazon / Website
"Here's the thing. I need a book with a gorgeous cover and an interesting backdrop. It has to exude personality, and it has to be completely, blatantly honest. I need the characters to be true, real. It has to be something that I could somehow, even indirectly, relate to. Also, because I'm being really picky here, it can't be a super long, marathon read, nor should it contain only 30 pages of really deep stuff that I act like I understand but I actually don't. It has to be appealing to read. You know, you know?"
"Oh, well, just take Speechless by Hannah Harrington!"
Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret. And since she's on top of the high school social ladder, she's got a lot of secrets on her hands, all ready to be spilled. But the last secret she told almost killed a person. And now, Chelsea is a loner, an outcast. So she decides to take a vow of silence, because that way, not another person will be hurt because she couldn't shut that mouth of hers. Her reign of silence gives her time to think- of her actions in the past that lead to her situation now. But it also gives Chelsea a chance to really dig deep in her roots, and to uncover the real self that she had hidden without even knowing.
A lot of books are really good. They have heart palpitating scenes that just sucks your attention into the words. But they have a lot of weak spots. One chapter might seem completely pointless, one scene just doesn't go with the book, and overall, the experience is like having spikes of sugar rush. Speechless is different. It might not make your heart pound with adrenaline, but it's indulging. Because every sentence has a meaning, every little dialogue develops the story even deeper. And that just makes reading it the biggest enjoyment one can be treated to.
I like Chelsea. Really, really like her. She's not one of those cliché characters you would call imperfectly perfect. No, she's just imperfect. She's got her flaws and sometimes they really show. But that's what makes her character easier to grasp, because it makes her feel like she could just be that girl in chemistry two desks behind you. And you know what, she actually sounded like a real teenager. One that might occasionally regard other people as "losers", and one that feels emotions such as resentment and jealousy.
The idea of silence is very interesting. One might think that it would be hard for Chelsea to make new connections, due to her incapability to speak, but in all honesty, Harrington never made me doubt that. Somehow, Chelsea manages to radiate her personality through her gestures, her little dialogues written on paper, and the expressions in her eyes. And although it sounds like a real suffocation, to never have your protagonist engage into vocal conversations, it was really a journey of discoveries. Without the notion of speaking, Chelsea made more remarks on the world and people surrounding her, which really adds another layer of depth to the reading experience.
There are some things that cannot be defined with only words. Speechless achieves that, because once you start reading in between the lines and add your own experiences into it, this story is like a little secret shared only between you and the lines of ink marked into this book.