Always #SpeakLoudly

While looking through my Twitter feed one day, I noticed a new hashtag and Twibbon called #SpeakLoudly. I looked into it, read some blog posts on it, and was amazed at what I was reading. Now I have noticed from time to time Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson in my many trips to Barnes & Noble, but I never really picked it up. As you know I'm more of a faerie tale, supernatural, fantasy reader. But after reading all this information I had come across from #SpeakLoudly, I had to read this book. I was appalled even before picking up Speak at what this professor was saying. If you haven't read about it, this I'm sorry "whack-job" wants his local public school to ban Speak, along with Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler (which I also bought) and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (which I haven't decide whether I'm interested in or not). But it was this supposedly intelligent man, since he is a professor at a college, and his comments towards Speak that hit home with me. He, so wrongly, called Speak "soft pornography" for the rape scenes it describes. How anyone could associate rape with pornography is beyond me. Pornography is suppose to be something people find sexually stimulating, rape is a violation, and usually violent, and by definition something that someone does not want. 

I can now say after reading this book, just how wrong this man was. First it isn't even very graphic, trust me I heard more graphic language from my friends in high school. There was nothing in the book that I would even remotely associate with "soft pornography".

The majority of Speak, to me, was about this young girl, who could have been anyone of my friends in high school including me, working through depression. Feeling like she had no one to talk to, turning into herself, not talking more than she needed to. Losing all her friends, at a time when she needed them most. Having to confront her inner torment and find a way to live again, to "Speak".

I have always found it disturbing how many people brush aside rape victims. How they feel like they can't tell anyone, that it was somehow their fault for what happened. I found Speak to be a compelling read, one that I think anyone who has ever been depressed for what ever reason, would be able to relate to. Who might be able to find the courage to #SpeakLoudly about what is happening with them, what has happened with them.

Not only that, I think that it is important for high school students, the age that Melinda the main character is, to read this. This is about things that they are being confronted with. Everyday. It might not be a rape or rapist they are dealing with but a bully or a rumor that made their friends abandon them, or being depressed. It may help them notice something in a friend that has changed or become withdrawn.

I recommend this book not only for teens, especially those in high school, but for their parents, for middle school kids, for girls, for boys, for men, for women, for anyone, for everyone. Though I do say that if parents are concerned about the subject matter to read it and then decide.

I have decided that I will always #SpeakLoudly. I connected with Melinda, I felt those feelings, thought those thoughts. I have been silence. No more. As scary as it is to say it, to admit it, to send it out for people to see, I was raped. I encourage you to also #SpeakLoudly.

Buy the book, read it, discuss it, recommend it.

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