Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Review of Speechless by Hannah Harrington published by Harlequin Teen
Speechless
Author: Hannah Harrington
Genre: Young Adult
Format: ebook
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 8-28-12
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. – Goodreads

Chelsea is exactly the kind of girl I would have hated in high school.  She is mean, snobby and a gossip.  When her inability to keep a secret causes some real damage, her vow of silence starts a journey that I really enjoyed reading.  I give the author a lot of credit for making her main character so unlikable at first.  She is not a sympathetic character, despite doing the right thing, but as the layers of the story were added, I slowly began to start to see Chelsea as someone who took a hard road to find the right path.  Even more enjoyable were the friends she makes during her vow of silence.  I became just as attached to Asha, Sam and everyone else as I was to Chelsea.  Although Chelsea’s story was at the core of this book, it really became a string ensemble cast of endearing and believable characters.

There is certainly an examination of the consequences of bullying from the point of view pf the perpetrator, which was very emotional, but more than that it is a story about someone who decides that she is worthy of her own opinions.  Chelsea is a follower and as the best friend of the most popular girl in school, there are certain perks, but Chelsea’s journey involves the realization that sometimes you have to think enough of yourself to make a different choice.  The wonderful people she meets because of her social ostracism are a great example of people that are ok with being themselves, even if they aren’t the most popular.  Chelsea’s growth throughout the course of this book was such a joy to read and the honesty in the storytelling really brought this book to life. 

With this sophomore offering from Hannah Harrington, I have officially become a devoted fan of her writing.  Saving June was one of my favorites of 2011 (fans should keep their eyes peeled for a Jake and Harper cameo in this book) and I predict that Hannah Harrington will become one of the strongest voices in YA contemporary fiction.

This book earned 4 birds:
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I received this book as a galley from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Find Hannah Harrington online:
Website
Twitter

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Kate @ Ex Libris

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28 responses to “Speechless by Hannah Harrington

  1. oh wow great review! I love that so many books have started to have themes that actually matter to young adults such as bullying, sibling issues, eating disorders. and yikes the protagonist does sound like someone I would hate! I seriously need to pick up this one and saving june soon!!

    – Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  2. Jac

    I have been hesitant to grab this one, I keep looking at it on netgalley. I didn’t love Saving June (I think I’m alone on that though!) but this sounds like it’s more my speed and I did love Harrington’s writing…

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  3. I really enjoyed this book as well. Even though I haven’t read Saving June yet, I just know that Hannah Harrington will continue to write amazing stuff after reading Speechless!

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