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Speechless Kindle Edition

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Length: 267 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up-Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret. She tells all and makes many enemies along the way. Nothing seems to stop her from blabbing until Noah, a gay teen, is beaten to the point of hospitalization after she reveals that she saw him hooking up with another guy at a party. Upon learning about the trouble that she has caused, the teen decides to take a vow of silence like a monk she reads about in a National Geographic article. "What comes out of my mouth is the root of my problems, so the solution is for nothing to come out." During this time, Chelsea is abandoned by her former best friend and bullied with name-calling, locker trashing, and other forms of harassment. She sticks to her guns, however, and remains mute. Readers will wonder what will finally break her silence as the drama surrounding Noah's beating unfolds. The book could stand on this premise alone, but Harrington has chosen to throw in a bit of romance between Chelsea and Noah's best friend, Sam. Chelsea grows as a person, making new friends, learning to bite her tongue and developing a stronger sense of self. However, some readers might feel that her vow of silence draws too much attention away from Noah, especially those who sympathize with him. This book is part of the Love Is Louder movement whose mission is to help those who are mistreated and misunderstood. Readers might see Noah as misunderstood, but maybe not Chelsea.-Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Chelsea Knot falls from the top of her high school’s social ladder to hated loser in one night when she informs the police of an attack on a gay student by a couple of popular basketball players. It’s partially her fault—she instigated the attack by gossiping about the teen and spreading his secret to the student body. Trapped between guilt and broken pride, Chelsea takes a vow of silence to keep herself from causing any more harm. She receives unexpected sympathy from a group of students who help her forgive herself and find out who she really wants to be. Harrington addresses a serious issue in a heartrendingly tragic story that’s all too realistic. The strength of Harrington’s writing is that it leaves no point of view unturned. She portrays the far-reaching pain caused by all types of bullying, and more important, stresses the strength a teenager gains when they are bold enough to go against the crowd. A pertinent story about a girl who loses everything and gains herself. Grades 9-11. --Bethany Fort

Product Details

  • File Size: 850 KB
  • Print Length: 267 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen (September 1, 2012)
  • Publication Date: August 28, 2012
  • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0088NGY1A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,792 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Sowa on August 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Speechless, Hannah Harrington's sophomore novel, while not quite as impressive as her debut, still packed quite a punch. She seems to have a knack for writing heartbreaking contemporaries and even though I didn't love this one, I still really enjoyed it.

Speechless is the story of Chelsea, a girl whose big mouth manages to not only get her in trouble but also land someone in the hospital. Chelsea is not a heartless girl. She is a bit of a bitch but she never does things to hurt someone physically. She doesn't see herself as mean or hurtful. However, after the incident she reevaluates her actions and decides to take a vow of silence until she learns how not to hurt people when she talks. Through her silence she actually learns to listen to people. Chelsea may not be an easy person to like in the beginning of the book and she isn't totally loveable at the end either but she grows so much. The fact that she's not totally perfect by the end of the book makes her seem so much more real to me and I loved her even more for that.

Chelsea is not the only mean character. Her ex-friends are not nice people. They bully and torment her from the moment she turns on them and they really are nasty people. Honestly none of them redeem themselves and I felt that they deserved everything they got. Chelsea's new friends however are freaking fantastic. Sam, Asha, Andy, and the rest of the gang are hilarious. They're kind of a bunch of misfits and they just don't care. They think for themselves, they do what they want, and they are truly kind people. Sam is of course the love interest but the romance between him and Chelsea is very subtle and it's not a driving force in the book. And in no way is this insta-love.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lydia on August 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
When I read the summary of Speechless I was left wanting to know more. I mean, we've all been there, right? Either spreading the gossip or being the target of spread gossip. It's heartbreaking what simple words can put into motion, but especially in today's world of bullying, it's something we need to be oh-so-aware of.

So in Speechless, Hannah Harrington addresses what happens when someone blurts out something that is someone else's intimate secret. She illustrates exactly how it begins, set into motion, and how it spirals to something worse. And then, she explored the clean-up.

That clean-up is where things began to fall apart a little for me.

For being a book about a secret, an awful big fuss was made about the person who spilled the secret, and very little information was given about the one who was hurt by it. I understand that the story was intended to center around Chelsea Knot, and her inability to keep a secret and subsequent vow of silence, but there was a lot of pity-partying and wallowing in guilt on Chelsea's part and even more focus on making sure she was the one able to laugh, love, and move on with her life.

But the victim of her secret-telling? Oh, he just gets to make a cameo appearance.

And that, my friends, is not how a book dealing with this subject should be treated. About halfway through, although entertained enough to keep reading, I found myself increasingly unable to sympathize, or even be happy, for Chelsea. I had enough of her - I wanted to know what happened to her victim, how he was handling things, how he was dealing with forgiveness/anger/despair/hurt/pain. Is this how books dealing with bullying and gossip-mongering should be dealt with?
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