I’m glad I saved this book for last. Not only was it the most difficult to read, but it also had the clearest intentions. That is, the author’s reasons for writing it and the audiences’ reason for reading it were fairly easy to deduce. This week was the same as the others in regards to writing a review and then taking a few days to explore the novel’s background.
Again, my pattern was the same. Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, etc. But this time my findings were different. Don’t get me wrong, they’re never quite the same. With some titles there was a clear focus on the romance, and with others an obvious enthusiasm for a theme within the story. But for Speak, not only was there a notable absence of fan art, there was also a lack of reader perspective or commentary on social media sites.
Laurie Halse Anderon’s vision for her story was pushed forward in a way I had never seen before. There were so many YouTube videos and interviews to sift through. This is most certainly because of the sensitive issue it touched upon. Speak is not a paranormal romance or a thrilling dystopian; it’s a contemporary story about a girl who’s been raped. So while there was passion for how this was portrayed, readers for this book chose to focus upon the words themselves.
In my exploration posted I noted that “during all of my browsing and research, I saw comments and memes surrounding one similar theme: women finding their strength and their voice. There were also themes of taking what difficult things life throws at us and growing from them.”
So the reason this book sold so well, reached such a large audience, affected so many young adults and adults alike is clear. Not only do they appreciate the bravery of the author in writing about such a difficult topic, but they are affected by it. Many probably relate to it. It’s a sad fact that many, many girls have experience with this. There’s no boy to swoon over and no action to get caught up in. There’s just this pain that the audience finds authenticity in.
And that’s what made Speak so powerful.