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Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

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. 

Speechless is a novel that had me anything but. I had so many things to say about the heroine and I was questioning who or what the real antagonist was. I even wrote a poem (an unfinished poem) about this book. I guarantee that if you read this book, you won’t be able to stop talking about it. It makes you consider the value but more importantly the power of words and all you say. Gossip isn’t as harmless as one might think. Also, it is about learning not hate others or yourself. This novel teaches you to accept people’s differences as well as learning to accept the differences you possess from others. Yet I would say it is really about forgiveness. Learning to understand that despite all the bad you’ve done, if you are truly sorry, truly let it go. Holding on will do no one, not even you, any good. 

In the beginning, our heroine, Chelsea Knot, is far from heroic. Chelsea cannot keep a secret. If it’s juicy, she’s spreading the word. And this piece of dirt is the juiciest yet. While at a New Year’s party with her best friend Kristen, the queen of the school, Chelsea walks in on a boy on top of another boy! Without thinking, Chelsea runs to tell Kristen and half the basketball team. Of course the aftermath is not what Chelsea expected or wanted. 

The next day, Chelsea finds out that Noah, one of the boys she walked in on, was put in the hospital and is unconscious. Kristen tells Chelsea that it was her boyfriend Warren and another guy in the team, Joey. And Kristen swears Chelsea to secrecy. However, the hardest part about keeping quiet is that she knows it’s wrong. This is the one time where her blabbing is the right thing to do. So Chelsea tells the police and has now taken a vow of silence to prevent her gossiping from hurting anyone ever again. 

A new semester, a quieter Chelsea, yet nothing is ever going to be the same again. For starters, her friends aren’t her friends anymore. Kristen has not only shunned her but has also found a best friend replacement. So much for friendship but Chelsea can’t say anything because she took a vow of silence. On top of that, the rest of the basketball team as well as majority of the school is harassing Chelsea but because of her vow, she can’t and won’t say anything. Chelsea has never felt so alone in her entire life. 

Surprisingly enough, while in detention, Chelsea is befriended by Asha, an Indian girl who knits; a girl who she would have never even notice while hanging around with Kristen but beggars can’t be choosers and Chelsea is thankful for someone on her team. Now Chelsea is starting to see things in a whole new light. Maybe all those jokes she and Kristen made about people weren’t so nice and that there should be more to friendship than how you look or act and just agreeing with popular opinion. Chelsea also begins to realize that maybe Kristen did call the shots too much and Chelsea never had, or rather, never voice her true feelings. But most importantly, Chelsea learned that some things should be better left unsaid. Yet sometimes, speaking up is better than saying nothing at all. If only she could find her voice again. 

As I stated before, I couldn’t put this book down and I couldn’t stop talking about this book. For starters, you weren’t exactly rooting for the heroine at the beginning and it seemed the antagonist wasn’t who but more so what and this novel got me really thinking about where I stand on some things. All in all, a great read. To add,Speechless teaches us that the things we say do have an impact. That there’s a reason you should not gossip. Also teaches us that we should be tolerable of others who differ from ourselves as well as learn to love who we truly are and try to coincide peacefully with everyone. Most importantly, to get us to understand that though we do wrong, it is important we forgive ourselves and try to fin d a way to move forward. 

Reviewed by Camia Rhodes

Book Information
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 8/28/2012
Pages: 288

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