Speechless by Hannah Harrington
Published by Harlequin Teen, an imprint of Harlequin
From the publisher:
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.
it would have been so very easy for Speechless to seem gimmicky. I mean, the girl whose big mouth causes a world of hurt for multiple groups of people taking a vow of silence? Please.
But when Chelsea drunkenly outs a gay classmate at a party, the consequences of her inability to stop talking are really more than she knows how to handle, so a vow of silence seems almost reasonable, if a bit dramatic. Chelsea is a high school student, though, and for some teenagers, drama is the name of the game.
What could have been simply eye roll-inducing really worked here. Chelsea doesn’t simply refuse to talk, she spends time observing, listening, and getting to know people she would have walked all over a year earlier. Her growth happens realistically, which is perhaps the main thing that makes Speechless so enjoyable and ultimately meaningful. Recommended.
For more, please see my interview with Hannah Harrington for the SheKnows Book Lounge.
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