I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Speechless by Hannah Harrington
Published by Harlequin Teen on August 28th 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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.
‘I can’t change what I’ve done and what I haven’t done, but I can change what I do now. I can actually do something. Stand for something.’
After Chelsea stumbles upon something at a high school party and unintentionally tells the entire party what transpired she’s horrified at what she ended up causing. She realizes that her gossiping mouth has done more harm than she could have ever thought possible and in turn decides to take a vow of silence.
Chelsea Knot is not an immediately likeable character so don’t expect to right off the bat. It takes time and development and maturity on her part. She was incredibly realistic nonetheless; I think we all went to high school with a ‘Chelsea’, I know I did. I was having vivid recollections especially when she said lines like:
‘He won’t even look at me! And, not to brag, but I am something to look at, dammit. I’m not gorgeous like Kristen, but I’ve been known to turn a head or two in my time.’
Oh yeah. I might have gone to school with a few Chelsea-types.
Despite being the one who did the right thing by telling the police what really happened, even though that resulted in the ruin of her social standing (which involved a few friends being thrown in jail) she still worries day in and day out whether she made the right choice, still doubts that she’s really a good person and didn’t just have a lapse in judgment. After making friends with an unpopular girl named Asha who manages to see Chelsea for the good person she is, even though Chelsea herself doubts that she’s really that good.
This story was not flawless. There were times where I really enjoyed it and others when I felt like tossing it. I think that largely had to do with the fact I felt it was for a less mature crowd despite the serious message intended. I typically write my reviews immediately after finishing books but had a hard time turning my thoughts into words with this one. After taking so much time for it to run through my brain I ended up actually reducing my rating from 4 to 3 stars. I loved the message and I loved seeing the popular girl transformed; however, I had a hard time relating to Chelsea and often felt her actions weren’t entirely authentic. Maybe because I’ve never been the popular girl and could never relate… maybe because of the fact that she decided to take her ‘vow of silence’ after glancing at a magazine article. Either way, this was enjoyable but unfortunately not completely my cup of tea.