Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Nothing makes me happier when reading a book than when that book is able to completely shock and stun me. Speechless is one of those books. I figured it would be a good read, maybe a little preachy, and ultimately get a message across. What I got instead was a book that was real and twisted my heart in one of the best ways possible.

After what she says nearly gets someone killed, Chelsea takes a vow of silence. In the beginning, her silence feels more like an attempt to make herself feel better about what happens. She realizes that words can have an impact, but it didn’t feel like she really understood that. By the end, though, she understands how her words can and should be used. She grows from a typical teen obsessed with social ranking and the latest clothing trend to someone comfortable being herself and understanding how important her words can be, in both using them and being silent.

Harrington’s ability to create real people out of book characters is fabulous. Aside from a few of the secondary characters, everyone feels like a real person. Kristen and some of the jock boys fall a little flat, but I didn’t mind that. This story wasn’t about them. I wasn’t expecting them to grow. It wouldn’t have been real if everyone had come to the same conclusion about the events in the book.

This isn’t a book that will blow your mind. It’s not a book you have to think deeply about in order to understand. But it’s a book with an impact that still leaves you with a little smile at the very end.

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