Tuesday 7 May 2013

Speechless - Hannah Harrington


Chelsea Knotting is known for her big mouth. She'll spread any secret she knows and never feel any guilt about it. Until one night when it leads to a near death incident. Chelsea loses all her friends and becomes an outcast.

She vows to be silent from then on.


Speechless definitely was a surprise. It was different to expectations, in a good way. As a Young Adult novel I had thought it would lack in depth. Instead, it consisted of many lessons to be learnt.

The character, Chelsea, comes across as annoying and needy in the beginning. Her constant need to run her mouth almost wants readers to punch her because who really wants to read about a snitch. Except, it's this flaw that she tries so hard to work on, which changed my mind. She becomes relatable. At 16, who didn't find themselves spilling dirty deeds to their best friend and wanting to belong to the 'in' crowd? Harrington does leave room for some sympathy towards Chelsea, as she becomes a victim in some way.

The plot takes a serious turn after the first couple of chapters. It leaves a lot to think about, touching on the issue that is constantly debated about. It'll ruin the novel if I reveal what it is but it is a major issue. This is the pivotal moment, which differentiates Speechless from other novels in this genre. Harrington tackles this well known issue in a very simple way but conveys the best message.

During the novel you are also introduced to various characters that are likeable immediately. They become like a close knit family to Chelsea but also to readers. This is what I liked about the novel, how easy it was to read because of the characters.

The novel itself is different, in terms of the concept included, but it is also similar to typical Young Adult novels with the cliques in High School and the blossoming relationship that was bound to happen. Yet, those moments don't ruin the novel. Harrington has delivered a very enjoyable novel that contains an important message but also a plot that has readers continuing to read on. It's a short read, definitely for those who like teenage drama straight from High School.

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