Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Speechless by Hannah Harrington
Release Date – August 28, 2012
Publisher Website –  HarlequinTeen
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages - 288 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**Obtained from the Ontario Blogger Meetup**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

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.
Can you keep a secret? For Chelsea Knot the answer has always been no. Her gossip fuelled ways come to a screeching halt when her spilling a secret causes someone to almost be killed. Speechless is a thought provoking novel that is timely and timeless in it’s message.

A horrific hate crime happens after Chelsea sees something and decides to spread the gossip. Horrified by the actions her words caused she decides to take a vow of silence.  Her character was someone who has to earn the reader’s forgiveness while forgiving herself. She was your classic mean girl, and she did not stop to think her actions could hurt others. Her growth is slow, but realistic with her not changing in an instant.

The premise of this novel caught my eye immediately. I found the idea of taking a vow of silence really unique. It’s not something I have stumbled across often. It’s used effectively in this novel to showcase how much you learn when you stop and listen. Chelsea grows as a person purely from taking the time to really get to know herself, and who she might actually be. The desire to fit in while in high school is often consuming, and standing up for something can be the bravest thing someone does.

Hannah Harrington’s first novel, Saving June, was infused with average, real characters. Speechless follows this example. The characters are easily imagined as real and that allows the story to resonate that much more. Asha, Sam, Andy are so wonderfully written and developed. There is a scene between Andy and Chelsea in the later part of the novel that is heart breaking and uplifting all at once. It’s those moments where the characters really shine.

The romance between Chelsea and Sam is rather sweet. This is the opposite of instant love. This is a foundation and friendship being built that becomes more. She, during a time when everyone is blaming her for what happened, finds real friendships with those who should be the most angry at her. The kindness offered to her by Sam, Asha and even Andy is one of the most touching things in this novel.

Speechless is a novel I would highly recommend be in every high school. A timely message of acceptance and finding yourself, it shows that one person can make a difference, all they have to do is find their voice.


  1. I liked this book too and felt it dealt with bullying in a real and honest way. Great review!

  2. I agree, I wish they make this a required reading material for MG & HS


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