Release Date: 1st February 2013
Publisher: Mira Ink
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.
Review: I've been very intrigued about this book ever since I first heard about it. I know Hannah Harrington is meant to be a very talented author and her first book is meant to be great, so I decided to request this novel for review. Speechless is a very interesting novel, because Chelsea decides to stop talking, she doesn't go mute or fall into shock, so I was really interested in how Harrington would deal with this.
At the start of the novel Chelsea Knot is one of the popular kids at school. It all begins at a party when she discovers one of her classmates in bed with a fellow boy. Not being able to keep it a secret she rushes down and tells everyone. She didn't realise that two of her friends would go after the boy and beat him up for being disgusting. Noah only just gets away with his life. Chelsea feels so guilty for her actions she tells her parents what happened and gets the two of her friends arrested. It's because of this the popular group disown her. Chelsea decides to take a vow of silence so that her mouth doesn't get anyone else nearly killed. As an outcast she's now alone at school and people are beginning to pick on her. It's with this new silence that brings new friends and a better outlook on life.
At first I didn't like Chelsea, she was stuck up and popular. The whole world would fall at her feet and she knew it, she went along with Queen Bee Kristen's every word. She wasn't very likable at the start, her whole persona was very all about her and how much gossip she could collect. She soon shows us that there's heart under it all when she turns in her two friends and this is where we begin to see the true person underneath. This vow of silence allows Chelsea to see the world from an outsiders point of view as all she can do is watch and listen. She soon begins to see the devastating affects her actions have on others and her eyes begin to open. She sees how much of a bitch Kristen really is and how she treats everyone like dirt. Taking this vow leaves Chelsea alone with her thoughts as she soon discovers who she really is. It was a great journey watching Chelsea find herself and begin to live her life to the fullest.
Asha is an outsider too and begins to talk to Chelsea and they soon become friends. Chelsea is very cautious at first after all that's happened, but she soon realises that Asha needs a friend too. Asha introduces her to Rosie's Diner and it's here she meets Sam. Sam is Noah's best friend and isn't very keen on Chelsea's presence at first but he soon realises there's more to her than meets the eye. They become partners in art class and begin to talk through notes, it's here their relationship begins to spark. Oh and how it grows!
One thing I really loved about this was the atmosphere that came with Rosie's. It really was like a character on its own. The atmosphere was so laid back and everyone had a laugh, it was a really great place to read about and everyone who worked there was fabulous!
Speechless is full of hidden messages. The main and most obvious is the discrimination against gays and how they are treated as outcast. Harrington shows the reality of things that happen in high schools and how people won't say anything because they are afraid. This type of discrimination needs to stop after all it is the modern day and Harrington addresses this issue very well and it's a great read if you wish to know more about it.
Speechless is a very interesting novel that contains many life lessons and shows that even at the hardest of times things can get better. It's a novel that teenagers should all read. I now must read Saving June.