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.
After reading Hannah Harrington's incredible debut novel, I've been dying to read more by her. So when the chance appeared with Speechless, her take on when high school gossip goes too far, I quickly took it, curious to find out whether or not Speechless would live up to Saving June. The bad news? It didn't. The good news? It was still a good read on its own, one that's an incredibly important and timely read, in my opinion.
In Chelsea Knot's world two things are very important. Number 1: Keeping the uber popular and cool Kristen as her bff and Number 2: Getting the latest gossip on her classmates and sharing it with Kristen as well as everyone else...no matter the consequences. Then Chelsea stumbles upon Noah, a fellow classmate of hers, hooking up with a boy, and without thinking it through, Chelsea tells EVERYONE. However, this time things don't die so quietly. Instead, Noah ends up almost dead at the hands of someone Chelsea told, and Chelsea, feeling incredibly guilty, tells the police exactly what she knows. Now two of her school's most popular boys are in jail, and Chelsea's the school outcast, but she couldn't care less, because she has other concerns on her mind: her gossip addiction. So, in order to fix this, Chelsea goes on a self imposed vow of silence, hoping that this no speaking think will help her gain perspective. What she didn't count on was falling for the perfect guy, one who may just be too perfect for her, or becoming friends with someone she can be herself around...However, what happens when Chelsea starts speaking again? Will she ruin it all again? Or will she be the better person?
It took me a long time to come to like Chelsea. At first I couldn't stand her. All I wanted to do was tell her that all this gossip and hurting people wasn't worth it nor was how far she went to appease Kristen worth it either. However, as the novel progressed so did she. She transformed from someone who was shallow and nasty to someone who appreciated what silence could do, someone who began to see what it meant to be nice as well as careful with her words. Now that Chelsea I came to like a lot. I also enjoyed the people she meet because of her vow of silence. Asha was incredibly sweet and nice, and I loved her sense of humor. I also enjoyed finding seeing Chelsea's relationship develop with a certain boy...he really managed to bring out the best in her. Plus he was swoon worthy and adorable and seriously, what's not to love about that?
As mentioned before, I feel that the plot and the issues it address is extremely important as well as timely. Everyone loves to gossip (I know I do) but sometimes that gossip gets out of hand, and just like Chelsea, I've seen it happen more times then one. It can lead to heartbreaking consequences, and really in the end..what's the point? Speechless addresses this issue as well as other important ones (such as gay hate crimes) and I felt that Hannah did a beautiful job with it. She didn't make it an issue book or a book that was message filled. Instead, she made it realistic, and truthfully, Chelsea could be any of us. That's what makes this book so realistic to tell the truth. I also enjoyed the little side plots in this such as Chelsea's time at the restaurant as well as her new relationships that sparked over the course of the book.
Lastly, Harrington's writing was very good. It didn't contain the same spark that Saving June had, in my opinion, but still she did a great job, as mentioned before. I'm really looking forward to reading more by her.
In all, Speechless by Hannah Harrington is a fast paced and emotional read, one that will leave any reader watching what they say about others.
Speechless (Amazon, BN, Goodreads) will be released on August 28, 2012!
Source: Publisher via Netgalley- Thanks Harlequin Teen!