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’s has taken a vow of silence–to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting everyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets if hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.
But there’s strength in silence, and in 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.
Speechless, Hannah Harrington’s sophomore novel, while not quite as impressive as her debut, still packed quite a punch. She seems to have a knack for writing heartbreaking contemporaries and even though I didn’t love this one, I still really enjoyed it.
Speechless is the story of Chelsea, a girl whose big mouth manages to not only get her in trouble but also land someone in the hospital. Chelsea is not a heartless girl. She is a bit of a bitch but she never does things to hurt someone physically. She doesn’t see herself as mean or hurtful. However, after the incident she reevaluates her actions and decides to take a vow of silence until she learns how not to hurt people when she talks. Through her silence she actually learns to listen to people. Chelsea may not be an easy person to like in the beginning of the book and she isn’t totally loveable at the end either but she grows so much. The fact that she’s not totally perfect by the end of the book makes her seem so much more real to me and I loved her even more for that.
Chelsea is not the only mean character. Her ex-friends are not nice people. They bully and torment her from the moment she turns on them and they really are nasty people. Honestly none of them redeem themselves and I felt that they deserved everything they got. Chelsea’s new friends however are freaking fantastic. Sam, Asha, Andy, and the rest of the gang are hilarious. They’re kind of a bunch of misfits and they just don’t care. They think for themselves, they do what they want, and they are truly kind people. Sam is of course the love interest but the romance between him and Chelsea is very subtle and it’s not a driving force in the book. And in no way is this insta-love. For the majority of the book Chelsea doesn’t speak and she and Sam are forced to get to know each other through notes, texts, and other cute little ways. They don’t have a typical relationship and it’s what makes them so perfect together.
The story is the best part of Speechless. One night Chelsea stumbles into a room at a party where she discovers a male classmate fooling around with another guy. Not really thinking she blurts this to her friend in front of quite a few people. Two of the boys decide to take it upon themselves to “teach the guys a lesson.” This lesson ends up putting one of the guys in the hospital, severely injured. Chelsea’s life quickly spirals out of control since she knows exactly who assaulted him. She has to decide whether she should do the right thing and tell the police, which would mean losing her friends, or keeping her mouth shut for once and remaining at the top of the popularity chain. For once Chelsea is forced to think for herself and what she finds out is that she’s not that great a person. So begins the vow of silence and a whole new side to Chelsea.
Overall, Speechless is a strong sophomore novel from Hannah Harrington and one that is very timely. I highly recommend reading this one for the story alone.
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