Title : “SPEAK”
Copyright © 1999 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Cover art © 1999 by Michael Morgenstern
Square Fish (an imprint of MacMillan)
Printed in the United States of America
Originally published in United States by Farrar Straus Giroux
First Square Fish Edition : May 2011 | 216 p | ISBN 978-0-312-67439-7
Rate : 4 of 5
[ Goodreads ]
~ Conclusion in Bahasa Indonesia at the bottom post ~
My reading preference mostly in thriller, mystery and fantasy, and since two years ago I also added classiclit in my TBR, but then again I also reading so many different genre as long there is ‘good story’ in it. Several months ago I stumble on book by Laurie Halse Anderson’s Catalyst – the kind of story that really surprise me with shocking moment, added with interesting subject too. Since then I’m reaching to spend times to read another book of her. Then finally I meet with ‘SPEAK’ – another Laurie’s works that already have several praise and award too. But the subject of the story itself who really got me interested in reading it.
It story about teenage girl, Melinda Sordino’s who start her freshman year in Merryweather High with really bad situation. She enter the school as an Outcast. No body want to be friend with her, her best friends break-up their relationship, another student ignore and hating her for something happen is the summer. Everyone talks about what happen when cops busted the wild party that host by Rachel – Melinda’s best friend, and the only person took the blame for calling them is none other than Melinda. And when teenager got angry, well they can really act cruel and quite evil to others they did not like.
Laurie’s did not reveal as plain as usual story about the reason that cause Melinda’s behavior. Instead she lead readers to follow Melinda’s thought going through each miserable day, wanting, needing even screaming for help inside her heart, simply because she cannot ‘speak’ her trouble – her traumatic experience that changes all her life. Her parents did not understand what’s got into their daughter. They just sees that her grade are falling, her attitude are changes with her mood, and she’s withdrawn, refuse to speak anything. My heart breaking piece by pieces following Melinda’s journey. She did not act like suffering child, but she is dying in inside.
"IT doesn’t hear. IT breathes like a dragon. Its hand leaves my throat, attacks my body. I hit the wood against the poster, and mirror under it, again. “I said no."
This is the story about young girl – who experience being rape by stranger, and yet she cannot speak her sorrow, added with being outcast by fellow friend, best friends, even adult surrounding her life. Being teenager is tough and hard, and adult people (mostly parents) did not know how to interact with their troubleness. What I really like about this story that the author puts all the responsibility to change Melinda’s life in Melinda’s own hand. She must changing her attitude, and be brave enough to face her fear or she will ‘criple’ for the rest of her life. Someone said that time will heal the wound inside our heart, but the truth is all the agony and sorrow are never gone, they will be part of our life, the only thing we can do about it is to face the fear itself.
“Youve been through a lot, haven’t you ?” ___ “Let me tell you about it.”
Kisah tentang pelecehan seksual hingga pemerkosaan pada anak-anak maupun remaja, selalu menjadi sebuah kisah yang tak mudah dilupakan begitu saja. Demikian pula dengan ‘Speak’ karya Laurie Halse Anderson yang sempat membuatku terpana tatkala pertama kali membaca karyanya ‘Catalyst’. Speak adalah kisah tentang Melinda Sordino – gadis remaja yang cemerlang, berprestasi dan memiliki kehidupan ceria layaknya remaja seusianya. Hingga sebuah insiden saat liburan musim panas membuat kehidupan Melinda berubah 180 derajat. Ia masuk kembali ke sekolah sebagai ‘outcast’ – dijauhi rekan-rekan bahkan sahabat karibnya memutuskan persahabatan. Semua ini disebabkan karena Melinda dianggap sebagai pengadu, perusak suasana pesta yang diadakan diam-diam oleh sekelompok remaja di lokasi terlarang, dengan memanggil polisi yang berhasil menggerebek pesta dan menangkap sebagian besar dari para remaja tersebut. Namun tiada yang mengetahui kebenaran di balik perilaku Melinda – mengapa ia memanggil polisi datang ke pesta yang diadakan oleh sahabatnya ?
Melalui karakter Melinda, pembaca diajak memasuki dunia yang serba sulit – dunia kaum remaja, yang memiliki gejolak dan pemikiran tersendiri. Bahkan di saat ia mengalami kesulitan, di saat ia berusaha berteriak sekuat tenaga untuk mengeluarkan isi hatinya, terhalang karena Melinda tak mampu ‘berbicara’. Speak mencerminkan aneka kasus yang tak diketahui dan tak terselesaikan yang terjadi di hampir sebagian besar kaum remaja, terutama menyangkut kasus pelecehan seksual hingga pemerkosaan. Salah satu poin yang cukup menyentak benakku, tatkala penulis mengungkapkan pertanyaan dari (hampir) sebagian besar remaja pria, mengapa hubungan seksual bisa dikatakan pelecehan seksual hingga pemerkosaan jika hal tersebut ‘hanya’ sekedar permainan seks belaka – sebuah pemahaman baru, bahwa pendidikan dan pengetahuan tentang hubungan seksual haruslah dimulai semenjak dini untuk menghindari ‘kesalah-pemahaman’ konteks akan apa yang benar dan apa yang merupakan tindakan ‘melanggar’ hak manusia lainnya.
“Most of the censorship I see is fear-driven. I respect that. The world is a very scary place. It terrifying place in which to raise children, and in particular, teenagers. It is human nature to nurture and protect children as they grow into adulthood. But censoring books that deal with difficult, adolescent issus does not protectanybody. Quite the opposite. It leaves kids in darkness and makes them vulnerable.”“Cencorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance. Our children cannot afford to have the truth of the world withheld from them. They need us to be brave enough to give them great books so they can learn how to grow up into the men and women we want them to be.”~ Laurie Halse Anderson in ‘SPEAK’ ~
[ more about this author & related works, just check at here : Laurie Halse Anderson | on Goodreads | on Wikipedia | at Twitter ]
~ This Post are include in 2014 Reading Challenge ~
259th Book in TBRR Pile