Chelsea Knot is a popular and talkative sophomore at her local high school. She loves to gossip and her penchant for spreading rumors has earned her the reputation of someone who can't be trusted. Under normal circumstances, Chelsea would relish this description. But when she tells a secret that ends in a physical assault, Chelsea's world comes crashing down. Hated by both the victim's friends and the perpetrators, Chelsea decides to take a vow of silence. Not talking is hard, but learning to forgive herself is even harder. With a new set of friends and a new job, Chelsea learns that sometimes it's better to remain silent, and sometimes it's okay to speak up.
I thought that Speechless was an excellent YA novel. I loved Hannah Harrington's debut Saving June so I was hoping this would be just as good. Also if you liked If I Lie, you will definitely like Speechless, since they're very similar.
In the beginning, Chelsea isn't a very likable character. Obviously spreading rumors isn't very nice, so she easily gets on people's bad sides. She hangs out with the shallow popular crowd and her best friend is Queen Bee Kristen. This all changes when she tells a very important secret. I won't tell you what it is, but once you find out it makes perfect sense.
What I love about Speechless is that Chelsea learns a very important lesson: that words (like actions) have consequences. I think that's such a great message. What you say is sometimes just as important as what you do and thinking before you speak is an essential part of becoming an adult. Taking a vow of silence really taught Chelsea the importance of communication. I can't imagine giving up talking. It would be too difficult! I was glad that Chelsea stuck with it for a pretty long time.
I also loved that Chelsea moves on from the popular crowd and makes new friends who are actually nice people. The cast of characters at the diner were all fleshed out and had their own personalities, which added a lot of depth to the novel. Sam was a great love interest and Asha seemed like the best friend someone could have. Chelsea even is on good terms with Noah, the boy she hurt with her rumors, which shows the power of forgiveness.
Overall, Speechless was a great read and had a great message of doing what's right, forgiveness and speaking out when it's important.
Rating: 9 out of 10.
FTC: recieved from LitPick
2012/Harlequin Teen/286 pages.