Published: February 1st 2013 (first published August 29th 2012 by HarlequinTeen)
Publisher: Mira Ink (Harlequin UK Limited)
“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.” (Goodreads)
Bullies. We all have met or seen someone in life who has been either a bully or a victim of one. Chelsea was friends WITH bullies, she was part of a group who enjoyed their school life making fun of others. What she liked the most was to tell secrets, to spill whatever new she found on the hallway of the school or in her friends and colleagues’ phones. In a way, she was the source of the group. During a party at her “bestfriend”‘s house she found out something, let’s say, scandalous and couldn’t wait to tell everyone the last piece of news she had undiscovered: one of the guys at her school was gay. What she didn’t know was that unraveling that secret would have horrible consequences. Her supposed friends went after the gay couple and beat one of the guys up, the one that went to their school, under the pretense that it was disgusting what he was doing.
Chelsea told the police what her friends did. What Chelsea did after that was something that most wouldn’t have the balls to do. I’m saying this because, even though I would do the same, it isn’t something easy to go against your friends and, in this case, most probably putting their asses in jail. Even though it was guilt ridden, Chelsea’s actions were brave and proved strength that she didn’t even know she had. After that, she made a silence vow, promising to herself to never spill secrets again and, for some time, not to speak to anyone.
Now, something that upset me was the fact that people at school, including her former group, started outcasting her and making her the victim this time. People were more angry that she told about her friends to the police than what they did to Noah, the boy who was beaten and ended up in the hospital in a coma. However sad this might be, I know that there are people out there that still have this type of mentality and this was something that Speechless made me think about more and more. Are popular people so important to our lives that we should cover their mistakes for them? Is bullying acceptable if the bully is someone of influence? Should our loyalties stand if we think something is wrong in every way? What is happening nowadays? In my opinion we are only helping our friends when we make them see what’s right, even if the ways aren’t the gentler.
WOW, this is turning into a really dramatic and deep review! Let’s light it up a little, shall we?
Speechless had LOTS of funny moments. I actually spent most of my reading smiling to myself. Chelsea’s art teacher was amazing! I almost choked on my laugh whenever she encouraged Chelsea’s silence vow. And the protagonist’s mind was definitely something else. This was one of the things that Hannah Harrington managed to excel in my opinion. We see a total character development throughout the entire novel. It’s mind-blowing how Chelsea turns from a classic popular chick to someone who starts to question her every thoughts before exposing them and finally to someone who is confident in herself but can distinguish the right from wrong. Simply amazing. Her relationship with Asha and Sam is also something noteworthy. By the way, she could definitely crack me up most of the times.
” That doesn’t stop me from spending all of detention staring at the back of his dumb/gorgeous blond head, willing him to turn around and smile at me, which is one of my most absurd fantasies. Right up there with owning a pet unicorn or marrying Prince Harry.”
A little secret Chelsea, those last two aren’t that much of absurd fantasies, everyone has them!
But my favourite quote of this book is, without a doubt: “Hate is easy, but love takes courage”. That is one real piece of truth Hannah Harrington.
*Thanks to Harlequin (UK) Limited for providing me this galley vit NetGalley in exchange of a honest review*