Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington
Author: Hannah Harrington
Release: August, 2012
Reviewer: Mona Leigh
Purchase: | Book Depository
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.
We’ve all known someone like Chelsea Knot. You know, the drama queen who spreads gossip to garner attention, the hanger-on who isn’t popular enough to make it on her own, the diva without a cause.
Chelsea Knot is one of those people. She pals around with the most popular girl in school never daring to have an opinion of her own. If anyone has a secret, she’ll unearth it, and everyone will know it within minutes. Nothing is sacred to her.
She lies to her parents in order to attend a New Year’s eve party with her best/most popular friend, and she doesn’t let a little thing like good judgment stand in the way of juicy gossip. Nope. When she catches a boy named Noah with another guy, she makes a bee-line downstairs and spills her guts. When her best friend’s boyfriend and another jock decide to teach Noah and his boyfriend a lesson, suddenly, Chelsea realizes she should have kept her mouth shut.
Later, she learns that Noah’s in the hospital in critical condition after being beaten up outside a convenience store. Finally, her long dormant conscience kicks in and she confesses everything to her parents, who naturally call the cops. After giving her statement, Chelsea spots a magazine article about monks who take a vow of silence, and decides that since speaking has caused so much trouble in her life, she’ll take a vow of silence, too.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Just refuse to speak and everything will be okay. But it doesn’t work that way. Now she’s on everyone’s shit list. One of her teachers gives her detention every day for not participating in class, one thinks it’s a brilliant idea and gives her a small dry erase board to use to converse, the popular kids insult her and paint slurs on her locker, and most everyone shuns her. She learns who her real friends are … no one. And she has no one to blame but herself.
By keeping her mouth shut, Chelsea learns to listen to others. By getting picked on and ostracized, she develops compassion for the unpopular kids. And when she stands up for them, she learns how to be a friend. A real friend. Chelsea’s journey into self-discovery comes at a high price, but the friends she makes and the lessons she learns teach her far more than anything she’s experienced in her short life.
By the end of the book, Chelsea manages to redeem herself with her parents, her teachers, and most importantly – Noah. She learns the hard way that being popular at the expense of everyone else is a poor substitute for being a good person, and that a real friend will like you for yourself, not for who you know or what you own.
Maybe we should all give a copy of this book to the drama queens in our lives.