Speechless by Hannah Harrington Book Review

Book: Speechless by Hannah Harrington, HarlequinTeen, On Sale Now

Book Info: YA Contemporary, ARC via NetGalley, PB 288 pages

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

More Info:  Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Love is Louder anti-bullying movement

In Speechless, Chelsea Knot is the second-in-command in the popular crowd at her school. She’s achieved acclaim by aligning herself with girl posse leader Kristen, but she always needs to prove her worth, typically by digging up gossip. Chelsea witnesses something she shouldn’t have at a party and blabs about it to the wrong people, leading to dire circumstances. Now she’s taken a vow of silence to help make up for the trouble she’s caused, and she has some new friends to help her on her path. It’s not easy, however, as the bully-er is now the bully-ee when her old pack turns against her.

I liked Chelsea, but it took me a little while to warm up to her. The book started off rough for me because it was hard to connect with or like any of these self-centered and superficial characters. But even though I didn’t like Chelsea at first, she won me over by trying to make herself better and to fix her problems. Her peers, teachers, and family are skeptical about the no-speaking plan and that Chelsea can change her ways. Her old friends are giving her the cold shoulder because of the perceived betrayal, and her new potential group of friends is understandably wary of Chelsea. I’ve regret saying hurtful things in high school so I could relate that Chelsea is trying to rise above her mistakes.

I liked seeing Chelsea gain her new friends Sam and Asha’s trust and learn about how true, supportive friends behave. There’s also a sweet, romantic angle to one of the friendships though it’s not the main focus of the book. And of course it’s a little tricky for the developing romance when only one person can speak!

Besides bullying, Speechless also addresses relevant topics like sexuality and tolerance, and speaking up when it’s the right thing to do. Though there are some heavy subjects covered, Harrington handles it with a light touch and the writing flows easily throughout. The anti-bullying message in Speechless makes it a good fit for school libraries and as a teaching tool. Though tolerance and bullying may be a little improved since I’ve been in middle school and high school there is clearly still a lot of work to do.

I loved Harrington’s first book, Saving June, and now with Speechless Harrington has become a new favorite author. Fans of Saving June should watch for a subtle but sweet cameo by Jake and Harper by the way.  If you enjoy contemporary YA I hope you give this book a try. I’m looking forward to reading Harrington’s next book.


12 thoughts on “Speechless by Hannah Harrington Book Review

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    It sounds like this book has a lot of lessons in it. Being popular in high school is so much work – it doesn’t seem like it’s worth it.

  2. Hannah has been added to my favorite authors list as well. And OMG I didn’t even notice the cameo until now. The boy that suggested the paint color, right? I can’t believe I didn’t notice!

    1. Lucy says:

      Yes- that’s the scene! I didn’t notice at first either, but the attention paid to Jake during such a small scene got my attention. Glad you like this author too, Lori!

  3. I’ll have to look up this author! Thanks for sharing!

  4. vmcarswell says:

    I definitely want to read this book! It sounds like a really powerful read and I am interested to se how the author handles the fact that the main character doesn’t speak for a lot of the book. I didn’t really get into much contemporary YA until I read Anna and the French Kiss and now I love several of them.

  5. bookchilla says:

    Ooh, cameo role from Jake & Harper? Nice!

  6. Candice says:

    I haven’t heard of her but this book sounds really good. I love the premise of it and the bully kind of trying to make up for her past deeds. Will have to add this one to my TBR list!

  7. Kelsey says:

    There definitely needs to be more anti-bullying books out there! I’m glad she could make the topic flow in this book, is it one that’s going to make me cry at all?
    I have this book and her other one on my wishlist, hopefully I get to read them at some point soon. 🙂

  8. bookgoonie says:

    I really liked Saving June, but I think your’s and other reviews have me very psyched about Speechless.

  9. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! It wasn’t my favorite of Harrington’s books, but I was so impressed by her ability to write so well and tackle on such a different topic, not to mention protagonist. Fantastic review! 😀

  10. […] 5. Speechless by Hannah Harrington – Harrington’s sophomore outing tackles such relevant topics as bullying, tolerance, and sexuality. A new auto-buy contemporary author. Review […]

  11. […] Speechless by Hannah Harrington- Speechless is about a bully who becomes bullied […]

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.