Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington


speechlessTitle: Speechless
Hannah Harrington
YA comtemporary
Sarah @ Breaking the Binding (Paperback)


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.

my thoughts-01

Book covers are one of my favourite things, so when a book comes along that has a cover as simple as Speechless, I’m, well … speechless! And slightly skeptical. I mean, being a cover judger like me, can a book be good if a cover is too simple?

One word: Yes.

I remember when I read Hannah Harrington’s last book, Saving June, and I was immediately swept up in her writing and read the whole thing straight through. It was just a really good book, with powerful messages, memorable characters, and … a gorgeous cover.

The cover on this book may not be gorgeous, but I think it really speaks true of what’s INSIDE its pages. Do we really need something flashy and full of colour for it to mean something? Do we need a picture of the character on the cover, so we can immediately attach ourselves to certain aspects of their look? Not really. 

I really loved how the main character in this book comes to her decision to not speak at all. It was such a huge thing that happened and it’s amazing to think how one innocent thing said — well, something that one person could think of as innocent — could lead to such huge things. I’m not only talking about the bullying and assault that happens in the beginning of the book, but the fact that Chelsea changed so much just from being silent.

It really is quite a powerful thing, to think that we go day to day chattering about with people, rarely even thinking about what we say before we say it, that we forget the power of words themselves. One small thing can make a huge impact.

Chelsea was a wonderful character and I loved seeing her change throughout the book. I loved that her parents weren’t totally for this change in her demeaner, that it wasn’t totally easy for her to just stop speaking. I also liked how she didn’t say she was going to stop speaking for a certain amount of time, but until it felt right, until she had something to say. The whole thing was just so moving.

Along with Chelsea, some of the bullies in the book were just so vicious that they made my stomach curl. But then, they were balanced out with the amazing characters in the book, the ones that Chelsea found herself gravitating towards who may not have been the right choice in her mind in the beginning, but who managed to help her in so many ways.

One thing I worried about when reading this was that there would be no dialogue, that it would be boring to just be in Chelsea’s head, but it wasn’t at all like that. There was still “dialogue,” in the form of notes written, or Chelsea writing on a whiteboard. But the great thing about it was that it wasn’t frivilous dialogue, but words that she had to think of. When you come to think about it, if you’re going to take the time to write it down, it better be good.

Honestly, this was such a great book and Hannah Harrington has a great voice that should be heard. I really can’t wait to see what she comes up with in the future. Highly recommended!


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4 thoughts on “Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

  1. I really liked this one too, and I think the simple cover speaks to how carefully Chelsea had to choose her words, when she did decide to write something down – after reading, the cover made perfect sense!

    • I know, right? I love how simple it is — the book really didn’t need anything fancy! And it’s a real eye-catcher, too, for not having very much to it.

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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