Speechless – Hannah Harrington
First! Thank you to Harlequin UK and to NetGalley for allowing me a preview copy of this, it was ace, so thanks!
I’ve said before that I am a complete sucker for pretty covers, so I think that was why I ended up requesting this from NetGalley. I hope that this ends up being the final cover because I think it looks awesome, although, you know, I know that books featuring a pretty girl on the cover usually come under some criticism. I like it. It’s an appropriate cover, which is something.
So, what’s this all about?
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.
So, the story kicks off on the night of Chelsea spilling the secret that in turn leads to her downfall, and then details each subsequent day as she deals with the aftermath spanning about a month of her life. After the initial secret sharing, Chelsea takes a vow of silence and decides it’s better for everyone, herself included if she doesn’t say anything at all. So, basically, this is a book where the main character doesn’t speak for a month. AN ENTIRE MONTH. It’s a great concept and I found myself respecting Chelsea’s decision as it went on and it made me realise just how much value words lose when you use them all the time. It’s something we’re all guilty of, talking without saying anything.
Anyway, the book itself:
My initial thoughts on this was that it was Mean Girls in book form. The opening few pages shows Chelsea gossiping with her BFF Kristen in a scene which could have just have easily been a deleted scene between Cady and Regina. This feeling stayed with me for probably the entire thing which is slightly unfair of me considering there are practically no narrative similarities at all. I think it’s the tone, the girl war esque vibe to it and the heavy teenage dialogue.
It was just like this a lot of the time though:
I actually really enjoyed this, it was fast paced and although I didn’t particularly. like the main character to begin with, I found myself being drawn into this and actually feeling a little lost after I’d finished it.
I have a couple of issues with the amount of slut shaming going on (seriously, if we girls call each other sluts and whores it makes it ok for guys to do it) but that is just the feminist in me. She likes to rear her head now and again. I also really really hate the secret that Chelsea let slip and which subsequently kicked off the story. I don’t want to give anything away (it happens really early on but it’s not in the blurb so I don’t want to spoil it) but, it’s one of my pet peeves so I found myself disliking her to start with based on that, but she managed to win me around and I kind of love it when books do that.
“You can be surrounded by people and still be lonely. You can be the most popular person in school, envied by every girl and wanted by every boy, and still feel completely worthless. The world can be laid at your feet and you can still not know what you want from it.”
In short, this was well written, the main character starts out being very whiney, self involved and suffering some serious first world problems but she gets less and less annoying the further you delve into her story.
I would actually recommend this to anyone who lists YA as being a favourite genre and I can certainly see myself wanting to go out and buy a copy and re read it soon. Thank you to Harlequin UK and to NetGalley for allowing me a preview copy.
It was, as they say in girl world, totally fetch.