The Sound of Silence: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Speechless
By Hannah Harrington
288 Pages
Published by Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: August 28, 2012 (expected)
Source: Netgalley

From Goodreads:

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 ahem…I scheduled this for 8/25 & forgot to write the review. Such a complete loser. If I wanted to be clever I could say that it LEFT ME SPEECHLESS. But meh. I’ll just schedule it to post again tomorrow and embrace my ineptitude.

So, Speechless. After reading Saving June I really wanted to read something else by Hannah Harrington, so I pounced on this. It was really different from SJ but I liked it a lot. Hannah Harrington has a knack for writing well done characters who really come to life.

In the case of Chelsea Knot, that’s not such a good thing for much of the book. Chelsea is HATEABLE to the nth degree. She makes Regina George & Gretchen Wieners look like the sweetest girls ever. And she’s not even the queen bee, she’s the queen bee’s gossip girl minion. Every move she makes is calculated as to how it will look for her image or how her best friend, Kristen, will react. She’s quite frankly a sickening person. My least favorite kind of person in real life or in books – 100% fake and has no personality of her own, she just sucks the personality from others. Even after she feels bad about gossiping and decides to change her ways – an act which she knows will cost her a great deal in terms of social status and something you can almost respect her for doing – she remains a complete and total asshole. Quote, once she starts to get a taste of her own nasty medicine: “Their opinion of me has never mattered before, and it’s not going to matter now. Nothing has changed. I’m still the same Chelsea Knot. Bow down, bitches.” If that doesn’t make you want to punch a fictional character in the chicklets you’re a better person than I am.

I was worried early on that I wasn’t going to connect with the book because I detested Chelsea so much. And while I usually hesitate to bask in any type of schadenfreude, I couldn’t help but feel like Chelsea had brought her problems on herself and deserved to get a little of what she had gleefully dished out for so long. In other words, she reaped what she had sown. She was just so conceited and arrogant and so completely unrepentant in so many ways. Or at least, conflicted. She did the right thing and she wasn’t sure it was worth it because it was all about her.

For me, that made it even cooler to watch her growth as a person. I mean, this girl literally went from minion of hell to actual human being.  It was a huge turnaround. And while she was prone to slippage at times, sliding effortlessly back into her old disdain for everyone except for herself and her popular former crew, she actually became someone worthwhile.

There are also great supporting characters here. The mean girls are so, so mean. They’re just vicious and nasty. And the new people that Chelsea meets are – despite being “nerds” who she never would have given a second glance to had she not fallen so far – awesome. Sam & Asha are true friends, and considering that they end up having quite an interesting connection. They are the people that Chelsea should aspire to be. In fact, I almost wish that this had been addressed more during the book. How they were better than Chelsea’s old friends and better than Chelsea herself.

As far as the vow of silence, I thought it would get kind of annoying – I mean, how do you have a main character who doesn’t talk – but it turned out to be a non-issue. In fact, the book could have actually been written without that whole storyline, IMO. It was good enough even without it (though the title prob would have had to have been changed).

Hannah Harrington is an author that I’m definitely going to look out for in the future. I’ve been impressed by both of the books I’ve read so far.

4/5 Stars

 

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2 Comments

  1. I have this for review. Hope to get to it soon!

    Reply
  2. I’ve heard so much about Harrington. I have SJ and am dying to read both books. I’m glad you liked this and I am stealing the phrase “punch her in the chicklets”.

    Reply

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