If you like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

If you like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Divided into the four marking periods of an academic year, the novel, narrated by Melinda Sordino, begins on her first day as a high school freshman. No one will sit with Melinda on the bus. At school, students call her names and harass her; her best friends from junior high scatter to different cliques and abandon her. Yet Anderson infuses the narrative with a wit that sustains the heroine through her pain and holds readers' empathy. A girl at a school pep rally offers an explanation of the heroine's pariah status when she confronts Melinda about calling the police at a summer party, resulting in several arrests. But readers do not learn why Melinda made the call until much later: a popular senior raped her that night and, because of her trauma, she barely speaks at all. Only through her work in art class, and with the support of a compassionate teacher there, does she begin to reach out to others and eventually find her voice. (catalog summary)

Here are some suggestions for books with school drama/situations and plots that keep you guessing at the ending:


Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
Jam Gallahue, fifteen, unable to cope with the loss of her boyfriend Reeve, is sent to a therapeutic boarding school in Vermont, where a journal-writing assignment for an exclusive, mysterious English class transports her to the magical realm of Belzhar, where she and Reeve can be together. (catalog summary)





By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
High school student Daelyn Rice, who's been bullied throughout her school career and has more than once attempted suicide, again makes plans to kill herself, in spite of the persistent attempts of an unusual boy to draw her out. (catalog summary)




Cracked by K.M. Walton
When Bull Mastrick and Victor Konig wind up in the same psychiatric ward at age sixteen, each recalls and relates in group therapy the bullying relationship they have had since kindergarten, but also facts about themselves and their families that reveal they have much in common. (catalog summary)





Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
As she struggles to recover and survive, seventeen-year-old homeless Charlotte "Charlie" Davis cuts herself to dull the pain of abandonment and abuse. (catalog summary)





Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around. (catalog summary)






Stronger Than You Know by Jolene Perry
After fifteen years of horrific abuse and neglect by her mother and her mother's boyfriends, Joy struggles to understand and accept a normal life with relatives, at school, and with a boyfriend. (catalog summary)





The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten
When 14-year-old Adam Spencer Ross falls for a girl named Robyn Plummer, who attends his OCD support group, it provides him with an instant inspiration to try to become "normal." Despite medicine and therapy, Adam struggles with compulsive rituals and anxieties, particularly concerning his mother, who is acting increasingly strange herself. (Publisher's Weekly)




The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith
Starting high school didn't change who Eden was. But the night her brother's best friend rapes her, Eden's world capsizes. What Eden once loved-- who she once loved-- she now hates. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she's supposed to tell someone what happened but she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be. As she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence and heartbreak, of friendships broken and rebuilt, Eden must learn to embrace a power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart. (catalog summary)