A review by leahsbooks
Speak: The Graphic Novel, by Laurie Halse Anderson, Emily Carroll

challenging dark emotional sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


I haven't read the original novel that this graphic novel is adapted from, but this story is incredibly powerful in graphic format, and I can't help but think that it makes it even more accessible. Stories like this are so important to have out in the world, so that young people (and adults too) who are struggling can understand how to process events and emotions that they may not be comfortable sharing. 

Melinda is a character who my heart broke for. After experiencing a severe trauma, she doesn't know how to share it with anyone else, and it keeps her isolated and alone. So instead, she continues to draw further inward as everything around her falls apart. Her family life is in shambles, as are her grades and social life. The only positive in her life is art class. 

It was so hard to see Melinda self-destructing, but seeing her learn how to reclaim her voice and use it to speak up for herself was incredible. I'd highly recommend this graphic novel, and I'm absolutely planning to read the original book.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings