I just finished Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. What a great read! Everyone I know who has read it has recommended it, but for some reason I had never been able to get myself to read it. At various times throughout the years since it's been out, I've had it on my desk, but it never actually got read. I finally picked it up and took a dive into it and it is one of those books that really does live up to its good press and buzz. In Speak, Melinda, a freshman in high school, starts her high school career as one of those people in high school that just doesn't fit in. She doesn't fit in with the jocks, she doesn't fit in with the "Martha's" (those outreach community service kids that are, perhaps, just a little too into it), she just doesn't fit in. As the year progresses, she finds it harder and harder to speak up and stand up for herself, and as the book progresses, we slowly begin to find out why. Anderson skillfully reveals Melinda's tale a layer at a time in captivating fashion. The characters and high school social dramas that they are embroiled in ring far more true then most other books for young adults that I've read in a very long time. If you haven't read it yet, don't miss this one!