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.
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
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.
Speechless is a great book that looks at important issues like bullying and hate crime through the lens of a narrator who isn't the most likable and first, and who is real and flawed. This book is really a journey for this narrator, and it is a great journey to read and experience.
Chelsea Knot starts off the book as a rather unlikable character, due to her inability to keep secrets. When she catches two boys together at a party, she wants to tell her best friend, and she tells her in front of most of the people at the party. What Chelsea does not know at the time is how her inability to keep secrets will end up putting a boy in the hospital, thanks to a couple of homophobic jerks hearing what she told the people at the party. My favorite part of this book was getting to watch Chelsea learn from her mistakes and grow as a person. She becomes a social outcast after she turns in the jerks to the people, and her old friends don't like her anymore because those boys were in their friend group too. Because of this, she has to find new friends. I loved seeing how she really felt bad about telling the secret, and that she knew it was wrong now.
Because of Chelsea being kicked out of her old friend group, she has to find some new friends, and she does find some great ones. First, there is Sam, a boy who she sits next to in art class. Sam is the best friend of Noah, the boy who is in the hospital. You might think that Sam would dislike Chelsea because she told the secret that landed his friend in the hospital, but Sam is really a good guy, so he doesn't do that. He instead ends up bonding with her through their art project. He is so sweet and good to Chelsea, and I love him so much for that. Chelsea also becomes friends with a girl named Asha that she meets at detention. Asha is a freshman, and she is really nice and bubbly, and she is a great friend to Chelsea. Unlike Chelsea's former friends, she isn't someone who is shallow and cares about popularity, so I liked her much better. This friendship was great, and I liked how Chelsea slowly realized how great of a friend Asha was. Another interesting character in the book is Andy, Noah's boyfriend. His feelings are complicated towards Chelsea, because he knows that Noah wouldn't have been beaten up if she hadn't told, yet he also knows that she had no idea that that would happen. The development of the tentative possible friendship between Andy and Chelsea is interesting to read.
If you like YA contemporary, read this book.