Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret.”
After spilling a secret that almost gets someone killed, Chelsea Knot decides that she won’t speak to anyone - not her teachers, her parents, or even herself - until she learns how to “keep her mouth shut” and stop hurting others. But there’s a difference between blurting out and speaking up, and it takes some unexpected friends that are willing to give Chelsea a second chance for her to learn that difference - and to learn to forgive herself.
Even though the setting of this fiction novel - a high school overrun by popular bullies, how original! - might seem at first glance to be generic and overdone, the story is anything but. Speechless takes an honest look at what high school can be like, and the characters are just so real and authentic that it’s impossible not to care for them. Chelsea is not in any way a perfect person, but as she grows to learn about others and herself over the course of the novel you start to root for her as hard as you can. Hannah Harrington's descriptive and humorous writing style does a great job of letting the reader see into Chelsea's thought process and realizations, so that the story really pulls you in as you read.
Speechless is heart-wrenching and heartwarming at the same time, and the humor scattered throughout makes it a pleasure to read. It’s an absolutely fantastic novel, and I would definitely recommend it to mature teen readers. Recommended for ages 14 and up.