Friday, October 1, 2010

Speaking of Speak

WEDIO, my plan to Write Every Day in October, begins today. I should have already cranked out two thousand words or more, since I have Fridays off. But my head is too immersed in Speak. Sitting in a coffee house this afternoon, I read the last half of it straight through, and when looked up from the last page I had difficultly returning to reality. Everything was hazy, like I’d just been woken up too abruptly from a dream. The book exceeded its incredible reputation. I haven’t read a better (or sharper or funnier or more compelling) depiction of high school culture and adolescent isolation. 

Reading the book confirmed what I suspected in a previous blog post: Wesley Scroggins’ views are even more ridiculous than his name. The sexual content is not graphic or pornographic, and even if it was, a work that so powerfully captures both typical adolescence and its darkest potentials should never, ever be banned.

But it’s hard to work on my own YA project in the shadow of Speak. Even though I have a very different purpose and setting, Anderson’s brilliant work still makes me feel inadequate (not an uncommon occurrence; maybe I should start reading crappier books), and Melinda’s voice still resonates and dominates my thoughts.

Thank goodness I work best at night.

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