Page 78: Maybe I’ll be an artist if I grow up.The first time I read this line, I knew there was something wrong with it, but I couldn’t put a finger on it. I read it again, it bugged me more, and it was quite a while before I figured out why.Melinda says she’ll be an artist if she grows up, and not when she grows up.*goosebumps*And it’s exactly things like these – small evasive things with chilling implications – that make Speak such an incredibly powerful book.Speak is the story of high schooler Melinda Sordino, who stops all forms of verbal communication following a traumatizing incident one summer night. The only thing that keeps her sane and distracted is her uncanny mental commentary.The last problem novel I read was Wintergirls, written by this very same author, and it really rubbed me the wrong way. Lia’s obsession with weight in Wintergirls was maniacal, ever-present, overpowering...just too much to take.Speak, I felt, was the exact opposite. Melinda doesn’t dwell on her trauma; instead she tries to desperately forget it. And that’s easier said than done. As a result, there are clues and hints everywhere – in every thought, every action, every decision of Melinda’s. It’s present like a ghost, a shadow you see from the corner of your eyes that dissolves into nothing when you focus on it.You can literally dissect every other paragraph and find something deeper and darker behind it.Melinda finds seeds fascinating for a reason; she writes about the suffragettes for a reason; she faints in biology for a reason. No matter how inconsequential the chapters seem, they are there for a reason. I love the writing – it’s simple but powerful, just like the story. There were times when Melinda’s inner monologue was darkly hilarious, and just when I had sufficiently let my guard down, a deceptively simple line would jump right out and give me chills. Like the sentence I began with.Speak is definitely going on my re-read list.