Speechless by Hannah Harrington
Publication date: 28th August 2012
My rating: 4 stars
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.
Now 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 worse.
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.
This book has seriously left me speechless, what I enjoyed most about going into this book was that I had no real idea what the book would be about. The main reason for picking it up was because it was by Hannah Harrington; I adored Saving June so couldn’t wait to get my hands on more of her books. I liked how the synopsis hardly gave anything away and the cover was simple yet so beautiful. I liked the fact that I had no expectations what so ever (this made me realise I should do this more often when picking up books).
Chelsea is best friends with the ever popular Kristen. Everyone wants to know Kristen, so having the merest association with her brings up ones reputation dramatically. Everyone looks up to you, but at the same time everyone is also afraid of you, they know never to get on your bad side. So when one night at Kristen’s famous New Year party Chelsea puts her foot in it. Chelsea has the reputation of being in the know of the latest gossip and for not being able to keep her mouth shut. On the night of the party she ends up seeing something never expected. Because of the shots she’d had earlier on she’s a bit slow at processing what’s she’s doing and instead of just telling Kristen in private she blurts it out in front of the entire football team. Before she knows it some of the football members get so heated up and decide to take things in their own hands. Everything’s escalated out of control because Chelsea decided to open her mouth. Chelsea feels totally responsible and decides to take a vow of silence, because everything that normally comes out of her mouth gets her into trouble any way.
One thing I’ve quickly come to realise about Hannah Harrington’s writing is she knows how to get under your skin. With Saving June there were so many parts which were raw and achy and left a huge lump in my throat. Harrington was quick to do the same with Speechless. Her writing flowed effortlessly that before I knew it I was more than half way through the book. She has a beautiful way of pulling you in and reaching out to you, so each word just plays with your emotions. Her writing also has a magnetic feel about it that it led me to form such strong connections with the characters. I wish I could go on and describe how Harrington’s words affected me but I think my explanation would fall way short.
The main character Chelsea I found I could hugely relate to, she’d found herself in such a tough situation and left totally helpless. She was an interesting character’s head to be in; having to deal with the backlash and then suddenly to come to the realisation of what kind of a person she really was. She did however surprise me with her humour; despite everything going on she was still able to see the funny side to things. However I was also sort of conflicted about her through the book, it was because of Chelsea and her big mouth that the unexpected event took place, and I understood that’s why she felt that she couldn’t talk afterwards, but at times I found it infuriating that she didn’t talk, because did she think that by not talking it would make everything okay again? But then at other times I felt for her because of all the crap she had to deal with afterwards, she didn’t once open her mouth to giving a biting comment back, it certainly would have alleviated her situation a lot more, but by not talking she made herself an easy target.
The secondary characters that emerged in this story I hugely adored, Asha, Sam and even Andy against their better judgement were there when needed. They easily showed that sometimes friendship can be found in the most unexpected places.
Speechless was such a captivating read, it’s the first book in so long that I took everywhere I went, I just couldn’t bear to put it down. It was a book where the characters displayed depth, and I ended up truly admiring each and everyone as they brought something different to the story. Harrington is another great author whose books I finally decided to pick up this year, she has truly impressed me with her books so far that I cannot wait to pick up more of her future work soon.
Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for the opportunity to read this book.
Also thank you to Leanne for reading this with me! If you haven’t already you can check out her awesome review here.