Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is one of the most moving and empowering novels I have ever read. The main character, Melinda, is a not quite popular soon-to-be freshman who decides to attend a party that irrevocably changes her life. At that party, she is raped by a popular senior after becoming drunk, and spends the entire school year trying to hide that fact, while become a social and academic failure. The pain and fear is only made worse when her best friend begins to date that senior. Everything finally culminates when he tried to rape Melinda again, but this time her screams are heard.
This book should be read by all teenagers, especially females, over the age of 13. It will no doubt change your perspective on life, love, and friendship. The obvious pain of Melinda can make this book seem almost depressing, and much of the content necessitates a more mature audience. I can imagine anyone affected in any way by sexual abuse will be able to connect with the novel on a even deeper level.