Why haven’t I read this book before? Melinda has been burned into my brain, and has touched me. Just reading the book flap sends prickles up my arms.

The safest place for Melinda to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she admitted it and let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have no choice. Melinda would have to speak the truth.

Melinda bites her lips until they bleed every day. She fails all her classes. No one has heard her speak without being asked to for a very long time. She just can’t handle everyone closing in on her, especially The Person. Melinda is finding it harder and harder to speak. Her throat is strained, sore, and painful. Her mutilated lips disgust everyone, and nothing will heal them. She can’t meet eyes or talk to her teachers. Melinda can’t always avoid that night at the party with The Person. Meanwhile, she finds a place inside of her where everything is peaceful, but for how long?

I can’t tell you any more, just please, please read this book, even if you’re a guy. It’s not to hard to figure out what happened to Melinda, but that isn’t the point of the book. The Person is truly scary, and my heart thumped faster every time he came on the page. I really think this should be required reading for eighth graders (not younger).

Actually, last year, our class watched Speak but I didn’t know soon enough to read the book beforehand. The movie is just as powerful. Kristin Stewart, who is now playing Bella from Twilight, made herself into Melinda. This is probably one of the best “movies from books” that I have ever seen. It takes the exact tone of the book, sarcasm and everything. I particularly enjoyed the hospital scene which nearly startled me into tears at school When I watched it on my own, I was moved to tears many times. It made me ask, “There are those movies that make me wonder what life would be like if it was that hard. What would life be like if it was hard all the time? What if I was Melinda?” Hmm… I need to reread this. Now.

I love the new platinum edition cover, the green is just so strong. I’m a bit confused to why Things Not Seen is a modern platinum edition, though. I’d be grateful if someone would tell me. It’s not that I don’t like the book, it just doesn’t belong with Speak.