Book Title:
Shout
Book Author:
Laurie Halse Anderson
Page Count:
304
Publishing Date:
March 12th, 2019
Publisher:
Viking Books
Date Read:
March 7th, 2019
Format:
Hardcover
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

A searing poetic memoir and call to action from the bestselling and award-winning author of Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson!

Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she's never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society's failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #metoo and #timesup, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts. Shout speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice-- and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.

My Review

Wait wait wait, back up – Speak was published 20 years ago? Seriously? It’s hard to believe I was only nine when that book was published. Geez.

Anyway. I don’t really read memoirs that often (or nonfiction), but this book was one that I had my eye on since I heard about it a while ago. It was actually one of the books that I picked for my Book of the Month club choices. I had just finished reading Wintergirls, so for me it was a no-brainer that this would be one of the books I would pick for March. I was so excited when the book got to me, and I started reading it right away.

For anyone who has read Speak (and for those who have not), Shout is a really powerful and moving memoir that is bound to cause a lot of mixed emotions. I thought there were some funny parts, some sad parts, and there were parts that made me incredibly angry.

“This is the story of a girl who lost her voice and wrote herself a new one.”

Shout tells the story of a girl who has grown up to become a bestselling author – an author of one of the most influential, powerful young adult novels of all time. In fact, it’s the kind of book that, upon hearing “Young Adult books” come up in conversation, you can’t help but automatically think of. But you have to wonder – what’s the story behind the woman who wrote that book? What drove her to write it?

This is your chance to find out. This is your chance to really get to know the author of so many bestselling novels, and on a deeply personal level. This is the author of those novels, spilling her heart out, poetry-style, full of all the pain and untold stories, full of wisdom, knowledge, and courage – this is her story.

“Pain won’t be contained
by bars or marks
your scars deserve attention, too.”

Shout is equal parts beautiful and terrifying. It is what you expect it to be, only it’s not – it’s better. It’s raw. It’s the kind of book you’ll want to finish in a single sitting; a book that cannot be put down until the very last page, which at that point you will find yourself turning it over in your hands, flipping the cover open, and rereading it, just to feel all the author’s words wash over you again, digging deeper into her beautifully written prose.

I really enjoyed Shout. I think this is the kind of book that is the perfect read after Speak, but to be honest, even if you haven’t read Speak, this is a book that you can really enjoy, as well.

I love that this book is written in free-verse poetry for most of it. Every poem has its own title, and every one of them tells its own story. Some of these stories are heartbreaking, while others are inspiring. It’s such a personal novel, a surefire way to really get to know the author through her experiences. For example, I found it utterly fascinating that she traveled abroad for over a year, living on a farm and learning Dutch. Many of them are about her family, her experiences (those both good and bad), and about her achievements – all of which make her who she is today.

I’m trying not to give too much about Shout away, because it’s the kind of book you just have to read. If you’re a lover or YA, or if you’ve never read a YA book in your life, you really shouldn’t pass this one up. There’s so much here, an entire lifetime filled with experiences and stories, all told in a beautiful fashion that will have you gaining a newfound appreciation for life.

5 stars
This entry was posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Reviews, Young Adult and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

  1. I hadn’t realized Speak was published so long ago. I like the sound of this one being free verse. I think this kind of medium has a wide appeal. This one sounds amazing. Great review!
    Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Standalone Novels I Wouldn’t Mind Seeing a Sequel ForMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you! I thought it was interesting that the author chose to write the book that way – it’s different and really makes a huge impact!

  2. Oh, wow. I have heard of Speak, but I haven’t read it. It’s on my someday list, but I haven’t jumped on it because I wasn’t a big fan of The Impossible Knife of Memory. I guess I need to push it up the list because I’m just as curious about this one as I was about that one. It reminds me how Alice Seebold (The Lovely Bones) wrote her memoir, Lucky.

    Great review!

    • Kelly says:

      I actually haven’t read The Impossible Knife of Memory, so I can’t compare it to that…but I loved Wintergirls so this was definitely on my to read list. I also haven’t read The Lovely Bones yet, either – I need to get to that one! You should definitely pick this one up, though – even if you didn’t read Speak, you still might enjoy this!

  3. Lily says:

    I’ve heard amazing things about Speak, that it’s a pretty powerful novel. I’m hoping to pick it up at some point. I think it got a new cover for 20 year anniversary and it’s pretty

  4. This definitely sounds interesting, but the whole free verse thing is enough for me to pass on it. I am just not a fan of that kind of writing. Great review!

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks so much! I know free verse and poetry-style writing isn’t for everyone – there are some books that use it that I really struggled with!

  5. Rebecca says:

    I’ve never read Speak, not have I heard of it. And I wasn’t privy to this book until now. I’m completely intrigued. I love YA, and would love to know more about my favorite authors and what compelled them to become these incredible storytellers. Sounds like a good read.

  6. I haven’t read this one yet and I really should. I had no idea that it was written 20 years ago. That’s some incredible and powerful sounding writing. I am definitely going to make sure it is on my TBR. 😉
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