3.97 (11,267 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 140 x 209 x 20mm | 268g
  • Don Mills, Ont., Canada
  • English
  • 0373210523
  • 9780373210527
  • 135,360

About Hannah Harrington

Hannah Harrington resides in Michigan with one dog and too many cats. When she isn t busy writing like a crazy person, she enjoys arguing about politics, watching documentaries, playing guitar (very badly), and speaking about herself in the third person. You can find her online at hannahharrington.blogspot.com, facebook.com/hannahharrington and on Twitter @hharrington_."
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Rating details

11,267 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 35% (3,965)
4 37% (4,147)
3 21% (2,321)
2 5% (569)
1 2% (265)

Our customer reviews

Chelsea Knot has gone too far. She was known to be a gossiper and prattler. Until one day when her thoughtless behaviour nearly gets someone killed and she decides to take a vow of silence to find back to her old self again. SPEECHLESS is a story showing that recklessness and thoughtlessness of social groups of teenagers can affect and even ruin the life of other teens. One day you are trying to make a good impression on your so-called friends and the next you see that the things you thought to be important suddently feel like trivial nonense. Chelsea's vow of silence is unexpected and radical. Others might think her decision ridiculous and unnecessary, what's done is done. But Chelsea doesn't recognize herself anymore. The vow of silence is the best decision she's ever made. Being silent is so very hard for a communicative person like Chelsea. She is a character with a high growth-potential. It's her choice to change her life, to be more responsive for people's feelings and to make sure to treat them with the respect and kindess they deserve. Her story is very reflective about her past social life and the mistakes she's made and she's more than willing to learn from past mistakes. So she very much deserves a chance at new love, too. With a new boy she meets, Noah. Noah and her love story is more slow and thought-through than Chelsea's previous actions. Chelsea is careful and considerate now. Before she can give him her heart, she wants to be absolutely sure she's a girl worth being loved and who can give as much honesty and love in return without hurting anyone in the process. 5/5 ***** SPEECHLESS – An efficacious and incorruptible story about a telling vow of silence with social and personal relevance. Chelsea Knot is probably one YA character with the smallest share of words, but one with the greatest inner developments. Hannah Harrington's writing was as flawless as in her debut novel SAVING JUNE. Her stories are relevant for teens, encouraging them to show incentive to change and think about their own ways of treating other people.show more
by MissPageTurner
Sort of a mix between Some Girls Are and Mean Girls, Speechless by Hannah Harrington tells a story of hate, bullying, prejudice, love and forgiveness. It shows what it means to forgive and be forgiven. And what it takes to learn to forgive yourself. Speechless is a story every teenage girl should read, because I think many teenagers, but especially girls, have a severe issue with their self worth as a person. They see other girls around them and in magazines and say I'm not as pretty. They fail a test or don't understand an assignment and say I'm not smart. I'm not funny, I'm not special, I'm not perfect. But no one ever is and Speechless shows one girl's journey to discover her place in the world and discover that she, and everyone else, has something to offer, regardless of what other people might believe. Within the first twenty pages I had already decided I needed to buy this book as a gift for someone. It was just so good I needed to share it. Chelsea is one of those rare characters that could do just about anything and I still don't think I could dislike her. She makes mistakes and is mean to others, but in the same way everyone in the world is mean to each other. She is smart and strong and confident, all while being insecure and unsure of her self and sucking at math. She's real in the way everyone is real in high school and that is a huge part of why Speechless succeeds in it's goal. Harrington manages to create a likable but flawed character that makes reading Speechless feel like looking into a mirror. Chelsea's dedication to her vow of silence is possibly the strongest thing about her. I wouldn't be able to do it. I talk too much. I talk so much, I'll talk out loud even when no one is in a room with me. I just talk out loud to the universe. And I could never not sing along to music. That's, like, impossible. But somehow Chelsea does it, because she's got a point to make, even if it's just to herself. There is such an issue with bullying in school and on the Internet today, but most people don't even realize they're doing it. Gossiping and telling secrets, talking about people behind their back or anonymously (without @ mentioning them on Twitter), that's bullying. And, unfortunately, everyone does it at some point or another. Speechless gives the reader a look inside the world of a girl who was just doing what everyone else was doing, and accidentally set into motion a series of events that would change her life, and the lives of those around her, forever. It's crazy to me how easy it can be to gossip, spread rumors, talk badly about people. Like Noah, a character who plays an integral role in Speechless, says, "Hate is easy, but love takes courage." {Speechless, page 267} It's easier to say something mean than it is to say something nice. We've all heard that saying as children, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," but very few of us actually live that way. Imagine how much better the world would be-no! Forget that. Just imagine how much better a single day would be if people thought about what they were saying before they blurted a nasty comment. But harder than just being nice is standing up for what's right. When someone is being bullied or harassed, how many people will stand up and say, "That's enough"? Because I know there are times, just like for Chelsea in Speechless, when it's easier to keep your mouth shut and avert your gaze. Just pretend it isn't happening. But, you know what? It's not easier on the person being victimized. It's not easier on their family and friends. But like Noah said, it takes courage to love. It takes strength to show someone kindness and understanding and forgiveness. And Speechless gives you, as a reader, a look at what can happen when you show courage and stand up for what's right instead of giving into hate. Speechless causes you to think about your life and your world and your workplace or school in a whole new way, because the events and actions of the characters are so familiar to us all. We've all known a Kristen or a Warren or a Lowell or even a Chelsea. Maybe we've even been them at some point. It shows you how something as simple as speaking can effect your life in ways you've never imagined because words have power, even if we abuse or disregard that power on a daily basis. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I recommend this book to any and all teenagers and adults willing to read it. Speechless is an enjoyable contemporary with a powerful lesson to teach us all.show more
by Pretty In Fiction
Read the full review post on my blog, http://michelleshoutsrandom.blogspot.com/2012/09/book-review-speechless-by-hannah.html *** Everyone makes mistakes. We are not perfect, after all. But when you do, do you reallyknow you're doing it? Do consequences-positive or negative-cross your mind before doing it? Chelsea Knot tells everyone every thing she finds out. She doesn't care what might it cause as long as it won't bother her. Until she realized she crossed the line. Speechlessstarted showing how (sorry for the word) b*tch Chelsea can be. I admit that it bothered me and I hated her instantly that I almost thought of not continuing it. But I'm just too curious to do so. Obviously, with the rating of 5 hearts, I loved it. Yes, it started bitchy, but of course the story became better and there's a lot a reader can learn from it, as Chelsea does. This book talks about reality. It is never nice to bully anyone, talk behind their back, use them for your own entertainment or spread rumors about them. Chelsea may have done it before, but thankfully, she woke up and see the reality that her best friend wasn't her worth at all. It's just the same with not knowing what you really are doing: does the person you're treating best friend right now is trustworthy? Doesn't use you? This book has the reality some of us must wake up to see, as well. I hope that every person reads this would learn a lesson. I hope that every one would read this. Once you can see your life clearly, you'll definitely see the person you never noticed before..the one you never knew would change your life, like Chelsea does. Recommendations: YA contemp readers. For all teens and teen at heart! ;) Review copy from Netgalley.show more
by Michelle Sedeño
"Hate is... It's too easy. Love. Love takes courage." We've all heard that saying if you don't have anything nice to stay, then don't say it at all. I know that my parents drummed that into me, especially when my brothers and I would constantly bicker with each other. This is true of Hannah Harrington's new contemporary novel, Speechless. Chelsea learns the hard way the price of what comes with not keeping your mouth shut. When a boy from school ends up fighting for his life after Chelsea's gossiping mouth reveals a secret of his, Chelsea's life is turned upside down. Horrified by what she did, Chelsea decides to take a vow of silence, despite losing pretty much everything that made her popular. I had a hard time getting into Chelsea's mind. She's shallow, vapid, rude and extremely bitchy. She's the school gossip, and incredibly nosy. She's the Gretchen Weiner of Grand Lake Senior High, and her red hair is so big 'because it's full of secrets.' Hey, you can't reference Mean Girls without quoting it! She spends a lot of the time after the incident not really learning from what has actually happened. Sure, she gets what she did was wrong, but that's just one isolated incident out of many. Chelsea is still quick to judge people and to make assumptions. There's nothing likeable about her, but this is where Hannah Harrington's brilliance comes into play. By the end of the book, you're not necessarily in love with her character, but you respect her so much more, and you're rooting for her. Harrington's characters are not perfect. That's one of the great things about her novels. She knows how to make an impact on a real level. Every single character has their flaws. And this is what I love the most. There's nothing twee about this contemporary. Life isn't perfect, and neither is the situation that Chelsea finds herself in. At first I wasn't impressed with Speechless. Chelsea's naivety and impudence irritated me to no end - I couldn't find a redeeming quality about her. And for some reason, people kept making excuse after excuse and I was just like, "No. Just no." The way that certain relationships were tied up - or not so - made me go "ridunkulous." And I had no idea what to write as my review, because I was like "I don't think I like this book.' But the thing about Speechless though, is that it leaves an impression on you for a long time after. And the more I thought about, the more understood. Speechless is about love, family, friendship. It's about knowing when to listen and when to shut up. It's about growing within yourself. While a completely different novel from Saving June, Harrington's amazing debut, fans will not be disappointed at all. The characters, even though they are only sophomores, surprised me a lot, in good and bad ways. Overall, this was a really enjoyable novel, and I'm sure that like myself and countless others out there, you'll be pleasantly impressed.show more
by Hannah
Speechless surprised me in many ways. With wonderfully constructed characters, who managed to be appropriately funny even while tackling some tough issues, Speechless is simply beautiful - to both read and with the message it delivers. Chelsea starts off as a completely shallow and unlikable character. Striving to please her best friend Kristen - who also happens to be the most popular girl at school - she was willing to do or say whatever it took to keep their relationship strong. So when the opportunity came to dish out the juiciest gossip she had ever had - that she had walked in on Noah making out with another guy! - Chelsea held nothing back. But when Noah ends up in the hospital fighting for his life, Chelsea's conscience kicks in and she tells her parents (and the police) how Kristen's boyfriend, Warren, and his best friend Joel had gone after Noah to "teach him a lesson." It's at this moment that Chelsea realizes how much damage her mouth has caused, and pledges a vow of silence - and her journey of self-discovery truly begins. Chelsea is a hilarious narrator. I found myself highlighting a LOT of her inner dialogue, as it had me laughing out loud. "Also, tonight he reeks too much of beer and cloying cologne. This is a disappointment because I always assumed that a perfect creature such as Brendon would smell of spring rain and mountain bresses and other heavenly aromas." "Therapy is my mother's solution to everything. I'm sure she thinks there'd be peace in the Middle East if every country were forced to sit down on a stiff leather couch with a box of Kleenex and talk about their feeeeelings." But a lot of her funny moments were quickly sobered, as she began berating herself for her past behaviour - for following Kristen like a sheep, letting her decide what to wear and who to talk to, and for treating other people like crap in order to maintain Kristen's affection. "It's like what those cheesy action-movie heros always say before they finish taking out the bad guys: I started this, and I'm going to finish it. Except even in the movie of my own life, I've never been the heroine. I've never been Action Girl. I've only ever been Kristen's supporting character." Her character growth in Speechless, though subtle, was significant, and I loved watching her realize that she could have a life of her own, without Kristen or her influence. Her friendships with Asha and Sam had me nervous for the longest time, as I worried she would hurt them if Kristen managed to forgive her. I shouldn't have been so worried though, as like I said, her character growth was genuine. It took her a while to realize what a horrible human being she had been, and how what she had done to please Kristen had a ripple effect in causing harm to others. "And I thought it was okay as long as I didn't actively participate, that it was enough for me to secrely believe in my heart of hearts that there was absolutely nothing wrong with being gay even if I never dared say it out loud." But with her growing realization came understanding and then a sincere desire to change, to become a better person. It was Harrington's almost painfully realistic portrayal of Chelsea's struggle for self-discovery which truly made Speechless beautiful. Harrington also handled the supporting characters with ease and grace. Flawed and infused with depth, I fell for each character in a different way. I adored Asha's genuineness and her constant bubblyness and Sam's earnest goodness radiated whenever he was protecting those he cares about. Even Chelsea became someone I admired, as she started to care less about what other people thought of her and more about how to be the kind of person who deserved the love shown to her by her new friends. "I walk to my car without looking back, and as I drive away, I'm hit with a sudden wave of sadness. But it's a distant kind of sad - like when you look at your Barbies and realize you don't want to play with them anymore, because you're growing up and you've moved on, and in your heart you know it's time to make room for other things." The romance was subtle and unassuming, something I enjoyed as it didn't take away from the rest of Speechless' plot. I did slightly tire of the teenage-y speak, like, you know. But that same manner of speaking is what added to Chelsea's realism as a young adult. I would also have liked to see things a little less tidy at the end, but I guess there has to be times where someone gets their happily ever after! Beautifully moving with a great message about love and the consequences of intolerance, Speechless is well worth a read. As another reviewer pointed out, "this novel isn't mindblowing, it isn't earth-shattering, it didn't elevate my intellectual and spiritual being in any way. But, it did make me flip the last page with a small sigh..."show more
by Pretty Little Reader
This is one of those books that leave you speechless. There was such character growth in Chelsea it was unbelievable, and the secondary cast of characters was amazing. I started out not really liking Chelsea, but I think that was the whole point. It was so hard to watch her make such bad choices, but then completely redeem herself by making a very hard one... One that ended up alienating her from her friends, who then turn to bullying her. She decides to take a vow of silence that changes her so much. I can't imagine the resolve it would take to go as long as her without speaking. But she made such an impact on me that when my husband or kids would talk to me after I was reading, I would stare at them and think that I wasn't supposed to be talking. Then I would remember it is Chelsea and not me... I was that engrossed. As for the secondary characters, there was the good and the evil, and both were done so well. Asha was so amazing. I loved her bubbliness and her willingness to befriend Chelsea. I loved watching their friendship grown and what Asha brought to the story. I loved the tight knit bunch at Rosie's the local diner, and how that quickly became essential to Chelsea's life now that she was cast out of her circle of friends. The relationships with Sam and Andy the friends and boyfriend of Noah, the boy who was injured indirectly because of her but ultimately helped by Chelsea by her actions. I loved the interactions with Chelsea and Sam, and his bravery for opening himself up to her. As far as Kristen, she is the it girl, and every bit what I couldn't stand yet somehow found myself envying in high school. Beauty, circle of friends, yet could and would turn on them in an instant. I never knew just how cruel it went though because there were moments when I thought I saw the glimmer of hope for growth in her, and then I wasn't sure if it was dashed the second that she opened her mouth. This was a deep novel about speaking up for what's right, learning when to keep a secret, the power of friendship, bullying, self identity including being gay, and also featured involved parents and issues with the dad losing a job. Hannah Harrington weaved it all intricately, tactfully and powerfully into Speechless. The moments where Chelsea had "aha" moments about herself, her actions and when she finally stood up for what ultimately got her into the mess were so powerful. Bottom line: emotional story sprinkled with sarcasm, witty and light moments. Speechless has a touch of romance and characters that are dynamic and beautifully written.show more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
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