Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Trigger warnings: rape, sexual assault, mental illness, depression

This is primarily a high school book, but it is also really important to read for everybody – especially women. The story is told over Melinda’s first year in high school. There is not much dialogue in it, which emphasizes the main theme of the novel, but it also paves the way for really colloquial diction and kind of a humorous point of view. There is such incredible symbolism in this book that is why it is an excellent school read. The main themes of this book are growth, courage, bravery, and the ability to say the truth, when you feel like the entire world will not listen. Also, this book displays the struggle of a sexual assault survivor very realistically – in a way that you will no find in many other books. Incredibly funny, moving, and empowering.