Monday, June 24, 2019

Book Review: Shout, by Laurie Halse Anderson

Shout, by Laurie Halse Anderson book cover and review
Anderson, who wrote Speak, has written Shouta book in poetic form, that is more autobiographical than Speak.

Anderson's life was hard. Her father was apparently suffering from PTSD and her mother was not very motherly. Like most memoirs of hard lives lived, it is a downer of a book. I believe it was very cathartic for Anderson to write Shout (I feel like that's the most important reason for this book), and I'm sure it is empowering to many, but I really didn't enjoy it very much. I guess you aren't really supposed to "enjoy" it.

But...I didn't find the poetic form to be as easy as Ellen Hopkins' (and others who have used this form effectively) books. There are a few sections that are just numbered lists written in prose and I thought those were the best parts. Shout doesn't really tell a story. There are vignettes of her life, but no beginning, middle, end. And honestly, because of the format, I'm having a hard time remembering any details of her life. The last section, especially, is just a bunch of rants. And I understand that women have a lot to rant about these days (as we always have), but Shout just wasn't my book.

I'm probably in the minority, but it is just (as always) my opinion. I feel like because I'm a woman I'm supposed to love this book, but I'm not going to say I love something that just didn't work for me. I'll probably get slammed for it, but...

Shout is a quick read, it is supposed to be empowering, and if you are an Anderson fan, probably worth your time no matter what.

Published by Viking BFYR, March 4, 2019
eBook obtained from the library
304 pages

Rating: 3/5

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  1. Great review! I’m a fan of the author, but this book doesn’t appeal to me very much. It’s good to see a review that has some criticism.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. I love this Anderson, but haven't picked up the book because I'm not sure it's going to be for me. I'm sure I'll get to it at some point, but it's nice to see that I may not be the only one who doesn't enjoy it. Great review!

  3. Too bad this one didn't work for you. I thought it was good. But, books are subjective and we have to go with what works for us, not for everyone else.

  4. I totally get it. LIke others have said, I really like Anderson, but I haven't felt overly compelled to pick up her newest. It just sounds sad and depressing.


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