Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak. 1999.
I loved this book so much the first time I read it that I decided to read it again.
At the beginning of the novel, we aren't sure what happened, but something happened to Melinda at a party just before school starts. She called 911 at a party which caused the cops to break it up. Now everyone hates her and none of her friends will talk to her. She has a hard time adjusting to school. Her grades start to slip and she starts cutting class and school. Her parents are distant and don't pay much attention to her at all. She makes a friend with a new girl, but she soon dumps her when she gets accepted into a new group in school. Her only bright spot in life is art class with Mr. Freeman.
This is an awesome book. Told from the first person point of view, we feel like we are inside Melinda's head. Everything unfolds in such a wonderful way. Melinda is smart and observant. She is a great character and the reader will want the best for her and for the pain to go away.
Fans of the book should also seek out the movie by the same name. It sometimes appears on various cable channels including Lifetime. Anderson has also written other great titles worth looking for such as Fever 1793 and Prom (also reviewed on this blog earlier this year).