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Book review: ‘Speak No Evil’ a quick read

February 13, 2012

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“Speak No Evil” by Marilyn Kaye is part of the series “Gifted,” the beginning of which I had not read. Fortunately, that did not make the book at all harder to understand.

The beginning of the book seemed to hint that the rest would be rather depressing, and I almost stopped reading. Then I remembered that the book was recommended for ages 12 and up, and thought surely I could handle this.

Luckily, only a couple short chapters later, the book started to lighten up and began to effortlessly blend the supernatural with a typical middle school and all the drama that normally comes with that age group.

I was drawn in very quickly, finishing it in a record 24 hours … and that was on a fairly busy school day, which really says something about how interesting my classes are … or how much unstructured time we have.

“Speak No Evil” follows Paul, who starts the story with the name Carter and was one of nine teenagers at Meadowbrook Middle School in a Gifted Class, until he was moved elsewhere. This class isn’t anything like last year’s Advanced Communications class for eighth graders or the seventh grade Algebra I class — Paul and the other kids have gifts such as telekinesis, “body-snatching” (think “Freaky Friday”), being able to read minds and Paul’s talent of shape-shifting.

As I delved further into “Speak No Evil,” I realized I was looking for an inciting incident, climax, denouement and so on. Maybe it was just my plot analysis that I still have yet to do for Advanced English haunting me, or maybe it was because mentally diagramming the plot proved to be a little bit difficult. However, the climax and resolution and such did turn out to be very specific (but I hope that other people are able to read without those terrible thoughts).

After a few suspenseful incidents, the students use their gifts to save the day, as expected. Although “Speak No Evil” was very easy for me, I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to kids about ages 9 to 12.

— Naomi Grant is a freshman at Free State High School.

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