Even though I had issues accepting how easily Chelsea’s able to get on with her vow of silence, I ended up loving this book a lot. Enough that I’m interested in Harrington’s debut novel, Saving June, and I intend to read it sometime soon. While it is excessively irritating to be inside Chelsea’s head at times, Harrington does a good job of making us care about her enough to want to keep reading her story. While I don’t necessarily have an issue with Chelsea being vapid and continuing to be that way even after the incident, I did think at times her voice was a little too cheerful, considering she nearly got someone killed. Maybe it was a part of the fact that she hides behind certain facets of herself, but I kept thinking while reading “This does not sound like a girl who accidentally helped someone get beaten half to death.” But on the plus side, Chelsea’s voice is very realistically teenager-y without descending into stereotype. Sometimes when YA authors try to write a contemporary teenage main character, they either overshoot the way teenage girls talk and make them sound ridiculous, or they don’t do it enough and make them sound too old. Harrington hit the perfect chord here, with Chelsea sounding like a popular 16 y/o girl while also having her moments of clarity and maturity. (Though those are few and far between.) Her redemption doesn’t happen right off the bat, which is a great thing. How many people could suddenly switch their personality into something completely different overnight? Much less a sixteen year old girl? That being that, there were some moments when it became frustrating to read how slowly Chelsea was maturing. Thankfully she does get called out on her missteps by other characters, including Noah’s boyfriend which was spectacular, and by the end she does become much more bearable. You know she’s learned a lot since everything happened, and that makes it’s satisfying. But it would have been more satisfying if she’d stopped slut shaming after the first few instances in the beginning. But no, she keeps doing it even after she’s grown up a little, and it made me cringe every single time. Worse, she is never called out on it in the narrative (which I can let slide a little because it was mostly in her head, but still.) It would have made her growth that much sweeter if she’d stopped slut shaming. The supporting characters were just as good, and the romance between Chelsea and Sam was very sweetly done. It takes a lot to convince me of an attraction between two characters, but I was sold on Chelsea and Sam pretty fast. Even better, their relationship develops at a good pace; they’re unsure about each other, then end up being friends, and then fall in love with each other. It’s so satisfying to see a well done romance in a YA title. The only character that truly suffers from a lack of development is Kristen, Chelsea’s former BFF. While I did appreciate Chelsea’s complicated feelings towards Kristen after the incident (because even if someone is awful to you, and Kristen was, you can’t easily forget when they were awesome to you either, and I appreciated how Harrington portrayed that) Kristen herself disappears from the novel except to orchestrate the bullying on Chelsea. There is a hint that Warren regularly threatened Kristen with physical abuse if she upset him, but it’s a very minor hint and it’s never really confirmed or denied. The ending scene with her and Chelsea was okay, but I would have liked a little bit more. Still, I really did enjoy Speechless, and I look forward to anything else Harrington has to offer.See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand!