the book speak
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Much of Melinda's life revolves around communication or lack thereof. In the novel, we witness various forms of communication: sticky notes on the kitchen counter, notebooks passed between students, letters left on school lockers, words on the chalkboard, recording devices, telephone calls, and spoken conversations. Melinda's communication is mostly non-verbal. She expresses anxiousness and fear by biting her lip or running away. She asks her parents for favors by writing them notes. Even when she speaks, she often does not say what she wants to. When Heather tells Melinda that they can no longer be friends, Melinda says, "I try to think of something bitchy, something wicked and cruel. I can't" (105). Of course, the most major communication conflict in the novel involves Melinda's need to tell someone about the rape. It is not until the Fourth Marking Period that Melinda finds the courage to say anything. Interestingly, however, in this initial confession of her secret, she still does not speak. Instead, she passes a note to Rachel explaining the night of the party. Even after her second attack, when the entire school learns of her history with Andy Evans, Melinda still has not spoken, the lacrosse team has. It is not until the very last line of the novel that we understand Melinda is going to finally tell her story out loud. The ultimate communication in the story is distinctly left out of the novel, making the theme even more apparent.