I read and reviewed a book called Impossible a week or so ago. It was about the downfall and rebirth of a mean girl...and I remember thinking the whole time that in just another chapter, the heroine would take one of her many realizations and start to be a better person. It never quite happened.The exact opposite can be said for Speechless.Chelsea is a delight. Unabashedly wrong at the beginning, happy on her little throne as second to the throne and feels perfectly justified in what she does, and doesn't do, to stay there. Which, of course, means time for the catalyst to change. In this case, a drunken mistake borne out of years of gossiping without remorse.The results are devastating for everyone and Chelsea begins her vow. I think this is what I liked about this story the most. Maybe not wholly original, but very well played out. And a hell of a talent for the author to have her main character completely mute for nearly three quarters of the book and still manage to have her forge friendships, find reconciliation with who she was and who she wants to be.She broke my heart as the little realizations hit her, and she won me over with her stoicism in the face of bullying and harassment by her former friends and there was one scene that actually had me cheering out loud. I loved the way she took each new eyeopener and grew from it.I was a little leery on this one because I'm big on dialogue playing a big part of telling the story, but I have to say it. Despite the fact that Chelsea was mute, she still managed to tell her story, and explain her path.Sam was. Sam was brilliant. Strong, secure, and openminded enough to see past the girl taking a vow of silence, the girl partly responsible for his best friend nearly being beaten to death. Then Asha. Oh Asha! I think she's my favorite secondary character in a very long time. I adored her to death and I'm still dying over the "knit her a muzzle" line.Brilliant story and definitely going on the favorites shelf.