Review: Speak by Mary O. Paddock

Wait . . . Did that dog just say something? Until she finds a stray dog in a parking lot, Ellen’s biggest problem is ducking her best friend’s attempts to set her up. But Emmett turns out to be exactly what she needs and more. A lot more. Unfortunately, a lot of other people think they need him too. People with power. People with guns. And some of them will stop at nothing. For Ellen, the worst part is not knowing whom to trust. But that’s okay because Emmett has the answers. If everyone will just listen . . .

Speak by Mary O. Paddock. Published January 2019, 309 pages. I was able to read this book for free from BookSirens in exchange for an honest review.

I was in love with the plot right away. Dog. Check. Paranormal. Check. Science. Check. Alright! I am on board! The bond between the main character, Ellen, and the dog, Emmett, was perfect and really demonstrated the love one has for their pets. I know I’d walk through fire to save mine. Ellen does whatever she can to save Emmett. I also enjoyed the science aspect of the story. There was plenty of fun talk about DNA and mutations. There was never too much of it to make it difficult for someone to follow along though.

The whole book is told from Ellen’s perspective, written in diary entries. I wasn’t sure what I thought of that format at first, but it quickly grows on you. There are no traditional chapters, which felt a little odd but not a problem. The author has a snarky style she writes in that really makes the story flow well.

I did have a problem, though, that did make it hard to love this book. I got so incredibly annoyed with the main character. Sometimes she made really smart choices and seemed to understand what was what, but then other times she did stuff that was so stupid!! Yes, I understand that nobody is perfect and that everyone makes bad choices sometimes, but it got really ridiculous. I didn’t understand how someone who could be so careful sometimes and then other times so naive about the same thing. Some of her bad choices were just so… BAD. It was hard to believe that her gut was not telling her on some level not to trust certain people or to not do shady things. Also, the dog talks to her, but she acts so stupid in understanding him! When the super amazing dog tells you someone is bad, I don’t know, maybe listen?? But Ellen was just oblivious! It got so frustrating. I wanted to like Ellen and I wanted to cheer for her, but she made it real hard sometimes! For me this was the biggest problem with the book and it was hard to get around. :/


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