"Melinda is an unlikely heroine--withdrawn and friendless. She even forgets to wash her hair. She is appropriately complicated for a high-school freshman grappling with feeling alone, grasping for originality, and hiding a terrible secret that has stifled her voice. Anderson's words often seem gleaned directly from a confused teenager's soul, and only occasionally do Melinda's thoughts sound too much like arch cultural commentary to be genuine. Mandy Siegfried has the right weary tone; as Melinda, she is lamenting, resigned, self-loathing, and at times as bleak as a Syracuse winter. But there's life in her cynical observations of her peers, teachers and parents, and in her fleeting feeling of sanctuary in art class. By the end, listeners will be urging Melinda to act, to open her compulsively chewed, scarred lips and speak. J.M.D. (c) AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine"