Friendship is a tender and brutal thing in Speak. When Melinda loses all her friends at a party just before she starts high school due to a grave misunderstanding, she's forced to reevaluate the nature of friendship. It hurts to watch her heart get broken again and again by those she wants to be friends with. It also hurts to watch her close off from those who wish her well. Over the course of the novel, though, she gradually finds ways to renew her old friendships and to make new ones. She learns to see others with kinder eyes and to communicate with them in a healthy way. Speak celebrates friendship, while exploring its complex nature.
Melinda's love for Rachel motivates Melinda to talk about the rape.
David Petrakis acts like a true friend to Melinda.
Melinda's friendship with Mr. Freeman is the most important one in the book.