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Just Listen

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Sarah Dessen

Grade 9 Up Annabel Greene seemingly had everything: cool friends, close family, good grades, and a part-time modeling career in town. But it all came crashing down, and Annabel has spent the summer in shaky, self-imposed exile. She finds herself dreading … see full wiki

Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: Teens
Publisher: Speak
1 review about Just Listen

Simple beautiful

  • Aug 7, 2010
Annabel Greene spent her summer ignoring everyone and avoiding all of the things that are wrong in her life. So when she returns to school in the fall, she finds herself friendless and despised by nearly everyone, except for outcast and music-lover Owen, who reaches out to her. Trapped in a state where most everyone seems to keep quiet about everything--her sister's illness, family tension, an unwanted modeling career, and a night earlier that spring that won't be forgotten--Annabel is taken aback by Owen's determination to always tell the truth...and slowly he helps her realize that ignoring your problems won't make them go away.

Once again, Sarah Dessen has created a very layered and intense book, full of pain and love and laughter and heart. Annabel is such an excellent narrator; she focuses on being the successful student and the ideal daughter in a picture-perfect family, even as everything around her is evidence that she is anything but perfect. Her friendship with Owen is a refuge, and with him, she's not afraid to speak her mind. And Owen, despite his anger issues and his struggles with communication with Annabel, is kind, caring, and his passion for music of any kind makes him stand out as a character. As Annabel is forced to work her way through the many problems in her life, Dessen slowly drops hints and reveals the big secret that caused Annabel to shut down, and builds the book up to a point where Annabel is forced to make a decision: speak out, or go on with her silent suffering. This book is heavy with symbolism, from the title to the final page, but Dessen never overdoes it--Just Listen is a beautiful, meaningful, and pitch perfect novel that will make readers Dessen fans for life.

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