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Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Just Listen (2006)

by Sarah Dessen

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Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book. The plot takes off right away and the characters are really well developed. I thought the story felt fresh. It deals with some not-so-easy topics - but in a way that is serious enough without being disturbing. ( )
  alanna1122 | Oct 22, 2015 |
Annabel Greene is the girl who has everything, or at least she plays one on TV. When the commercial she features in starts popping up on TV screens, Annabel feels like she couldn't be less like the smiling girl in the pictures who is having the perfect high school experience. Instead, something happened during the summer that she can't talk about, that is the talk of the school, that has sent all her best friends packing to avoid becoming a social pariah like Annabel. Things are no better at home where her mother is struggling with depression, her middle sister is recovering from anorexia, and Annabel has no choice but to maintain the facade to keep her precarious family's boat from rocking.

Instead of letting the truth out, Annabel is limping through her senior year friendless and sick with worry. That is, of course, until she meets the guy. Owen Armstrong's not exactly a social butterfly either. He's got kind of a frightening reputation for anger and a habit of always using his headphones to block out the world, but it turns out broody, honest to a fault Owen is the only one who can rescue Annabel from her own act and help her tell the truth, even to herself.

There is definitely something special about a Sarah Dessen book. It's not that I relate terribly much to her trying-to-be-perfect teenage main characters or expect that an unexpected guy will always come to the rescue when life goes south. However, Dessen does a great job of turning a "perfect" untouchable girl into a normal person with normal problems whose life isn't as great as it seems. Annabel's life, in ways, is perfectly typical, filled with sisters who are rivals; loving, if distracted, parents; and a childhood friend or two who got dropped along the way. It's that true-to-life high school experience that really helps Dessen's characters jump off the page and become truly lovable.

The romance that brings an unlikely couple together is satisfying, but more importantly serves as a way to draw out Annabel's character and her coming of age story. Admittedly, Dessen books have a bit of a formula to them, but I think it's a great formula, and when Annabel finally comes to terms with her secrets, I was crying right along with her. Just Listen is a touching, satisfying romance with a musical bent and a main character who is learning just how much the truth can set her free. ( )
  yourotherleft | Sep 2, 2015 |
Reading this book brought me back to my school days, I had some very similar situations with friends when I was younger that effected my high school life, and this book showed that I wasn't the only one. It had a bit of everything from family drama and struggles to bitchy high school girls to finding love in unexpected places. I love reading [a:Sarah Dessen|2987|Sarah Dessen|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1208460253p2/2987.jpg] and will more than likely want to read this one again! ( )
  momma182 | Jun 23, 2015 |
Basically what you need to know about the book is this:

-I read this book while suffering the biggest book slump I’ve ever encountered.
-I thought I was in for a fluffy, unimportant book, but it was much more than that. This book beautifully covered different topics such as eating disorders, family drama, friendship, romance and self-discovery.
-Annabel’s situation really touched me because she was such a simple character to relate to. I really liked seeing her confronting her demons and really rooted for her.
-Owen’s role in the book is much more than a love interest. He was first and foremost Annabel’s friend and the one who made Annabel want to speak up and confront her problems.
-Annabel’s family is wonderfully portrayed and could very easily be my family, or yours. They had a great dynamic between them and I loved seeing them supporting each other.
-The romance is so sweet because it starts off as nothing more than two outcasts who start talking to each other and becomes much more.
-The whole book was sweet, charming, poignant and powerful.

I recommend this book if you think you haven’t found the right contemporary. I recommend this book if you want a read to get you out of a book slump. Just listen to my recommendation and read this book if you get the chance.

P.S. I apologize in advance for my non-review because honestly I can’t form coherent words in regards to this book.

“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you'd better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you'll never understand what it's saying.” ( )
  mariannelee_0902 | Jun 19, 2015 |
One of my very favorite teen books. There's just so much to like here, and it's so much more complex than it initially seems... My full review is here, on Hot Stuff for Cool People. ( )
  hotforcool | May 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
"Dessen weaves a sometimes funny, mostly emotional, and very satisfying story."
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The best way out is always through. - Robert Frost
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I taped the commercial back in April, before anything had happened, and promptly forgot about it.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything"—at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf ’s Department Store.This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling.With Owen’s help,maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.
In this multi-layered, impossible-to-put-down book, Sarah Dessen tells the story of a year in the life of a family coming to terms with the imperfections beneath its perfect facade.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142410977, Paperback)

When Annabel, the youngest of three beautiful sisters, has a bitter falling out with her best friend—the popular and exciting Sophie—she suddenly finds herself isolated and friendless. but then she meets Owen—a loner, passionate about music and his weekly radio show, and always determined to tell the truth. And when they develop a friendship, Annabel is not only introduced to new music but is encouraged to listen to her own inner voice. with owen’s help, can Annabel find the courage to speak out about what exactly happened the night her friendship with Sophie came to a screeching halt?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:58 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Isolated from friends who believe the worst because she has not been truthful with them, sixteen-year-old Annabel finds an ally in classmate Owen, whose honesty and passion for music help her to face and share what really happened at the end-of-the-year party that changed her life.… (more)

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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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