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Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Just Listen (2006)

by Sarah Dessen

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I have not yet read this book.
  LynneQuan | Sep 16, 2017 |
Just Listen This was a much better book than I expected. The way it handled serious issues was careful and deliberate.
Trigger warnings for rape and sexual assault.
Given the description on the book page, I wasn't really prepared for what I found in this book. As mentioned above, the issues were handled with great care. While rape was at the center of the story, it also has mention of and dealings with eating disorders but never blames the victim. Owen is important, but I felt like this description inflates his importance. I expected a bit of a rom-com type story where Annabel's life isn't perfect but her problems aren't quite being the victim of a violent crime, you know what I mean?
Yes, her life wasn't perfect before the rape either and that's obvious from it's first mention, but that's not the point either. Owen is also not an "Edward" like figure as the description also led me to believe. Maybe it's just my own misguided interpretation but I feel like "intense" is one of the words used in yound adult stories to denote a boy who turns your life upside down and then is borderline abusive in some way. Owen is absolutely wonderful and his version of intensity is more the insistence of honesty and his level of comfort in his own skin than the way he broods or tries to control her life, neither of which are things he does.
I loved absolutely every character, except one, of course. They all worked well to propel Annabel's character growth. It was well paced and I enjoyed both the family drama and the school drama, especially the work they worked together to prompt Annabel to act. I thought it presented a great narrative for how such events come into being and how people respond to them.
I borrowed the audiobook from the library, which is read by Jennifer Ikeda. She's a fantastic narrator, having won a few awards for it already. ( )
  Calavari | Jul 16, 2017 |
This isn’t my favorite Dessen novel. It was good, but I walked away from it feeling like something was missing for me. I wanted more of. . .something but I can’t quite put my finger on what was missing.

From the get-go I was completely immersed and sucked into this glimpse into a little corner of our world that Dessen provided. She has this incredible ability to share so much with so little. Only a few pages in and you can’t help but feel the dread and nerves that Annabel is feeling as she pulls up to the first day of school. All Dessen has to say is, “I’d had over three months to get ready to see Sophie. But when it happened, I still wasn’t ready.” There is barely anything there but I can already tell that shit hit the fan a little over three months ago and Annabel has been avoiding the inevitable fallout.

I wish this book featured Annabel’s family more. It just seems to me that there was some real potential for more of a focus on sisters and family coming together. There were some moments where that was demonstrated, but because there was this other storyline going on with Annabel and Owen and that night with Cash, those moments just weren’t as complete as I had hoped. For example, Whitney gets up at an open-mic night and shares this story from her childhood, but there was never any discussion between the sisters after that. Thinking about my own sister if one of us had shared something like that and how we felt on a stage it would have led to a conversation. Maybe that’s just me.

As for the romance, Owen and Annabel felt more like pals or brother and sister to me. I never really sensed that attraction between the two of them and had zero butterflies throughout my read. I kept feeling like the author was trying to convince us that they liked each other, but I just never really felt it. That’s okay with me though, because I think there was enough going on to keep me interested and entertained without it.

While this isn’t my favorite Dessen novel, I really did enjoy every moment I spent reading Just Listen. I think it was well written and packed with interesting characters who all seemed to grow and develop as the story progressed. I would highly recommend thinking about having a copy for your own little library. In fact as soon as Tom and I start a library room, when we are all grown up with a house, you can bet you will find a copy on one of my shelves. ( )
  Emma_Manolis | Jun 27, 2017 |
Absolutely loved it. >>insert gushing here ( )
  iShanella | Dec 2, 2016 |
While the story of a family of models at first seems shallow and materialistic, characters develop and the novel becomes far more complicated and interesting than I would ever had guessed. Long, but worth the read.
  csoki637 | Nov 27, 2016 |
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"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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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)

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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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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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