Title: Just Listen
Written by Sarah Dessen
Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 400 Pages
Published by: Speak (February 28, 2008)
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?
I have only read two Sarah Dessen books and I loved, loved, loved (!) both of them. Reading a book by Sarah Dessen is a lot like sitting down with a great friend for coffee and discussing your life’s story. It’s comfortable, provocative, enlightening, and at times heartbreaking yet also beautiful.
From the opening pages you can’t help put feel for Annabel. She feels so lost, so confused and alone; she just breaks your heart. No one will talk to her, even her once-upon-a-time best friend; she’s a pariah in the school where she was once one of the popular girls. When the large, hulking Owen, another outcast and music lover, befriends her, he gives her something to look forward too. He gives her a much needed lesson in not judging appearances and helps her music tastes grow from barely there to eclectic and powerful. Annabel doesn’t do confrontations and it almost ends in someone else getting hurt. Yet when it all finally comes to a head, you’re left with a satisfying ending. I highly recommend this, especially to the parents of teens, if only to help remember just what it’s like to be a teenager.
Also by Sarah Dessen:
Also reviewed by: