Forgotten Friday – Just Listen

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Title: Just Listen
Written by Sarah Dessen
Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 400 Pages
Published by: Speak (February 28, 2008)
Rated: 4.5/5


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:

Along for the Ride | Lock and Key | The Truth About Forever | Someone Like You | Keeping the Moon| That Summer| This Lullaby | Dreamland | How to Deal  | Last Chance

Also reviewed by:

An Adventure in Reading | Dear Author | slaygroundZoe’s Book Reviews | The Ravenous Reader | Hope’s Bookshelf | Reading Rants! | bookshelves of doom | Book Addiction | and more…

14 thoughts on “Forgotten Friday – Just Listen

  1. This is my favorite Dessen novel; I haven't been able to repeat how much this book resonates with me with any of her other books (yet). Hearts!

  2. Great review. You definitely make me feel like I need to get my hands on some Sarah Dessen. I have been meaning to anyway, but now there is a bit more urgency.

  3. You said:

    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.

    This reminds me of Elizabeth Berg! I haven't read anything by Dessen, so what would you recommend starting with? She's quite popular with the YAs. We have an entire display at work with all her books.

  4. Just Listen was really good. I started with The Truth About Forever, which I absolutely adored, but I identified with it a little more since the protagonist has lost her father. Those are the only two I've read but I have three more waiting on the ole TBR. I don't think you can go wrong with Dessen, she seems pretty adored by all who have read her! I hope you try her and enjoy her though!

  5. Oh, your description of reading Sarah Dessen is right on point! I've read only two of her novels (not this one though) and they gave me tis exact feeling (although I would never have said it in such a beautiful way!)

    I heard a lot of good things on "Just listen", it sounds like it's many people's favorite Dessen. You remind me I have to read it soon!

  6. Love Sarah Dessen. I've got a copy of Just Listen, somewhere and I buried it!!! Insane. I'll find it, eventually, but in the meantime it's great to find that it's your favorite, so far. I'm doubly looking forward to the reading, now.

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