Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: April 6th, 2006
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.
An honest, occasionally painful yet all-around beautiful novel from one of the most exceptional contemporary YA authors of all time, Just Listen is a brilliantly-crafted novel that tells the story of a girl's journey through loneliness, acceptance, and eventually, liberation.
Annabel Greene is the girl who seems like she has it all. Tall, blonde and gorgeous, she has a successful modeling career, a happy family, and a popular group of friends. But one night, things change. She becomes withdrawn, she's not friends with the charismatic Sophie anymore, and she refuses to tell anyone what happened. Then the new school year starts and friendless Annabel, left with no other options, begins spending time with the intense, music-obsessed Owen. And as she gets to know him, she realizes that he isn't as bad as she first thought he was and maybe, just maybe, he's the one she's been waiting to tell her story to.
I'm a huge fan of Sarah Dessen's novels, and that being said, I'm going to have to say Just Listen is one of her best. I fell in love with Annabel's story and the characters and their tangled web of relationships. The romance in the novel is subdued but heartfelt, but more importantly, the depiction of Annabel's family and the turmoil tearing them apart is just magical. Dessen truly has a way of transporting readers into the world of her novels. While reading just listen, I felt every single emotion possible, as if the story was being told through an amplifier. It was pure brilliance.
Dessen loyalists and fans of contemporary YA are sure to gobble up this novel. It's genuine, emotional and memorable in every right; it's proof of what a talented author Dessen is. A story that had me hooked until the very last page, Just Listen is a brilliant novel I'm glad I read, and a novel I'm sure to pick up again.