Monday 7 March 2011

Just Listen review

Just Listen
Sarah Dessen
July 5th 2007 (UK)
Puffin books (UK)

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...

I am NO LONGER A SARAH DESSEN VIRGIN. And I have been slapping myself on the wrist for not picking up one of her books earlier because when I started Just Listen, I could not stop. I wanted to bunk school to stay home and finish it. And even though I didn't it was on my mind ALL DAY. I 'd heard good things about Sarah Dessen books before, but what I got was NOT what I expected. 

I thought it was going to be all fluff and lovey dovey and what not, but I was really really wrong. Just Listen dealt with issues that I didn't expect (the blurb on the back of the book was different to the one up there...) like rape and anorexia, and I was surprised. It did take me a while to get properly into it though, as the first 50 odd pages were basically flashbacks, and I think I would've liked it better if they were more spread out. But as soon as she first spoke to Owen, or rather Owen spoke to her, I was hooked.

I could really relate to Annabel, not with her getting raped, but with ow she dealt with things. Because if I were in her situation I would've done the same. Which isn't really a good thing I suppose, but it helped me get into the book a lot more. And I really liked Owen too. I wasn't swooning over him like I do with most YA boys, but he wasn't very swoonworthy. I mean, I just didn't fancy him, because their relationship developed slowly from friendship to love (how I like a relationship to go) I only really saw him as a friend. And what marvellous friends we would be! Music nerds should stick together! Though my musical tastes are NOT as extreme as his, I might add. But I loved his honesty and all his Anger Management phrases and that he pushed Annabel into finally speaking out about what happened to her and helping Annabel realise the importance of telling the truth.

I am incredibly glad I picked up this book, and it pleasantly surprised me. I went in expecting a romcom-esque book and came out being touched emotionally and loving the characters. It even sort of helped me get over my fear of car washes. (don't give me that look. You know you were scared of them too. Unless you weren't...) I think reading this MAY have just started a hopefully long and enriching love affair with Sarah Dessen. Or her books rather. Not her. That would be weird. I'm going to stop talking now. Anyway, I really enjoyed this book and can tell I'm going to love every Sarah Dessen book to come. Hopefully. 4.5  stars :D


  1. Sarah Dessen's books are great! I need to read more of them.

  2. Glad you've discovered Sarah Dessen. She's worth reading. What a different cover than the US version, though! I don't think I've seen this one before.

  3. I think I like this cover better. I have yet to read Sarah Dessen but it sounds as if I should. Nice review, you have got me interested.

  4. Just Listen was a great read. I thought the plot was immensely realistic. I found myself easily relating to the character Annabel. Sarah Dessen made all the characters realistic. The plot was very unique. I absolutely loved it! I have to say, it wasn't a favorite by Dessen, but it was definitely a worthwhile book. When I began reading the book, I never thought that I'd become so inspired by the writing. This book helped me to gain the strength to be honest and open up to those I trust about things that require discussing. Her love stories are so captivating.


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