We love Sarah Dessen’s novels so much that we knew we had to review another one. This week we read Just Listen, which was published in 2006.
In Just Listen, Annabel Greene is beginning a new school year without any friends. A misunderstanding concerning her former best friend Sophie’s boyfriend has made her an outcast with everyone she knows, and she has never felt so alone in her life. To add to Annabel’s new role as the class pariah, she is also struggling with telling her mother that she wants to quit modeling. Throw in a sister with an eating disorder that keeps the whole family suspended in motion, and it becomes clear that this is not going to be Anabel’s best year- until she meets Owen Armstrong.
Owen is a a thoughtful guy with anger management training and a love for music. He makes Annabel many CD mixes of his favorite songs, and begins to teach her that blunt honesty is the best policy. However, Annabel has a secret, and keeping it to herself begins to tear their friendship apart. As Annabel struggles to either let it go or come clean,she becomes to come to terms with the person she truly is.
The brutal honesty in Just Listen speaks to anyone who has ever felt they need to hide their true self. The message transcends every generation and will instantly take you back to those days in high school when you would give anything to fit in, including losing track of who you are.
Sarah Dessen truly outdid herself once again with this novel. Although all of her books have very different themes, the style of her delivery makes each of her novels similar. This is another book that you will read over and over again.