Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. Penguin Group, 2006. Genre: Fiction
In Just Listen the seemingly perfect girl, Annabel Greene, has to deal with family problems, rumors, and a dark secret. Her life was turned upside-down when her so-called-best-friend Sophie caught Annabel with her boyfriend, Will. From what was seen, it could easily have been mistaken as Annabel trying to steal him, but only Annabel and Will knew the truth. Instead of giving Annabel a chance to defend herself she cast her aside and exiled her at school, leaving her to sit by herself next to a stranger. Feeling alone she’s forced to lie to her mom to protect her from knowing how much her daughter is suffering. She’s also burdened with having a sister with an eating disorder, making home no longer a haven from the troubles at school, but a just as difficult situation. Being a model she seems to be the girl who has everything from the outside, but you learn that there’s always something more to someone. Carrying the secret of what really happened at the party with Will, Annabel somehow manages to find truth, friendship and courage during the book.
“Dessen weaves a sometimes funny, mostly emotional, and very satisfying story.”-VOYA
Annabel’s lies, guilt, and fear lead to many emotional situations. She discovers truth and safety in a unique form, a boy who never lies. Dessen creates a realistic and almost too good to be true friend for Annabel, Owen. She leads you on the journey from Annabel’s guilt to finding truth. The author constantly creates a believable atmosphere, filled with teenage drama. She snags your interest by not telling exactly what had happened that was haunting Annabel, only giving you hints, challenging you to put the pieces together and see if you’re right. Her style never gets boring, always hiding a message behind the quotes and realizations.
This book is a lot like Dessen’s other stories, portraying teenage struggles and giving inspiration. Her method of making deep, thoughtful quotes, is in most of her books. Although Just Listen has the same general idea of her other books: being a teenager, the storyline is unique and original.
“Eyes closed, I saw only the blackness, reminding me of this one thing, the most deep of my secrets; eyes open, there was only the world that didn’t know it, bright, inescapable, and somehow, still there” (274).
Sarah Desson recently became one of m favorite author’s due to her exciting plots and inspiring quotes. Her books leave you with a good feeling, knowing that the main character overcame so much. Her characters are so relatable it really does give you hope. Her insight into the teenage mind is comfortable and extremely accurate. She never leaves you with a dull moment as she constantly builds up to her main lesson. I would love to read all of her books.