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Just Listen
Just Listen
Author: Sarah Dessen
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 ...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780142410974
ISBN-10: 0142410977
Publication Date: 2/28/2008
Pages: 371
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.

4.3 stars, based on 190 ratings
Publisher: Puffin
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

fightingillinifan avatar reviewed Just Listen on + 42 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Dessen does not disappoint! This story, like her others, really draws you into the lives of the characters so well, you can't help but root for the major players to make the right decisions. This book had many side plots going on that were serious, but approached with a realistic spin. It's hard to imagine a book dealing with depression, rape, anorexia, anger management and the social ladder of high school, could completely address those issues, but Just Listen is incredibly written. I recommended this book for readers of all ages. You will have a hard time putting it down!
reviewed Just Listen on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This is the first Dessen book I read. I've now finished two others, The Truth About Forever and This Lullaby. This is a truly amazing book. I'm an avid reader, and a teen. I loved Owen and his views on music and life. Annabel was a great character in how she interacted with other characters and how what happened changed her. I'm not into books where the problem comes at the end, but this book is great at how you are introduced to the problem, but it's not clear. In all, I loved it.
cherrigirl avatar reviewed Just Listen on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I haven't read everything by Dessen, but this is my favorite so really get entwined in the story and it's characters. It kind of reminded me of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Anyone who is a fan of that book will enjoy this story as well.
reviewed Just Listen on
Helpful Score: 3
Book left me with tears. Amazing detailed plot. Speaks out to young teens. Get this book while it lasts. Recommended for girls over the age of twelve.
GeniusJen avatar reviewed Just Listen on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Reviewed by Me for

Up until now, THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER has always been my favorite Sarah Dessen book. Now that I've read JUST LISTEN, however, I think there's a tie! The characters of this latest release are so honestly real, their dialogue perfectly placed, that you can't help but be pulled into the life and times of Annabel Greene.

Of course everyone thinks that Annabel has the perfect life. She's a model who has been in television commercials, in print ads, and in fashion shows at the local mall. She's popular at school, even if it is mostly because she's best friends with Sophie, the high school girl who demands attention. Her father is an architect who designed their house of glass; her mother lives for Annabel's modeling; she has two older sisters, Kirsten and Whitney, who are both former models themselves.

Under all of that perfection, of course, lies the real Annabel. The one who suffered from something so horrible at the end of the last school year that she's lost not only her best friend, but her self-respect. Her family is so consumed with Whitney's eating disorder, with Kirsten's college life far away in New York, with keeping everything under control that Annabel doesn't tell them what's happened--the things that are still happening every day she goes to school just dreading the day. She doesn't want to add more problems to the mix; in fact, she lies by omission, simply avoiding the truth rather than shattering her family's illusions.

But then Annabel meets Owen Armstrong, a boy she once watched punch out another student, then calmly walk away. Owen keeps to himself, never seems to be without his iPod, and doesn't appear to need any friends. But after he reaches out a hand to her, literally, after she's sick outside of school one day, a budding relationship of friendship begins to build between the guy who never lies, no matter what--and the girl who lies to protect other's feelings, namely her own.

I loved JUST LISTEN. Owen is a character that will immediately grab your interest, especially with lines like "...for me, not saying how I feel when I feel it is a bad move. So I don't do it. Look at it this way: I might be saying you're fat, but at least I'm not punching you in the face." As for Annabel, the things she's holding inside are tearing her apart, and, in the end, it's the strength of her sisters that gets her to ask for help.

The characters of Kirsten and Whitney are complicated and complex, and I have to admit that there's a part near the end of the book in which the sisters come together that had me crying like a baby. As for Annabel, it's not all about telling the truth, but about listening, not just to others, but mostly to that voice inside of her:

"...this is what happens when you try to run from the past. It doesn't just catch up: it overtakes, blotting out the future, the landscape, the very sky, until there is no path left except that which leads through it, the only one that can ever get you home."
Read All 18 Book Reviews of "Just Listen"

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reviewed Just Listen on
I loved this! The characters seemed so real and you could relate with them! I could barely put it down.
reviewed Just Listen on + 126 more book reviews
Loved it!
reviewed Just Listen on + 6 more book reviews
This book was amazing! I loved it. It its one of my favorite Sarah Dessen books!
reviewed Just Listen on + 15 more book reviews
I have another favorite author. I LOVED this book. Annabelle and Owen turned out to be really good characters. This book turned into what teens can really relate too. Eating Disorders are horrible. But it took an approach in the life of one person that was a model and had an eating disorder. I love the story.
reviewed Just Listen on + 12 more book reviews
this was such an excellent book... a good insight on a teenage girls life. its funny romantic emotional... got all the components for a good book. i finished it in 2 days, i literally could not put it down! keep saying 'ok just one more page' or 'ok just one more chapter' any excuse to keep reading! it was soo good, i loved it :)
peartree4000 avatar reviewed Just Listen on + 29 more book reviews
This is one of those teen-drama books about a teenage girl who has problems that she needs to figure out but she cant do it on her own. It basically covers a year in her life and all the family drama that goes on leaving the youngest daughter wanting for something more real.
I loved this book. In some ways it reminded me of me, or of someone I know or of what could have been. It made me cry several times.
I really did just stumble upon this book as I was doing a search for something else to read and the title "Just Listen" caught my attention. I would recommend this book to others because I though it was worth my reading time, but also because by the end you feel better about life and how it should work out. Five stars for this all the way.


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