Sunday, March 3, 2013

Review: Just Listen

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Published: April 6th 2006
Pages: 383
Source: Library
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

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 had been holding  back reading a Sarah Dessen book for quite a while (Why? I don't know), but this year I'm taking part in the Sarah Dessen Reading Challenge, and I should be reading one of her books a month. I wasn't sure if I would like any of her books, but so many people love them I had to give them a try, and the challenge was giving me a perfect chance.

Very easily fell in love with Just Listen. From the beginning I felt like I was part of the story, and everything that was going on was very easy to understand despite the complexity of the story. Each character was extremely well put together, I loved every part of this book.

One of the things that stuck out the most in this story was the character development. None of the characters were perfect, and every single person was changed for the better by the end. I loved how the characters had real problems such as Whitney, Anabel's sister, who has an eating disorder. Even though some characters like Whitney were not a huge part of the story, much of her story is there, and I love that about this book.

The characters were also quite exceptional in Just Listen. Each character had background, and an amazing personality, I loved every one of them. The main character, Anabel, has a lot of stress in her life, and after a summer of isolating herself she's starting the school year without friends. The story slowly reveals some of the things she went to to get to the point she's at, as well as adding more characters that help her realize that there is more than one place for her in the world.

I felt like Anabel and Owen were great characters, and fit each other perfectly. It was great how they were not a perfect couple, but yet they understood each other. They had fights, and were not exactly the same, yet they respected each other and knew how to work with one another. I loved their relationship, and I really wish there had been more romance in the story<3

There was a lot of music in this book, and not typical music, there was all sorts, from world, to pop, to just plain strange. I love how the characters had discussions about music,  and how it was described. I often felt like I could hear the music as it was described.


  1. Ooo this was a great choice for your first Sarah Dessen book. It was actually my first too because a friend stuck it in my hands, set me down, and said, "READ IT." So I obliged and I adored it.... and have you gone through a car wash yet?

  2. I haven't actually read all of the Sarah Dessen books yet either, but this is one of the ones I have read and it's one of my favorites (not that I can really choose). I love love LOVE Owen! And when they drive through the car wash! I really need to do that....


  3. I really miss reading Dessen's books. I really love Just Listen it is my second favorite Dessen book after The Truth About Forever. I'm jealous that you are discovering Dessen for the first time and I hope you enjoy all of her books.

    Thanks for the great review! I'm going to have to re-read some of these great books by her at some point!

  4. I received this one recently in a giveaway and I'm happy to hear you liked it. I've read a few other Dessen was really good, the other was "eh", so I wasn't sure what to expect here. Thanks for sharing!

  5. *FLAILS* Obviously I'm a HUGE Sarah Dessen fan, and I am SO HAPPY you enjoyed this! :D I love watching people fall in love with Sarah Dessen books for the first time.