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Just Listen Paperback – February 28, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up Annabel Greene seemingly had everything: cool friends, close family, good grades, and a part-time modeling career in town. But it all came crashing down, and Annabel has spent the summer in shaky, self-imposed exile. She finds herself dreading the new school term and facing, well, everyone again. The last thing she wants to do is revisit old friendships while the losses are painful, the secrets behind the rifts are almost unbearable. Her solid family seems fragile, too. What happened to cause the stiff silences and palpable resentments between her two older sisters? Why is no one in her loving but determinedly cheerful family talking about her middle sister's eating disorder? Annabel's devastating secret is revealed in bits and snatches, as readers see her go to amazing lengths to avoid confrontation. Caught between wanting to protect her family and her own struggles to face a devastating experience, Annabel finds comfort in an unlikely friendship with the school's most notorious loner. Owen has his own issues with anger, but has learned to control it and helps her realize the dangers of holding in her emotions. Dessen explores the interior and exterior lives of her characters and shows their flaws, humanity, struggles, and incremental successes. This is young adult fiction at its best, delving into the minds of complex, believable teens, bringing them to life, and making readers want to know more about them with each turn of the page. Roxanne Myers Spencer, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
Gr. 8-11. After being caught with her best friend's Sophie's boyfriend at a summer party, Annabel Greene is starting her junior year alone and ostracized. But what appeared to be infidelity was really attempted rape. Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak (1999) will find obvious parallels here, including the play on the title, but Dessen spins her own quality tale of a young girl finding her voice, and finding an audience. Annabel's troubles are exacerbated by her family's refusal to acknowledge its problems: middle sister Whitney's severe anorexia or the three sisters' waning interest in modeling. A budding friendship with classmate Owen, a dj at the community radio station who is never without music to drown out the silence, helps Annabel listen to her own heart and risk speaking out honestly. Characterization and dialogue are expertly done, and Owen's anger-management advice and efforts to broaden Annabel's music tastes ("Don't think, or judge. Just listen") strengthen the theme of the story: honesty. Teen girls who meet Dessen for the first time here will be looking for her backlist. Cindy Dobrez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
Top customer reviews
Annabel is a girl who's stuck in the middle. She has a terrible secret which she desperately needs to tell, but she doesn't know how to. When her sister gets anorexic, Annabel needs to be the strong one. She needs to continue doing something she's beginning to despise to keep her mother happy and from falling apart. But Annabel realises that she is the one that is threatening to fall apart.
When something terrible happens, she becomes an outcast at school. She's the hot topic among everyone around her, and those she thought she could trust are the ones running the rumour mill.
But when Annabel starts talking to Owen, a music-obsessed, completely honest outcast like herself, Annabel begins to see the light. Don't think or judge, just listen. And Owen slowly but surely helps Annabel confront her fears and face the light, holding her hand along the way.
This is a very sweet, very light read. If you're looking for something to read that isn't part of a series and doesn't have any complicated plot or characters, this is the book to read. however I would recommend it to a younger age, maybe 13-14-15, as I did find that it was a little too young for me (19), but again, it was something I still enjoyed.
immediately came up with a mission. That mission is to read all of her books! Wish me luck!
1.) It's truthful, honest, witty, and well written
2.) It's one of those books that makes you actually feel the anger, happiness, shock, etc of the characters, which is very rare in a book, and very hard to do.
3.) Makes you want to just keep reading and finish it already because your dying to know what happens, but you also don't want it to end because you're enjoying the book/ reading it so
much, also very rare and hard to do.
1.) Sometimes in books (and this is just my opinion, and I am not trying to be rude or judgmental) you just get sick of hearing the same thing over and over again, and sometimes you need to have a little bit of a surprise here and there. (Again, just my opinion) (I felt that this book, even though there are many pros and cons, and I don' t think that with with either one can outweigh the other, given the fact that everyone has a different opinion,) was, in my opinion, was sort of predictable on some accounts.
2.) This may be just because I have read better material, given the fact that I am constantly reading, but I think that this book could've been made better. Now, I am not saying this to offend the author or the readers, because I myself am a writer and I don't want to be rude, but I think that the book, if written a little differently, could be much better if there were some things added. I am not saying to change the original story line, which I think is very good, but to, let's say, spice it up a little bit. Obviously since the story has already been written it can't be changed, but I feel it could have been better this way.
3.) Lastly, I think that this story sort of pales in comparison with Sarah Dessen's other books, such as, Along for the Ride, Dreamland, Keeping the Moon, etc. Don' t get me wrong, it's a good book, but in my opinion she has written far better books.
Overall I think that Just Listen is a good book, but maybe for younger or less advanced readers.(Again, this is just me stating my opinion and I am not trying to be rude, and I have read very advanced material, so it may be normal for me to feel this way.) It has its pros and cons just like any other book, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I'm just stating mine. So, I guess in other words that while I enjoyed the book, I would've enjoyed it much better if there were some changes made to it.
Written by Grace Will (age 11)
Most recent customer reviews
Second of all, Sarah Dessen, aka the queen of YA, is one of those authors I...Read more