Book Reviews of Just Listen

Just Listen
Just Listen
Author: Sarah Dessen
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ISBN-13: 9780670061051
ISBN-10: 0670061050
Publication Date: 4/6/2006
Pages: 384
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 95

4.5 stars, based on 95 ratings
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

18 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

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.
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.
reviewed Just Listen on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I haven't read everything by Dessen, but this is my favorite so far...you 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 + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

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."
reviewed Just Listen on
Helpful Score: 2
This was my first Sarah Dessen book ever read, and my favorite of all her books. I fell in love with it from the first page.
The book is about Annabel Green who from the outside has the perfect family. However, in reality her family is torn apart and suffering from many issues including an older sister suffering from anorexia. The book starts off at the beginning of a new school year where everything has changed for Annabel who has lost all her friends due to having been caught with her best friends boyfriend. She is basically ostracized at her school except for a boy who is known for his anger management problems. The two become close friends due to their lives as outcasts and as the truth of Annabel's story comes out, a loving relationship blossoms.

I believe I bought this book the same day it came out, unknowingly I just happened to pick it up. Then I never put it down. I went to school, I was in high school at the time, the next day exhausted from staying up all night reading. My copy has been reread so many times now that it is lovingly battered. However, I don't plan to take it off my bookshelf for a long while.
reviewed Just Listen on + 962 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Over the course of just one summer before her junior year of high school, Annabel Greene has managed to lose all her friends. Always the quiet, "nice" one, a misunderstanding at an end-of-school party results in Annabel losing her gregarious best friend, Sophie, a complicated go-getter with many mood swings and only two sides to friendship. You're either her friend, or you're her enemy. Being Sophie's friend has caused the nice Annabel to lose several of her old friends as well, including her former best friend, Clarke, whom Sophie indirectly deemed "nerdy" and thus dropped like a hot potato.

Suddenly, Annabel finds herself all alone. She sits on the wall at lunch next to Owen, the loner boy who exudes an aura of intimidation for his gigantic stature and the omnipresence of earphones in his ear. Meanwhile, Annabel's situation at home is not too great either. The past year was focused mostly on middle sister Whitney's eating disorder, and Whitney and eldest Kirsten's constant clashes and subsequent falling-out in the face of Whitney's anorexia/bulimia.
Now, Whitney's at home and slowly recovering, but she's still taking up most of their parents' attention. Thus, Annabel feels unable to tell her mother that she wants to quit modeling, something that all of her sisters have done and grown out of. Annabel is the last one left, and as a result, she feels pressured to stay on it in order to make her mother happy.

In the middle of Sophie's attacks, her mother's inattention, and Whitney's glowers, Annabel strikes up an unexpected friendship with Owen. Turns out Owen is obsessed with music - and telling the truth all the time. With him, Annabel feels like a different person, one who can say what she wants to say all the time, instead of holding everything back like she usually does.

That is, until her past catches up to her. By trying to suppress all horrible memories of what happened to her that night at the party, Annabel is gradually but steadily ruining her future, including a possible romance with Owen. She must first admit to herself the truth before she can tell others and start on the path to recovery.
reviewed Just Listen on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

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."
reviewed Just Listen on
Helpful Score: 1
I related a lot to Annabel's character. I'm really not the open and honest type and seeing the words on paper made me understand myself a bit more. While the plot was foreign to me, the characters were VERY well developed and Dessen certainly has a way with words that I clearly understand now how she is an award-winning author. While this is a YA book, I would HIGHLY recommend it as well to parents of YA and even children. While it may be a novel, it's written well enough to give insight into how to help open communication with them. TWO THUMBS UP!
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 :)
reviewed Just Listen on + 126 more book reviews
Loved it!
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.
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
I loved this! The characters seemed so real and you could relate with them! I could barely put it down.
reviewed Just Listen on + 53 more book reviews
Another fabulous Sarah Dessen. Not only is it a page turner, but a heart warmer. Can't wait for the next!
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 + 30 more book reviews
This book was so real. The problems Annabelle, the protagonist has with her friends, the boy she meets and the stories she´s not ready to tell make you keep on reading. I really liked how she mixed her personal story with that of her two sisters and her family. They all change and grow.
The characters are very original, especially Annabelle and the boy she meets.
reviewed Just Listen on + 8 more book reviews
GOOD READ