May 12, 2011

Book Review: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

UK coverAt First Sight: Annabel Greene is dreading the first day of school, even after a summer spent in near complete isolation; because school means she'll have to face Sophie - her former best friend with whom she had a fall out at the end of the last school year.
At home, things aren't easier: her family is dealing with her older sister Whitney's eating disorder, and their mom's only distraction from it comes in the form of Annabel's modeling career.

 When school turns out to be as dreadful as she thought it would be - and with rumors about her flying about, thanks to Sophie - and after a particularly bad day, Annabel finds herself speaking to Owen Armstrong for the first time.

Owen is a bit of a town loner, known for being big (well over six feet tall), never taking his headphones off and having a violent streak - just the kind of guy Annabel would have never spoken to while being friends with Sophie. But he's also the only one who doesn't seem to care about the rumors as they strike a tentative friendship.

 As they get to know each other, Annabel gets a crash course on Anger Management lingo, she learns that Owen likes all type of music and has his own radio show, that he always tells the truth. The 'Truth' is not something Annabel is very familiar with, not because she outright lies maliciously but because she's used to hiding her feelings behind white lies to keep her family happy, to keep them from worrying about her; because she sometimes just doesn't share what's happening to her- like what really happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.
Just Listen
UK cover

Second Glance: Just Listen is is probably the last of Sarah's books that I truly loved - not just liked like Lock and Key, or thought it was OK like Along for the Ride. Annabel is the peace keeper of her family, the one her parents don-t have to worry about and she's not used to voicing out her feelings, but that all changes when she meets Owen, whom by telling the truth helps her find her own voice.

Now, I love Owen. I love that he deals with his temper, that he puts up with his little sister Mallory - much as he tries his patience - and that he's a pretty decent guy without advertising it. He can be a little snobbish about music, but no guy is perfect, right?

Also love how their lives start to slowly intertwine when they become friends - and that they truly become friends before anything else. Plus, I found the book quite funny, what with Mallory and Rolly - Owen's best friend - and just how crazy Owen gets about music.

Bottom Line: I actually love this book. It's one of my favorites both by Sarah Dessen and in general. I do think that it starts a little slow, and that it takes time for Annabel to build up her courage, but she's very likable and I find Owen kind of swoony (not as much as Wes, but no one is as swoony as Wess. Even Wes)

Favorite Quote: "There comes a time in every life when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you'd better learn to know the sound of it. Otherwise you'll never understand what its saying."

Cover Comments: I don't like this UK cover so much, though it does have a lot to do with the book

starstarstarstar1/2Personal Favorite

Sarah Dessen Week is an event hosted by Heidi of YA Bibliophile and  The Reading Housewives of Indiana 

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