Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

04 January 2010

From Goodreads:

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.

In this multi-layered, impossible-to-put-down book, Sarah Dessen tells the story of a year in the life of a family coming to terms with the imperfections beneath its perfect facade.

Rating: 5 stars

Just Listen is about Annabel Greene, the youngest of three girls. While her life seems perfect on the outside - she and her sisters are fairly successful models, she's friends with one of the most popular girls in school and has a busy social life - things are actually unraveling on the inside and she finds she has no one to open up to. After an event that takes away her friendships and social life concludes her school year, she starts the next year alone, isolated, and unsure of how to cope - until she meets Owen Armstrong, another loner like her.

This book has many universal themes on many levels, but one of the biggest ones is not judging situations or people until you've really taken the time to learn about them. As things progress in the book, Annabel realizes the one thing she's been so afraid of - people coming to quick conclusions about her - is something she'd been doing to other people.

For me it started off a little slow and I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to enjoy it, but after sticking with it I really did enjoy it.