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Just Listen Paperback – 5 Jul 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; First Edition edition (5 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141322918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141322919
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I've been writing, in one way or another, for as long as I can remember. I was always a big reader, mostly because my parents were. I used to get frustrated with my mom because she bought me books for Christmas when what I really wanted were the gifts my friends got, things like sweaters and jewelry. But I did love to read. When I was eight or nine my parents gave me an old manual typewriter and a little desk in the corner of our den, and I'd sit there and type up my stories. I was the kind of kid that people always sighed over and said, "She has such a wild imagination," which usually meant "I wish Sarah would try to stick to the truth." I have a tendency to embellish: I think it's just a weakness of fiction writers. Once you learn how to make a story better, it's hard not to do it all the time."The books I read when I was teenager, the good ones anyway, have stuck more in my mind than anything since. I still love books, but while I couldn't tell you complete plots of novels I read even six months ago, I do remember even the smallest descriptive details from Lois Lowry's A Summer to Die or Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. I think it was because back then books were still somewhat new to me, and when I found an author who seemed to say just what I was feeling, it really struck me and resonated. I hope that my books do that for the people who read them: I think it's the best thing to which any writer can aspire. "As far as my other life, my non-writing life, I live in the country with my husband, some lizards, and two dogs who are completely spoiled and rule me completely. I like to work in my garden---although I have not yet perfected the art of keeping everything alive----and, in my weaker moments, shop. I have a bit of an addiction to the Gap clearance rack, to be honest. I have this strange need to buy huge quantities of black pants. How many pairs of black pants does one person need? (Obviously for me, the answer is 11 and counting. But I digress.) What else can I tell you? I love Starbucks mochas but they make me way hyper. I subscribe to too many magazines. I make a mean bean salad. I could go on, but the truth is, my books are much more exciting than I am, and that's a good thing. It's always more fun to make stuff up anyway."

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Sarah! I love all of your books, you've inspired me so much (user MySpace)

I don't know how to explain how amazing your books are (user MySpace)

About the Author

Sarah Dessen is one of America's most successful writers of teenage fiction. Her books have won various awards, many of them spending several weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. Sarah lives in the countryside in North Carolina with her husband, some lizards and two very spoilt dogs. This is her first novel for Puffin.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I taped the commercial back in April, before anything had happened, and promptly forgot about it. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Family on 16 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
I got this book when I was on holiday during the summer, and didn't want to stop reading it!! It was very well written and told a very emotional story, the characters were very believable, and the plot was never really revealed until near the end. There were many different little subplots that you would have thought could get confusing, but they were introduced very naturally.

Many authors when they try to tell a story half with memories and half with the main story fall into a trap where it's all a bucketful of too many memories, but Sarah Dessen didn't go anywhere near that trap. An emotional secret combined with being taught to listen, the book kept me hanging on and wanting to know what happens, and I'd recommend it to anyone 13+.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. Moffatt on 27 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
When I bought this book I was extremely sceptical about wether I would enjoy it, I wasn't sure it was my thing. However I absolutly loved it. I read it in one go and loved every minute of it and Im still shocked at how much I enjoyed it. Im going to recommend this book to all of my friends because I really felt it was a good read.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By loza on 14 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
i'l be honest, i judged this book by its cover, when I saw it i was instantly attracted to its unusual design and had to have it. me and my friend sophie both read this at the same time and loved it. its the story of a girl who is seemingly lucky but underneath everything shes troubled and unable to let emotions out. then she meets owen. he helps her talk about things, admit a horrible experience and discover the power music has. A truly engaging read for anyone 13+.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bexie on 26 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
I have just finished this book after borrowing it from my school library and I think it is one of the best books I have ever read. It speaks so well about modern teenage life, and it really struck a chord. It's a must read, I couldn't put it down, and I recommend it to anyone.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. M. Bertinshaw on 16 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
I liked this book because you saw it from someone else's perspective. Unless you are completely self-absorbed, you've always been a tiny bit jealous of the popular girls - the ones with the grades, social life and looks. But this books shows that life on the inside isn't always the picnic it seems.
The reason why I gave this book 4 stars and not 5 was that I thought it was a little predicatable. I guessed the two main storylines about halfway through. (this may be because I've read so many other books like it!).
Although...I did think 'Just Listen' was more original in some ways. I could completely understand Annabel, especially on her policy of 'being nice'. The viewpoint was an eye opener and I thought the subtly added flashbacks were brilliant.
This book is really heartwarming and sad and I think this definitly puts Sarah Dessen into the top five authors for teen girls - she understands the teenage girl subconcious and is able to almost put my thoughts into words.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By :) on 26 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback
I found this book easy to read and very understanding this book covers many subjects in life such as her sister who is struggling with an eating disorder which also gives you insight on this disease.
The book overall is a must i didn't put it down the moment i opened it.
Sarah dessen captures lifes trials and tribulations.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By SugarGlass on 31 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
Just Listen is a story of choices, family, love, friendship and music. A strange combination, but it's one of those things that makes this book unsual.

Annabelle, like most of Sarah Dessen's main characters, is somewhat reserved. While I know there are justifiable reasons for this, it's still slightly annoying that her protagonists always have a similar 'voice'.

Annabelle is very much alone in the story, her ex-friend Sophie spreading vicious rumours about her after her boyfriend, Will, harrassed Annabelle. Her old friend Clark doesn't speak to her, either, and Annabelle is initially too shy to speak to 'intense' Owen. Her family is slowly being driven apart, first by the death of their grandmother, which shatters her soft-spoken mother, then an illness developed by her older sister Whitney, her dad and eldest sister Kirsten both on the sidelines. Whitney being the strong, silent-type and Kirsten being hyperactive and assertive.

Annabelle was an interesting character to read about. Despite her ordeal with Will, her struggles to keep her family close together, and her awkward experiences with Owen and Clark, she still remains quiet about everything, which was very frustrating. While I felt sorry for her and was moved by her isolation, other times I wanted to slap her and tell her to get ahold of herself. The fact she is surprised Will strikes again and that the victim (another ex-friend of Annabelle's) speaks out, seems to be a rather stupid reaction on her part. Owen wasn't particularly likeable, personally, as his bluntness and bossy attitude began to grow irritating. While Owen and Annabelle eventually end up together (which is obvious and inevitable) I felt like their relationship developed very slowly, which was frustrating. While it was an engaging read, it was fairly obvious in the book what was going to happen next. Possibly better to rent rather then buy.
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