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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
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...
Published on 16 Oct 2007 by Family

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Complex book with loveable characters
Annabel's story is a very moving tale of a young girl whose life begins to fall apart. I believe there are two kinds of people in the world - those who face their problems, and those who turn away from them. Annabel is of the latter, and not only does she turn away from her troubles, she runs away from them and hides, alone, behind a non-chalant facade. But she undergoes...
Published on 2 July 2010 by Dwayne @ Girls Without a Bookshelf


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 16 Oct 2007
This review is from: Just Listen (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 27 Oct 2007
By 
E. Moffatt (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Just Listen (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Very, very good., 14 Aug 2007
This review is from: Just Listen (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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 14 Oct 2006
By 
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Just Listen (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. 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."

[...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Listen, 26 Sep 2007
This review is from: Just Listen (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb read, 26 Feb 2008
This review is from: Just Listen (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Complex book with loveable characters, 2 July 2010
By 
Dwayne @ Girls Without a Bookshelf (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Just Listen (Paperback)
Annabel's story is a very moving tale of a young girl whose life begins to fall apart. I believe there are two kinds of people in the world - those who face their problems, and those who turn away from them. Annabel is of the latter, and not only does she turn away from her troubles, she runs away from them and hides, alone, behind a non-chalant facade. But she undergoes a slow transition, where she begins to realise what might be best for her - this is what makes the book a good read. That slow, painful journey towards growth.

Early on it was obvious that Annabel is a character broken and chased by her past. She is generally a decent character; however towards the ending I felt slightly irritated with her decisions. In retrospect I believe her actions may represent the distance someone such as Annabel would take in the circumstances. However I felt that I would have wanted to understand her more as oppose to watch her isolate herself; I did not find all her reflections well expressed and well conveyed.

Sarah Dessen compensates with the characterisation of Owen Armstrong however - I felt that he is a well painted character with a distinct quality and admirable traits. It was easy to be comfortable with and relate to his character. As far as male protagonists are concerned, Owen is probably one of those with the cutest traits. His passion for music is very swoony! I also vastly enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Annabel's sister Whitney, who I think is easily the most realistic character in the book. Each plays a significant, sometimes pivotal role in the plot - and together they become a part of a very real, very possible set of circumstances.

The romance in this novel is well based, one-of-a-kind, and honestly cute. Even if it is not the most prominent theme of the novel, it has a pivotal role. I found myself giggling and certainly very contented with the many interactions between Annabel and Owen. They are completely opposite and have everything in common. I really did adore them.

This novel has many elements to it - so many different levels of reflective I can write a list and still can't include everything. The repurcussions of silence, the power of honesty, love, friendship and camaraderie...there's an element of crime, vulnerability, trust, loyalty. There's the bond of sisterhood, of music, of control, of letting go...and so much more. It is however, not overwhelming, only more intricate. It is with regret that I found the subtleties to subtle. It is noticeably present in the book, but it is not remarkable or memorable.

Slightly predictable, Just Listen is a good novel with even better characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just Listen, 16 Jun 2008
This review is from: Just Listen (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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm listening..., 31 Aug 2008
This review is from: Just Listen (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Keep coming back to it!, 17 Jun 2014
This review is from: Just Listen (Paperback)
I first got this book 5 or 6 years ago when I was 15, and I loved it. Unlike all the other YA books I was reading, it had depth! It had complex characters, an interesting storyline, a lovely romance, and most importantly I couldn't put it down until I'd finished it. It felt like a really special book to me, and it engaged me in a way that a lot of books fail to, especially those in the YA market.

Now 5 years, later I'm 20 and this remains one of my favourite books. Whenever I feel like reading but don't really want to waste my time or money on potentially terrible books- I come back to Just Listen!

I would tell anyone to buy this book, and I frequently lend it to friends. Buy it!
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Just Listen
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen (Paperback - 5 July 2007)
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