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4.5 out of 5 stars49
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 13 April 2012
I took this out of the library a while ago after reading 'The Truth About Forever' and loving it. I had other books to read first so I put it in my pile and forgot about it. I finished a book last night and was looking for something quick and quite light so I picked this up. I ended up staying up until 1.30 in the morning reading this and got about 320 pages through it. I had to finish the last little bit this morning when I got up, but it was so good I didn't want to put it down.
This book wasn't quite as 'light' as I thought it would be and I am talking story content here not page numbers. It deals with a lot of issues from anorexia, bullying, rape and anger management. But whereas some books can overdo the issues so it feels like you are getting a lesson and a lecture, this book has the perfect balance and it never felt like too much.
Annabel used to have it all, but now she doesn't recognize herself, everything seems to have fallen apart in the last year, she is trying to ignore everything and carry on in a sort of blur, then she meets Owen and he teaches her that although she may not talk, she needs to listen, listen to her heart and her mind and her feelings and know that other people are there to listen to her too.
I actually liked Annabel as a character, when I found out she was a high-school model I immediately had this image in my head of a girl like the 'Plastics' in 'Mean Girls', but she is not like that at all, she is down to earth and just very unhappy, putting a brave face on for everyone and I could feel myself empathizing with her. At points I was almost screaming at her to just come out and say something, but I know how hard it is to tell people how you are feeling and I could understand why she didn't. Of course I've never had experiences like she has, thank God, but I could relate to her feeling of loneliness and of being lost.
Owen is probably my favourite character here - known round school for his large build and fiery temper, everyone is intimidated by him, but he's also a bit of a loner - locked in a world of his headphones and music, it just shows you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover as he is actually really sweet, yeah he has some anger issues but it's always for the best intention.
The pair worked really well together in the story and although I had a vague idea where the story was heading I still enjoyed getting there and there were some surprises on the way.
The story moved very fluidly and was a mixture of exciting, funny, heartfelt and emotional. This book focuses a lot on the things we don't see or hear, and made me think that maybe, sometimes we should look closer and take a bit of time to listen to someone else.
Overall I loved this book and I can see why Sarah Dessen is so popular, I have already requested her next book 'Lock & Key', I know all of her novels are stand-alone, but I've decided I want to read them in the order they were written.
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on 7 March 2010
Annabell is a 16 year old girl.She is in the modelling business from a very young age,as are her two sisters.She is the youngest in a family that seems to have it all.But a closer look will make you understand that something like that is far from true.The middle sister suffers from an eating disorder and the older sister lives in New York, where she quits modeling,much to her mother's disappointment, and decides to continue her studies instead.Their mother is described as someone who seems to continuously hold on by a thread,since she still can't cope with her mother's death.Their father reminds me so much of my own, not participating but always caring and protective of his family in any way possible.And he loves history!

After her best friend's boyfriend molested Annabell, everything changed in her life.And then Owen came along.Owen is a 16 year old boy,socially challenged,who has recently been in an institution where he had anger management lessons.He escapes from reality through the blasting music coming out of the headphones he constantly has in his ears. Annabell is fascinated by him,as he sees in him the person she could trust and open up to.Share all these feelings and emotions that were nestled inside of her, knowing that what she would get from Owen is not only disarming honesty, but also solace and pure love.

An amazing read for all ages!
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on 1 February 2009
I am 25 and was naturally skeptical about whether I would enjoy this or not. I took an instant dislike to the character of Annabel after reading the blurb, and thought the story sounded cliched. Also, I thought I was a little to old to be reading this.

I am so glad I did. Sarah Dessen has done a wonderful job of dissecting family life, the trials of High school and the trepidation of first love. I don't usually like romantic or 'chick lit' novels. However Dessen has done such a good job of creating palpable tension between Owen and Annabel that I literally could not put the book down until I found out if they were going to be together. This really isn't your run-of-the-mill trashy teen novel, you know, boy meets girl blah blah blah. What I liked most about this book though is that it doesn't patronise teens (or women in their twenties!) at all, and at no point did it try and shove some family-values-do-the-right-thing-happy-ending down your throat, like so many of the books I had read growing up.

So, for any women in their twenties, remincing about teenage years I highly recomment this book.
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on 17 October 2011
Honestly, I just thought that this book was amazing. It was well written and followed through with a good pace and a rather clear ending. The story line was fluid and I wanted to read more. I thought that it was very easy to connect with all of the characters in the book and to get a good view or insight into their personalities, even though some of the characters differed quite a bit. This book managed to deal with several issues without being too difficult to read or too in-depth and presented them in a rather realistic and intriguing way which was impressive. I loved some of the quotes in this book and it could really make you think about certain things. I also made an emotional connection to this book, I felt as though I was really there or could strongly relate to certain feelings that the characters were going through. I'd certainly recommend this.
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on 22 August 2009
i loved this book it is one of my favs without a doubt
i didnt know what to expect when i brought, if im honest i was being slightly vain and weird as i already have
the truth about forever and saw that the design of just listen was similar so i brought it to go with my other book and i have to say i dont regret buying the book ok so in one i way i do coz now i love sarah dessen books and want to own them all lol
but apart frm tht i dont
i love how honest owen is and how he changes annabell and teaches her to stop running frm things without him even realise he is doing tht
i especially loved his little sister i thought she was so funny
but anyways i would definietly recommend this book to you all it will be your best decision ever where reading is concened,
i also love how sarah dessen incorporates her characters frm one book to anutha x
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on 21 August 2013
I liked that the author told stories of their past and woven it into the present story- it was done the best in this story. Again skipping in the present were annoying.

Annabelle and Owen were just beautiful together. I was so rooting for them and despite them only knowing each other in a short while their feelings for each other felt very real.
I loved how Owen always told the truth and put with Annabelle who was lying the most she ever had done was an interesting concept.
I loved their discussions and banter over the music they liked which were very different tastes.
Annabelle's family were interesting and I would have loved to know more about Owen- I just don't think he's story was told much.

Overall a sweet romance and interesting characters, a good read (especially if you love music)
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on 13 July 2008
This is a book i got and could not put down. I had never felt as gripped and engaged in a book before this. This book is beautifully crafted and has every emotion woven into it with such ease and excellence. Stunning. Outstanding. A book i will always remember. This book can keep your eyes fixed on a page, suspence gripping you, an impatience to find out whats happening, a dread of turning the page to find out, to discover. Experience happiness, sadness and all the emotions in between with this amazing book showing how the 'it' girl has so many problems and yet showing how there is a light at the end of the tunnel, if only you can find it. She found it in the form of a strange guy who transforms her life. READ ... THIS ... BOOK. April Showers - age 14
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on 29 January 2012
Hearing about the author, Sarah Dessen, i decided to purchase this book. I should of really read what the book what about before choosing it, but when i got it & i read the back of the book it seemed like something i would read and enjoy. As it was the next book on my stack of books, i decided to read it. At what seemed like a slow start (maybe this was just because i was reading late at night & wasn't really taking it all in), but as the story opened up & began, i was amazed how amazing the story actually was. I read the book within 5 hours, yes i couldn't stop, it was so amazing. i recommend this to everyone & i will be purchasing more Sarah Dessen books for sure! The short description at the back of the book does NOT do it justice!
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on 17 June 2014
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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on 20 November 2014
When I first started reading this book, I was thinking "I'll give this four stars". Then, once you get past the midway point, it becomes absolutely unputdownable! You just get swept into a rollercoaster of language and emotions, and it's great. I identified strongly with the heroine, Annabel. Everyone thinks that she is this perfect, wonderful girl on the outside. But on the inside, it's a different story. I adore all the charcters. Not just Annabel, but Owen, Kirsten, Whitney, Clarke and Mallory. The author lapses between Annabel's life and her memories with ease, so subtle, you barely even notice it. I just fell in love with the story, I'll read it again and again.
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