Saturday, March 3, 2012
Review: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
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.
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction/Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
All fans of Sarah Dessen know that her books have a consistency: well-developed characters, thought-out plot line and a moral story that touches your heart and/or soul. Just Listen is a perfect example of that.
The characters are, no doubt, deep. They are layered with insecurities and deep-rooted issues, things that people deal with every day and things that few have to deal with. As they are each profound in their own ways, there is also a simplicity to them that allows them to step out of the pages, becoming realistic. For instance, you could be reading about your sister, friend or any other person in your life. You develop an investment to the characters, igniting emotions within you as the characters wrestle, together and separately, to overcome their dilemmas. Sarah Dessen writes in a tactful, emotional way that lets you effortlessly connect to each character.
Just Listen is a story that resonates inside of you, sits there for you to ponder past the last page. As the story blooms, the flashbacks set-up the present and future in a way that aids the reader into understanding, it shows different sides of each characters and the impact of each decision that Annabel has made. This allows the reader to see the beauty of Owen and how he truly helps the process of discovery in Annabel.
Just Listen addresses eating disorders, sour friendships, new friendships, re-discovering old friendships, struggling family life, the power of lies and with-holding and the freedom of truth. A timeless novel that every YA reader(regardless of age) should have on their shelf.