Sunday, April 4, 2010

Just Listen

by Sarah Dessen

I do love Sarah Dessen books-they are good for escape and wonderfully easy to read.  I would compare them to Jodi Picoult books for the young adults (and not-so-young-adults).  Sarah has an amazing grasp on teenagers; what they say and think as her characters come alive for me and I'm reminded of young people I know. 

Just Listen is the story of Annabel Green.  Annabel stars in a local department store's commercial as the girl who has everything; popular, cheerleader, prom queen surrounded by a gaggle of friends.  Happily her life is not really like this but she doesn't realize how happy this should make her.  She's struggling in the friend department as she ditched her first great best friend, Clarke to hang with bossy and mean Sophie.  Why do girls do this? It happens all the time.  I see it even at the fifth grade level, girls choosing to be friends with the trouble-making, snappy girl instead of the on-task, perfectly happy girl.  Why?!  If they could only look into the future.  In a good twist of fate Annabel meets Owen in a moment when she really needs someone real. She's been getting the cold shoulder from Sophie caused by a major summer rift-a rift caused by major denial on Sophie's part and Annabel's deep need to be silent on the matter.

 I like Annabel and her family, and I like Clarke but I love Owen.  Always in Sarah Dessen books I found one character that I wish I knew and Owen was it for me.  Owen isn't perfect by any means but he is true to himself and a deep and interesting character.  Owen's life is focused on music and Annabel, through Owen, learns to just listen.

There are several plot twists going on that I won't get into (you should discover them on your own) but one circles around Annabel's family, specifically the middle sister, Whitney.  She was a model as well and has gone to NYC to pursue a career in modeling but winds up battling anorexia instead.  I really enjoyed Annabel's sisters and this side plot about Whitney's journey is compelling.

If you haven't picked up Sarah Dessen I highly recommend her for good easy reading with very memorable characters!  This book could have a soundtrack as well!
4/5 peaceful stars
Highly Recommend for YA/adult reading 
Fulfills Reading from My Own Shelves Project hosted by Diane  at  Bibliophile by the Sea.
As per the terms of the project it needs to leave my shelves and be will be returned to my stepdaughter Kaylee now that I've finished it- read her recent review of That Summer by Sarah Dessen.


Anonymous said...

I love Sarah as well and this is one of my favourite novels written by her. Wonderful review! :)

Jenners said...

I've seen a lot of praise for this author. But reading about the way girls are sometimes make me glad I have a son!