Title: Just Listen Author: Sarah Dessen Publisher: Penguin Published: 5th July 2007 Pages: 400 Format: Paperback Source:: Bought Copy Add It:Goodreads, Amazon UK, Waterstones
Summary: To find the truth, you’ve got to be willing to hear it.
When she’s modeling, Annabel is the picture of perfection.
But her real life is far from perfect.
Fortunately, she’s got Owen. He’s intense, music-obsessed, and dedicated to always telling the truth.
And most of all, he’s determined to make Annabel happy…
When I first started book blogging six years ago, I had never heard of Sarah Dessen. So I cannot write this review without first thanking my fellow bloggers in the book community for letting me know that she existed. So far I have yet to read a book that hasn’t been an absolute gem to discover. I decided to read Just Listen after years of having it in my possession after a discussion with a colleague at work. She told me how it was the book that got her into her love of Sarah and thus I decided that it might just be the perfect book for me now, to get me back into reading completely. (hint: it really, really was).
Just Listen instantly reminded me of how wonderful Sarah Dessen writes. Her stories always involve strong, unique, and fascinating characters. They’re full of sensitive topics that are dealt with really well and it is difficult not to feel a connection to not just the protagonist, but side characters too. To me, Just Listen was a book that made me feel nostalgic, in the same way that returning home after a long vacation does. I fell in love with all of the characters, empathized with them and wanted to hold them throughout their individual journeys. I wanted to help guide them and make them smile.
This, for me, is the sign of an incredibly good book. Because in all honesty, the characters in this book felt like my friends. I wanted to protect them the way I want to protect my friends and I came to care for them very strongly. On top of that, I loved all of their little quirks and how they become who they are. I especially loved Owen and his anger management phrases such as Rephrase and Redirect. It was the small things like this addition that really brought this story to life. The characters had depth.
So, as I’m sure you can guess, I absolutely loved this book. I would have read it in one sitting if my life allowed but instead I read it in just four days. Which, after only reading one book the month prior, was a true triumph to me. I found myself reading it at every chance I got as I simply needed to return to my friends and witness how their lives were unfolding. So if you’re looking for an addictive, heart-warming but also incredibly emotional book, then you should definitely make sure that you dive into this book.
TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains anorexia and rape.