Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: Just Listen

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Age Group: Young Adult
Published: February 28, 2008 by Puffin (originally published 2006)
Format: Paperback, 371 pgs
Source: Purchased


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.

Mini-Review: A real look at life, love, and lost friendships.

My Thoughts:

This was my first Sarah Dessen book, and -- since everyone seems to love her and her writing so much -- I think I was expecting a bit more. Also, I do not read a lot of contemporaries. That being said, Just Listen was an okay book. I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. But I'll probably read more Sarah Dessen in the future.

The beginning of the book starts off by letting you in on the fact that something major happened at the beginning of the summer that ruined Annabel and Sophie's friendship. And then there is a lot of jumping around through time as the main character tries to fill the reader in on how she got to where she is now. I was not a fan of this. For me, the jumping around didn't compel me forward or help the story; it kind of annoyed me, especially since I pegged the Big Event from the very beginning. 

Eventually the story settled into its groove and I began to care about the characters. Annabel's sister Whitney, though, was my favorite. I feel like she grew more than anyone else and was the most interesting person in the story. The ending is fairly predictable, although for a bit I was aggravated with Annabel for taking her sweet time getting her stuff together and wasn't sure if it would end the way I thought it would.

Overall I did enjoy it and think it would make for a nice summer read when you're looking for something fairly quick and/or a realistic teenage love story. 

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