Title: Just Listen
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: YA contemporary
Source: Purchased (Paperback)
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…
Sarah Dessen is just amazing in my books. I mean, when it comes to having one of those days where you want something light, but with a bit of heaviness; something that you’ll be able to dive right into and fall in love with right away, and; something that will have you longing for more (in a good way!) by the end, Sarah’s books are the place to go.
When I first started this one, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. It had the same kind of vibe as That Summer, which is my least favourite Sarah Dessen book (for shame, I know!), not really melding with her newest stuff like The Moon and More. It seemed almost a little too heavy at first with Annabel’s situation with her friends and with Whitney and her situation. I was almost ready to set the book aside for a day but then we meet Owen.
I fell in love with Owen almost instantly. I loved that Annabel met him and that he helped get her out of her funk and make her realize what really is important in life. Not only that, but the whole idea that we just have to listen and say the things that actually matter, rather than just nonsense and filler words, well that was one of my favourite parts.
Aside from my love of pretty much ALL the main characters, I have to say that I love how Sarah makes the parents part of the story. They’re not just in the background, but in the main character’s life — they even have issues of their own. Not only do they have issues, but it seems like everyone has something going on, which you’d think would get confusing, but everyone’s storyline seems to weave perfectly together.
The only thing that I hated about this book — if you can call it that — is that there were no playlists! Right when Owen started talking about his radio show and Annabel started listening to it and the CDs that Owen makes for her, I wanted to know the music. What were the anthems that Owen liked? What about the punk and alternative music? I wanted to know these artists and these songs, the weird and the wacky, the solemn and the beautiful. Of course, maybe it’s just me since I’m a music nerd, but that was the one thing that I was missing in this book.
Otherwise, I really loved it. I had been looking for a book that would keep me company during being sick (since my little boy was sleeping!) and this was a perfect one. When I finished it I was sad that I was one more book into Sarah’s catalogue and that I only had a few left to go.