July 09, 2012

Summer Reading Review - Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen Summer Reading Special!!
I just felt like this was nessecary. Sarah Dessen is one of my absolute favorite autors and provides great summer reads AND all of her books got new covers a few weeks ago so I thought I'd voice my opinion about those and commit every Summer Reading Review in July to a Sarah Dessen novel :)

Just Listen.

Goodreads Synopsis

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

This story is so thoughtful, so heartwarming, so difficult. And so non-cliché. It leaves you with a great message, it teaches you a lesson about friendship and family and life in general without you even noticing. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that this is quite a long book and it will take you a while to get through. Don't try to devour it, enjoy it with patience.

I got this book in a box set for christmas, pretty much only because I knew it'd be ridiculous to only add one Sarah Dessen at a time to my shelf. I seriously love all the books I've read so far and will continue buying them probably until my life is over.

Dessen's books are a guarantee for any teenage girl to save some money she'd otherwise spend on a therapist. Next to Meg Cabot's, I think her books should be handed to any fifteen-year- old female wandering around on this earth. She's a bit different from Meg, though as her novels are rather deep and thoughtful and not as funny and quirky. Just Listen is the perfect example for that. I loved this book especially for the thoughtful messages it provided.

Annabel, the main character, was a girl I could immediately identify with. Some family issues combined with misunderstandings and some best- friend drama and she's all alone on this crazy planet, trying to survive by giving her life to others. She also has to deal with some heavy issues apart from her sister's anorexia or her loneliness at school. Annabel is a well-rounded character with a thousand different character traits that make her as unique as all of Dessen's heroines.

Another thing I love about Just Listen is how there's never a right or wrong. You sit there, staring into the sky and try to figure out what would be the right thing to do for Annabel, her way out but you don't know. And then, in the end, you get presented a solution that fits the character and her story but it doesn't necessarily mean that it is right for everyone. I feel like Just Listen shows in a very careful way how every human being faces different issues and has to deal with them but instead of pointing the way to the "How exactly?" it appeals to the reader to get moving and figure it out for his or her life.

As I said, I found Annabel herself a very sympathetic character. However, I fell in love with her family, too. Her two sisters - each so different - and her parents did have their struggles and problems in life but it was heartwarming and inspiring to see them work things out bit by bit.

Of course, in a Dessen novel I have to mention the guy - and as always I'm not too impressed. I don't really like those nice, caring guys and I know this does sound weird but these silent, thoughtful boys who look like criminals and then - when you get to know them - turn out being the most sensitive people around? Not my type. Then again, Owen probably could make almost every other girl swoon, so I'll just shut up at this point :)

The plot is rather slow but it's by no means a bad thing. I think you need the time the novel offers you to get the whole experience, to take a part of the book with you for your own life.

All in all, Just Listen is a pretty sad Sarah Dessen novel, but at the same time it is heartwarming and beautiful. It's one of those books that make you cry out of sadness and out of joy at the same time. I haven't even talked about the whole friendship-drama that Annabel is going through and which makes the novel even more complex! I definitely recommend Just Listen to every girl out there - especially if you read and loved Dessen's The Truth About Forever!


Just Listen

I don't really know with this one. We have the headphones on the new cover, the MP3 Player on the old cover...and a girl in jeans and t-shirt...I think I like the old cover better, though - the top is cuter :)


  1. Sounds interesting! And I like the cover! I'll TBR it! Thanks for the review! :D

    1. Yup, the covers are both cute, I think! I'm happy I already own the old cover so I don't have to decide on which one I buy :)

  2. I love Sarah Dessen. I have read all her books and Just Listen is really good.
    Really great review. :)

    1. I love her, too but I'm actually still missing some of her books. She's an amazing writer!

  3. I really like it when you said, ``You sit there, staring into the sky and try to figure out what would be the right thing to do for Annabel, her way out but you don't know.`` Because that is completely true. You do not know what to expect. I swear I tried mapping up an escape plan mentally, but there are just so many different ways out, or ways stuck. Man the end made me think a bunch. But I thought she was stupid when she would not tell anyone anything! How hard is it if Emily could do it?

    Okay, I just wanted you to know I liked your review plenty much and used it in my own review for the novel.
    If you want me to take it off, no problem. Just tell me and I will have it off.

    1. Aww, thank you! And no, you do not have to take it off! I actually feel honored you seemed to like that part of my review so much!
      Thanks for telling me, though :)


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