Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

My first review of a Sarah Dessen book. Stressful. How do I start? I have read her books before – What Happened to Goodbye and The Truth About Forever, but reviewing them seems like a daunting task. Why? Because so many people love them. And it’s hard to point out the cons when someone’s attached to it.

Annabel Greene is a model. Her life is perfect, she has everything. Or so it seems to people on the outside. Inside, she is devoid of everything. This story revolves mainly around her and her reactions to problems arising around her. Her family is a main part of the story, too, with her sisters and mom influencing her decisions to twist the truth.

I was looking forward to reading about Owen, Annabel’s friend and love interest, when I heard about the book, but his character didn’t get to me. Maybe it was the directness, or the way he was presented in the book, but I couldn’t understand him the way I get to understand other main characters.

However, I loved how Owen and his music influenced Annabel. He was a great character but not what he was supposed to be, according to the text. He does not come off as an angry boy. In fact, I thought he was pretty nice to everyone, only punching them in the face when they hit his breaking point. That’s pretty fair, I think.

Like most other readers, I didn’t like Annabel in the start. She wasn’t mean to anyone, but she was a bystander, making her equal to the person doing the mean thing. But don’t worry about disliking her the whole way through the book- her character is very dynamic. She goes through a lot of changes, including minor barely-noticeable ones.

This was a book, not about finding yourself, but hearing yourself, and believing in yourself. I found the overall plot very interesting and touching. Definitely a must-read, but take your time getting to this, it’s not a hurry.

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