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 was my first foray into the literary world of Sarah Dessen, and I think I’ve become addicted. I just know that I want to read more from this author. Sarah’s writing pulled me right into the story and every emotion on the page felt as if it were my own. This book was completely character driven, and while the romance was practically non-existent I simply couldn’t put this book down once I started it. In fact I read this book within one sitting and was left feeling content yet breathless.
Just Listen carries some pretty heavy content like: anorexia, rape, anger and fear; fear of telling the truth. Sarah wrote honest and unforgettable characters, staying true to their conflicts and struggles, unafraid to vividly show the traumatic assault Annabel endured, leaving her afraid to tell the truth and alone to suffer in silence. Annabel’s life at home isn’t that easy either, her sister is suffering from an eating disorder, and she believes that her mother’s happiness depends on her modeling career, and although she’d rather quit she’s afraid of telling the truth. Annabel and Owen seem like an unlikely pair, but the story brings them together perfectly. Their tentative relationship turns into one with deep bonds. But it’s almost destroyed when Annabel allows the fear of revealing her true inner feelings from telling Owen, or anyone, of the emotional turmoil going on inside her.