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Just Listen

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  167,998 ratings  ·  6,015 reviews
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.

Hardcover & E-book, 383 pages
Published April 6th 2006 by Viking Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2005)
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Deborah Markus I don't want to write a book, but I want to get paid anyway. How can I get paid?
Andi This is a great book if you want a suspensful funny "romance" when I say romance I mean between like two teenagers who are meant to be I definately…moreThis is a great book if you want a suspensful funny "romance" when I say romance I mean between like two teenagers who are meant to be I definately recommend it(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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"The best way out is always through."

This book kept me thinking...

How many times did you answer to the question "how are you" with just "fine", or "I’m ok"?
How many times did you feel like your heart was breaking but you couldn't make it right?
How many of your dark, inside secrets have made your heart break a little bit more every day?
How many times did you need help but you didn't know how to ask for it?
How many people tried to be part of your life, but you kept them in dark?
How many times whe
Am I the only person who is tired of Sarah Dessen?
I loved the first book of hers I read, Someone Like You, but unfortunately it seems like the more books of hers I read, the more formulaic her writing becomes.
It seems like every novel she writes follows this structure:
1) Girl (with very uncommon name) is unhappy about something in her life
2) Girl with very uncommon name meets Boy with very uncommon name
3) Girl and Boy decide to date
4) Big major conflict in story happens that causes girl and boy
Mar 13, 2015 Cara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cara by: Ash
This is going to sound stupid but I'm hyperventilating writing this review. I hardly ever buy books but I bought this one as a present for my sister (she introduced me to Dessen) and of course I just happened to read it too. I've read this book four times (the most I've re-read any book) and I know it inside and out, but I don't think know I won't be able to do it justice. Here goes nothing...

First of all I could probably write a whole dissertation on Owen. He's is just so... AWESOME really
Jun 28, 2007 Erin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of "Speak"
Annabel Green lives in a glass house - literally. But even inside of the glass house that her father built, she realizes that it is easy to hide secrets. It is easy to hide the fact that her mother has become a different person since her grandmother’s death. That her oldest sister has moved away, leaving a gaping hole in the family.

It is easy to hide the fact that her other sister is suffering from an eating disorder that her parents choose to dismiss until it’s almost too late.

Like her family,
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for

Up until now, THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER has always been my favorite Sarah Dessen book. Now that I've read JUST LISTEN, however, I think there's a tie! The characters of this latest release are so honestly real, their dialogue perfectly placed, that you can't help but be pulled into the life and times of Annabel Greene.

Of course everyone thinks that Annabel has the perfect life. She's a model who has been in television commercials, in print ads, and in fashion sh
Half way trough this book, I realized that I was scared. Scared because it took me back to the place in my mind which I don't have any dessire to go back - ever again! I used to have a "friend" like Sophie, I had a eating disorder when I was senior, there was "owen" who helped me to wake up (but, he was just a friend). It took me two years to recover completely and it was awful. I used to stop eating when things in my life were out of my control and it gave me false sense of some kind od meaning ...more
Don't think or judge, just listen.

These words are screaming in my head right now and lord, are they inspiring.

Annabel, just your average girl used to be popular, had one really popular friend and had everything right.
She keeps to herself about what happened during summer, where everything turned upside down.

The story starts off with her and gets even better once she meets Owen.

He is most definitely music obsessed, always telling the truth and has anger management issues.

I loved Owen!
He takes
Just Listen is a beautiful coming of age story. It follows Annabel Green, a girl who, at first glance, appears to have everything: looks, popularity, friends. All that changes during the summer before junior year. Something happened at the beginning of that summer, that left Annabel lonely, friendless and despised by her former best friend.

Contrary to what you might think at first glance, this is not a love story. At least, the love story is not the central part of the plot. This is a story abo
Annabelle has spent her entire summer sequestered after an incident at a end-of-school party in which she was humiliated in front of all her friends. Her best friend is no longer speaking to her, and we find out in progressive flashblack clips what exactly happened. Before Annabelle can get too lonely, she meets fellow social outcast Owen who teaches her the virtues of honesty and gives her the confidence to come clean about her secrets.

If this storyline sounds familiar, it's because "Just List
There’s a conversation somewhere in the middle of the book that struck me,

"Interesting," he said, "is not a word."

"Since when?"

"It's a placeholder. Something you use when you don't want to say something else." He leaned a little closer to me. "Look, if you're worried about my feelings, don't be. You can say whatever you want. I won't be offended."

This snippet could very well describe what I was planning to say about JUST LISTEN. So, in lieu of 'interesting,' I will say that the first half just
Sarah Dessen’s Just Listen changed me.

Now just to be clear--those words do not come easy for me. My head has been emerged in one literary world after another my whole life, but those words have only come out of my mouth a hand full of times about a novel. This story just wrapped itself around by head, heart, and everything I am and held on for dear life.

Do you consider yourself an honest person? Do you always tell the truth about how you feel? For me, communication and the importance of honest
Anne Osterlund
Annabel avoids conflict. A difficult task when your mother suffers from depression and your sister is anorexic. And your best friend, your ex best friend, and everyone else in the school hates you.

With the possible exception of Owen Armstrong—who lives in his I-pod . . . and punches out classmates that annoy him.

Life is safer if you don’t talk. Don’t have an opinion.

But when Mom begs Annabel to hitch a ride home with a “friend,” Owen is the closest person to a possibility. And it turns out he do
Nov 06, 2011 Waffle...♥ rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Grades 8-12
Recommended to Waffle...♥ by: Me? o-o;
This book is A LOT like The Truth About Forever but the story line is very different... personally I liked The Truth About Forever better because it's much more touching and sweet... but this book teaches a great deal of a lesson about truth. Truth haunts and lingers over you no matter what and you can never let it go. If you chose to ignore it... its going to overtake your future and the only way out is to follow it through.

Shhh, Annabel. It's just me. That part was fantastic! I really thought
Apr 15, 2008 Annie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: junior high schoolers, their teachers.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Margaret Stohl
Only my second, but my favorite Dessen and my favorite Dessen boy (Owen) so far. Loved the complex dynamic between the women in the book in particular, the friends, the sisters, mother and daughter. Chronic specificity of characters and stubborn detail brought story to life. Read from start to finish.
Sunny Stone
This book amazed me by how the author can turn a cheesy story into one that I cannot stop reading. I especially enjoyed its romance, which is slowly presented but so sweet. Friendship-toward-love relationship is the type I like. Under normal circumstances, I hate to read or watch movies about men and women who only know each other for a short couple of hours but start to make out, claiming they are deeply in love...For me, friendship is like the basic and primal level of romance. Skipping it to ...more
Aimen *Vampire Bookworm*
I enjoyed this book a lot! This was actually my first Sarah Dessen book that I read and now, i'm always looking forward to her books.

Annabele Greene is going through a lot. She used to be your classic popular, high school girl. But one night changed everything. Ever since, she has kept a secret she refuses to tell. Now, Annabele has no friends, a bad relationship with her sister Whitney, and her mother just doesn't seem to understand her. And then she meets Owen Armstrong, a music fanatic that s
In a nutshell, Just Listen is the story of Annabel Greene - the youngest daughter out of three, whose life is constructed of fragile silences and false beliefs. Annabel's needs are overshadowed by the troubles of her older sisters, and her parents are too busy with their own endeavors to pay much attention to her. Her entire world flips upside down after one horrendous night at a summer party, and after becoming the victim of merciless gossip, she is subdued to silence from her peers. That is un ...more
*5 stars!*
"But being nice wasn't as easy as it seemed, especially when the rest of the world could be so mean."
I LOVED THIS BOOK. Just, wow. Powerful, touching, down right emotional. There are two elements that I absolutely love in any book: an emphasis on family and character development. This book had those in spades. The story was beautifully written and, in my opinion, the flow was spot on.

The title, Just Listen, fits this story to a tee and is told in the pov of Annabel Greene, the younge
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Jun 18, 2008 Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everybody! especially ppl who like music, or the book Speak
Wow! I loved it! I wasn't sure if I was going to like it, since I only read realistic fiction once in a while. I'm not so great at writing realistic fiction myself, so I have a lot of respect for authors that can write it well and make it interesting! And this book was more than just interesting, because it was totally likable. The characters and plot were thought out really well. It basically has the same plot as the book Speak--but I liked Just Listen better than Speak because there was more t ...more
Don’t think or judge. Just listen.

Annabel Greene has everything. Or rather, she used to have everything. Hanging out with the most popular girl in school, having part-time job as a model, and living in a big glass house with strikingly beautiful sisters. But everything is not what it seems.

Last year, her second sister was almost dead of starving herself. Her longtime friend and the most popular girl in school, makes school a hell because she thinks Annabel is making a move on her boyfriend. Anna
Annabel ♥
When my dad brought this book back from London after a business trip, I was excited. Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors and I had yet to read every book by her. Apparently, an employee at my favorite bookstore in London had recommended this for a 13-year-old girl, and my dad had bought it for me and brought it back. I anticipated the experience of reading it, as Sarah Dessen's books always hit me incredibly hard. This time, though, I had no idea what I was about to read.

NOOOOO I'M DONE!!!! I'm killing myself for reading this fabulous book too face!!! It's killing me!!!! x.x

"Don't think or judge. Just Listen."

Oh, I could dedicate this whole review just to Owen, but I won't. The music obsessed geek. I actually wrote down every song/singer/band listed in JUST LISTEN and listened to them like "Thank You" by Led Zeppelin or Jimmy Paige. The Jimmy Paige one actually gave me a bit of headache. I got tired even from just listening to it! Anyways, Owen helps Annabelle
Sarah MacLean
I read Just Listen in one sitting--I simply couldn't put Annabel's story down. She's a terrific character--all introspection and intelligence and goodness of heart and confusion. The perfect youngest child becoming an adult. I adored her self-awareness and empathized with her self-consciousness.

And there are few YA authors who can capture that strange awkwardness that comes with being 17 as well as Sarah Dessen. Between her sister's anorexia, her mother's depression, and the terrifying events
Annabel is so annoying. Still liked this book though since it still has many redeeming qualities.
Ashley writing arts Hall **Just listen**
There are books that are intriguing enough to get through and there are books that drag on without getting to the point. Most are perpetual and relentless. Then, there are books that light a dark tunnel the end of the railroad. They are intense and heartwarming. They give you enlightenment and inspiration. They make you want to just listen. That is why the title of my book fits so well with the novel. You want to listen to her passionate story about the li
Dajana J.
Just Listen is the second book I read from Sarah Dessen,and frankly, it’s one of the best books I have read so far.My favorite thing about her books is how she takes one person’s crisis and and shows how everyone around that person is experiencing something similar. This is exactly the case in Just Listen. Before I go into the book,I have to say how much I love the author’s writing style. It is so fresh and she keeps you interested from beginning to end. There wasn’t a moment I put this book to ...more
This was my first Sarah Dessen book and I have been told her writing can be very formulaic which may be a problem when I start picking up her other books but for now, I did enjoy this book. Review to come eventually.
THIS, This my friends... this is the book that started it all. Twilight may have first introduced me to the world of YA Books - Yes, Twilight was the first book I ever read, and double Yes, I liked it. And no, you are not allowed to judge me - but THIS, this book was the one that sealed the deal. This book got me forever hooked on YA Contemporary books, it set standards and it awoke things in me that I was trying really hard to forget and ignore and others that were waiting to be discovered: lik ...more
I would really like to know teenagers like Dessen`s: ones whose hormones hardly react. I mean, i completely understand the material is directed to teen audience, and that would be sort of encouraging or condoning reckless sex.. whatever. But teens still think about it ALL the time, they dont have to act on it necessarily. Deseen`s books, hardly mention her characters breaking a sweat about it. I was pissed off how like Owen or Wes from The Truth about Forever have "feelings" towards the girls, b ...more
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“Don't think or judge, just listen.” 9055 likes
“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you'd better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you'll never understand what it's saying.” 5834 likes
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