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Just Listen

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  200,812 Ratings  ·  7,054 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, 371 pages
Published April 6th 2006 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Catherine A. This is a good book, but not really one that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It had a slower plot line (don't worry, not in a bad way), and…moreThis is a good book, but not really one that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It had a slower plot line (don't worry, not in a bad way), and there wasn't a whole lot of action. It's more of a self-discovery book. It's one that leaves you thinking with a smile on your face. That is how Sarah Dessen's books are. Realistic fiction about real teenage problems that are actually- unlike a lot of books that I could list off- interesting. If you want an edge- of - your- seat book, I could recommend some… But this book would not be on that list. This is a book you read on spring break, not as a thriller.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 20, 2015 Ariana rated it really liked it
"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
May 12, 2015 Tasha rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
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 it was amazing
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
Jessica (priceiswong)
Apr 06, 2016 Jessica (priceiswong) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
4.5 stars
I really, really liked this book.
I definitely feel for Annabel and her family... I loved how big a part music had in this story as well as friendship. This book shows the importance of family and friends, speaking up for yourself, and of course listening to those around you. This was my first Sarah Dessen book and I'd definitely love to read another!
Jun 28, 2007 Erin rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 29, 2011 Glass rated it it was amazing
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
Taylor Knight
I'd seen so much about Sarah Dessen and her books but I never got around to reading one of her books until a friend gave me Just Listen. I started it right away and finished it within a couple days. It's save to say I'll be read another Sarah Dessen book soon.

This book is so well written and emotional. I quickly became invested in not just Annabel but her whole family has well. Just Listen deals with many difficult issues and I felt like everything was handled in a very powerful way.

I love how
Jul 24, 2013 Monisha rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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
Fafa's Book Corner
Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner !

Beware spoilers ahead!

Last year I read my very first Sarah Dessen book Saint Anything. I loved it and continued to look for more book by Sarah Dessen! Out of all her books the synopsis of Just Listen appealed to me the most. Which is why I decided to read this before the rest of my Sarah Dessen books. I am happy to say that I enjoyed it!

The book begins with Annabel watching a commercial she was in. She turns off the tv and mentally prepares herself for schoo
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
Sep 27, 2015 Laurence rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dear-friends
Wow. It's so, so, so, so good. I loved this book. It's so hard to read about such a sad story though, it hurt me more than any book did in a while, if not ever. I was sobbing at some point and there were other times all of my body hurt, even though I couldn't cry. It's incredibly sad, but I'm glad it gets better.

Having read two or three of Dessen's novels, I was expecting this one to be fluffy, with romance and one or two small issues. Well, let me tell you, the issue mentionned in this book is
Mar 02, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Melissa Veras
Jan 18, 2016 Melissa Veras rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars~

This book was SO GOOD. I have to say guys, I'm falling in love with Sarah Dessen. I'm probably going to read every book I find written by her.

I think the characters were realistic and I absolutely love the way delicate issues were managed. I also thoroughly enjoy the romance, I was falling in love at the same time Annabel did The secondary characters were really good, too! I particularly enjoy Owen's little sister :) I have to say, I was really frustrated with Annabel's mom, but that'
Sep 25, 2015 Pinky rated it it was amazing
“Don't think or judge, just listen.”

Another one of my favorites from Sarah Dessen, I love her books. My goal is to finish reading all her books and catch up on this train. I know I'm behind in Throne of Glass but I'll catch up ASAP! Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. The other book I read from Sarah Dessen is Saint Anything and I just loved that book so much.

“I mean, to me, freaking out is different. More of a running away, not telling anyone what's wrong, slowly simmering until you burst
Nov 07, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Mar 24, 2011 Isamlq rated it liked it
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
Anne Osterlund
Sep 10, 2012 Anne Osterlund rated it really liked it
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
Bekah AwesomeBookNut
Mar 07, 2016 Bekah AwesomeBookNut rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This book. Seriously, I have some major lovin’ for.

This story is about Annabel – she has lost her old friends, her old life and especially, herself. Her whole world is falling apart. Because of one specific thing that happened she isn’t able to function because she has kept quiet about it and it’s tearing her and her life apart. She lies to herself and everyone around her in order to avoid the truth and not face it. And it’s destroying her.

Then we meet Owen, a boy she avoided or ignored before h
Angie Elle
May 17, 2016 Angie Elle rated it it was amazing
Just Listen was the very poignant story of Annabel, whose life was significantly changed at the end of the previous school year when she and her best friend publicly parted ways. As the new school year starts, Annabel finds herself alone, sort of drifting through her life just doing what’s expected of her. As I finished up this story, I couldn’t help but think how important it was. There was so much about this book that just resonated with me. Parts of it flung me right back to my own high schoo ...more
Apr 15, 2008 Annie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: junior high schoolers, their teachers.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 06, 2011 Waffle...♥ rated it it was amazing
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
Ok so if you know me, you know how I am with books that everyone loves. I am SO reluctant to read them that I actually find excuses to NOT read them (the lamest excuse: I have too much homework... Yeah, right. As if that's stopped me before).

It's just that sometimes I don't like books that everyone else does... And sometimes they're just so amazing!!

Like a million people were asking me to "READ THIS NOW OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES" and I kept dodging them. But finally I caved cuz I had nothing els
Sunny Stone
Aug 22, 2010 Sunny Stone rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 23, 2010 Thomas rated it it was amazing
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
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Jun 18, 2008 Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* rated it it was amazing
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
Jae (Bookish Bluebird)
*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
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
It's hard to rate a contemporary novel than say a paranormal or dystopian genre. You can't take in the world building or if it was original enough. Because it is all based on our current world and the laws and personalities of everyone. So in short, this took some time in reviewing and rating.

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
Jun 06, 2013 Aimen rated it it was amazing
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
Margaret Stohl
Jul 11, 2009 Margaret Stohl rated it it was amazing
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.
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Adventures in YA: Third Quarter 2016: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen 2 6 Dec 20, 2016 05:46PM  
Around the Year i...: Just Listen, by Sarah Dessen 1 13 Jul 26, 2016 09:20AM  
Most In Everything: Just Listen 1 13 Apr 10, 2016 02:47AM  
Just Listen characterization 4 18 Jan 11, 2016 01:57PM  
Just Listen Internal and External conflicts 1 14 Dec 09, 2015 08:30AM  
Just listen-- dialogue 2 19 Nov 18, 2015 08:28AM  
Just listen foil characters 2 20 Nov 16, 2015 04:13PM  
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“Don't think or judge, just listen.” 9791 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.” 6173 likes
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