For the past four months every time I went to the book store I kept looking at this novel but I was never fully convinced to purchase it. I know that Sarah Dessen is considered one of the best YA authors, however I always thought that the theme of her books wasn’t my thing. But I decided to give it a shot.
“Just listen” was a great novel. From the plot to the characters everything seemed very realistic. I think this novel confronts the real life issues that are still in a way taboo subjects, like eating disorders and rape. Also, the way the characters react to different situations is very similar to the way some of us react. People choose to keep things to themselves, not confront the issues, hoping that one day they will go away, just like the protagonist Annabel. I think because of that, the author chose to let us know the real secret almost at the end of the story, which in my opinion is a great way to build the suspense. Along with that, Whitney’s eating disorder, lost friendships and new exiting romance drew me more and more into that novel.
I loved the male character, Owen. Since I am a big fan of music myself I felt more of a connection to him. For me he was “the perfect guy”, honest, handsome and mysterious. He was the opposite of Annabel and I think that’s the reason they got along so great. However, I wish that their relationship was developed a little more than it was.
I think that this novel is in a way a lesson in someone else’s life. It teaches you that what we see on the outside is not always true, that there isn’t much difference between lies and keeping the truth hidden, and that today’s world puts a lot of pressure on teenage girls. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen is a story about secrets, consequences and relationships that keeps you wanting more with every page. Good read, would recommend.