Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Just Listen” as Want to Read:
Just Listen
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Just Listen

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  238,937 ratings  ·  8,238 reviews
This is an alternate cover edition for ISBN10 0142410977.

To find the truth, you've got to be willing to hear it.

When she's modeling, Annabel is the picture of perfection.

But her real life is far from perfect.

Fortunately, she's got Owen. He's intense, music-obsessed, and dedicated to always telling the truth.

And most of all, he's determined to make Annabel happy...
Paperback, Reissue, 400 pages
Published June 2012 by Speak (first published April 6th 2006)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Just Listen, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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 th…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)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  238,937 ratings  ·  8,238 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Just Listen
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: standalone
"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
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
Jan 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
if theres one thing i know for certain, its that i wish i had sarah dessen novels in my teens. this book came out when i was in high school, so it makes me a little regretful that its taken me nearly a decade to read it. there is just something about her stories that i know teenage me would have greatly valued.

this story in particular deals with a much heavier topic than im used to from SD, but im glad for it. (view spoiler) are things that need to be ope
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
"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."

This was spectacular. After the disappointment that was Saint Anything I wasn't motivated to try another Sarah Dessen novel for a while. However I was looking for a nice summer read and Just Listen popped into my head. Many of my friends told me that it was their favourite Dessen book (mine is The Truth About Forever)
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Just Listen now replaces This Lullaby as my favorite by Sarah Dessen and has earned a well deserved place among my favorite YAs of all time. This is one of the most beautifully written novels I’ve ever read and I’m still a bit sniffling as I’m writing this review.

The story is mainly about Annabel, who despite her beauty and popularity just wants to keep to herself and opts to hide her true feelings and problems being the youngest daughter of three girls in her family. Seeing her parents already
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 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
“No matter how much time has passed, these things still affect us and the world we live in. If you don't pay attention to the past, you'll never understand the future. It's all linked together.”

I'm so in my feelings about finally writing a review for this book! This has been my favorite Sarah Dessen title since the first time I picked it up, waaaay back in 2006. Her books introduced me to the YA contemporary genre, and this one has been dear to my heart for so long that I was a little bit afrai
this was - when i used to read a lot of sarah dessen - my favorite sarah dessen book. to the best of my recollection. (even the best of my recollection is not a very good recollection.)

anyway. that's why it seemed a good place to start on the Massive Sarah Dessen-Centered Reread Bonanza of 2018. which was supposed to happen in 2017. but life, you know? i do not keep my promises.

this was exactly what i wanted, and also a lot more than i'd bargained for??? i am the worst ever, so i'd forgotten tha
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 take
Bonnie Shores
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-life
Friend: How was your day?
Me: Fine.
Friend: What did you do?
Me: Nothing.

That's kinda how I felt about this book. It was "fine". I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. And, for most of it, I felt like "nothing" was going on. And I really don't feel like talking about the banality.

"Why this book?" you might be asking. Well, I chose this book to fulfill a challenge—read a book tagged "family" at least 10 times. This one was tagged 63 times as family and it was by the Sarah Dessen. I was feeling good
Rachel Reads Ravenously
4 stars!

“Don't think or judge, just listen.”

Just Listen is the story of Annabel, a high school senior going through a rough time. After something happened at a party last spring, she no longer has all her friends and has alienated herself from everyone else. Surprisingly, she becomes friends with the school outcast, Owen, and the two bond through music.

“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
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars!

This author right here is the reason why I’ll always read YA! There’s something captivating about her stories how she focuses on the family dynamic. Because her stories are more than a love relationship it’s about dealing with serious issues.

This one was one of the most intense I’ve read by her. I love the growth of the h, Annabel at the beginning of the story she was really lost not just by the fallout of her relationship with her best friend but her family as well. The author did a gr
Fafa's Book Corner
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
2018 Review
Oh my gosh, whaaaaat. How did I not like this when I read it as a teenager?

Okay, we all know Sarah Dessen has a schtick: pretty, all-American teenager goes to great lengths to make everyone believe that her life is perfect, but in reality she keeps secrets, and always, always has trouble telling people how she really feels (this is one aspect I desperately wish Sarah would change as I find it nearly impossible to relate since I'm incredibly emotional and tell everyone exactly how I'm
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
Beatrice Masaluñga
Just Listen is a fantastic contemporary book and by far my favorite Sarah Dessen novel. I love it deals with family, friendship, and romance. It also tackled about eating disorder and sexual assault, both topics were handled well and it's impressive.

Annabel Greene has been modeling since she's a kid just like her older siblings Kirsten and Whitney. Like her sisters, she has zero passion about modeling and hasn't been upfront with her mother about it. With Whitney's eating disorder (Anorexia), he
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤
*New Mommy Review #1* (Meaning: Not great, but at least I'm getting some thoughts out there...)

In all honesty, this book started out so great. I was comparing to one of my all time favorites, Some Girls Are, almost immediately. But where SGA got more intense as it went along, JL fell apart, for me, as it continued.

I lost interest in our main character, was beyond annoyed at her childish reasoning for each situation where she simply only had to say 'just give me a minute', and, ultimately, I jus
Laurence R.
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Just Listen, Sarah Dessen
Just Listen (2006) is a young adult novel written by author Sarah Dessen. It is her seventh published novel. Annabel Greene is a girl who has it all—at least, that's how it seems on TV commercials. Annabel's life is far from perfect. Her friendship with her best friends Clarke and Sophie ended bitterly. This left her alone and friendless at the beginning of a new school year. Her sister Whitney's eating disorder is weighing down the entire family, and Annabel fears speak
Irena BookDustMagic
actual rating: 4,5 stars
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first thing I thought after finishing this was Why haven't I heard more about Sarah Dessen? I'd heard her name around before but always associated it with cheesy, romantic chick lits from the blindingly bright, pink, girly covers. Her books seemed like the kind I wanted to stay as far away from as possible.

But in reality Just Listen shocked me - it was a deeply meaningful contemporary with a poignant, realistic romance. It was pretty much the opposite of what I'd expected.

Right off the bat I
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 hones
Melissa Veras
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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
Mar 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • My Life Next Door
  • On the Fence
  • The Distance Between Us
  • The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)
  • Second Chance Summer
  • When It Happens
  • The Fill-In Boyfriend
  • Before I Fall
  • Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1)
  • By Your Side
  • North of Beautiful
  • P.S. I Like You
  • Two-Way Street
  • The Upside of Falling
  • Since You've Been Gone
  • The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1)
  • I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1)
  • Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
See similar books…

Articles featuring this book

Whether it’s magic schools, dystopias, paranormal love stories, or contemporary explorations of important real-life issues, young adult books...
218 likes · 171 comments
62 trivia questions
3 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“Don't think or judge, just listen.” 10282 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.” 6479 likes
More quotes…