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Just Listen

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  224,064 ratings  ·  7,877 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
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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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  224,064 ratings  ·  7,877 reviews

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Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 pa
Mar 22, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jan 07, 2009 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... AWES
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) ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2017
"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) and I decided that it
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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.

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 going through so m
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 i
Aug 27, 2011 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.
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 afraid to rerea
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 f
Apr 27, 2013 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 his music so seriously,
Bonnie Shores
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 about my choice.

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 you'lmusic.
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
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 great/>
This ...more
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 feeling
Beatrice ~ Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic
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), her friends/>Annabel
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
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 just got bored. I lov
Laurence R.
Jun 22, 2014 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 t
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 knew I w
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
actual rating: 4,5 stars
Jan 09, 2015 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 kind
Jun 26, 2014 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
Jun 10, 2011 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 i
Mar 24, 2011 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
Melissa Veras
Dec 21, 2015 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
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“Don't think or judge, just listen.” 10228 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.” 6436 likes
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