Ari's Reviews > Just Listen

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
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really liked it
bookshelves: 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 when someone got too close to you, did you push that person away?
How many times did you have so much to tell, but didn’t find the words?
How many times silence got so loud that you couldn't bear to listen to it any longer?

Someone said that the mp3 players were made for the people that can’t handle their own thoughts… So tell me, how many times did you get yourself lost in music, not wanting to hear the rhythm of your own heartbeat?

Too many times to count.

There are secrets that we keep safe in our heart, there are things that could hurt the people we love if we let them out, there are friendships lost between the layers of time, and there are people that get to know us better than anyone because they know how to look into our heart..

For all these, there is this book – about broken hearts, and lost dreams, about loneliness, and silent cries, about being too late and second chances, about love in every form we can find it.
And for all those people we need to do one thing: just listen.



In this story we meet Annabel - a girl that has lost her old friends, her old life and eventually, herself.
She doesn’t know what to do with her life, she doesn’t know how to be part of her family that seems to be falling apart, she doesn’t know how to say “I’m sorry”, she doesn’t know how to say what’s wrong with her, and she doesn’t know what to do with all the bad things that happened to her and she didn’t say a word to no one about.

When one boy from school, Owen, starts hanging with her and challenging her to put into words her real feelings as they are, the chaos that her life has become seems to get bigger, and the only way for her to make things right is to start being honest with the people around her (her mother, her friends, even Owen), and more than that, to be honest with herself.

"Plus there's the fact that music is a total constant. That's why we have such a strong visceral connection to it, you know? Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in you or the world, that one song stays the same, just like that moment."

You would think that telling the truth is as easy as breathing, but is it? Who decides if a lie is big or small; if a lie can make us happy or sad? And if we say the truth, will it make a difference? And how do you know, whom you can trust with your secrets? And how do you know if they will believe the truth or they will think that it’s another lie?
How do you say what you want, when you don’t even know it, and how will you face the truth when you’re trying to run away from it?

Yes, we live in a world full of lies – some of them are meant to make us feel better, some are meant to make us cry; some of us can make the difference between a dark secret and a light lie, but most of us are starting to forget what being honest really is: not to say all that you think, but to think all that you say!

So, the next time your heart is telling you its truth.. just listen!

Yeah. Don't think, or judge. Just Listen.


This review can also be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com
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Reading Progress

June 20, 2011 – Shelved
Started Reading
January 31, 2012 – Finished Reading
December 10, 2014 – Shelved as: standalone

Comments Showing 1-50 of 54 (54 new)


Tina This is the first Dessen that I read and the one that made me love her. :)

I love what you wrote here: For all these, there is this book – about broken hearts, and lost dreams, about loneliness, and silent cries, about being to late and second chances, about love in every form we can find it.
And for all those people we need to do one thing: just listen.
This is so true. :)


message 2: by Ari (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari Thanks, Tina. I think I will read more books from Sarah too. This is my second one, and I can't wait for the next one :)


Dija Beautiful review, Ari! I loved this book, though after reading so many of them, Dessen's books do start seeming a little bit redundant and boring.


Laura THAT was beautiful, Ari. Just a beautiful review for a beautiful book! I loved this book—it will remain in my heart. Plus…come on! Owen was awesome! Love that guy! :D


message 5: by Ari (last edited Feb 09, 2012 12:01PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari Dija wrote: "Beautiful review, Ari! I loved this book, though after reading so many of them, Dessen's books do start seeming a little bit redundant and boring."

Yeah, not many writers can create complete different worlds in their books, many of them seem to deliver kind of the same message over and over again through their stories.
Not sure if it's a good or a bad thing, still I get bored kind of fast :|


Mili I love that music quote! What a writer that Dessen is :)


message 7: by Ari (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari Laura wrote: "THAT was beautiful, Ari. Just a beautiful review for a beautiful book! I loved this book—it will remain in my heart. Plus…come on! Owen was awesome! Love that guy! :D"

Yes, Owen was really great. I wanted more moments with him - I even got mad with Annabel for not spending enough time with him and for pushing him away ;))


message 8: by Ari (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari Mila wrote: "I love that music quote! What a writer that Dessen is :)"

Yes, and it's not only that fact that it's beautifully said.. it's also true, and that makes it even better :)


Jasprit Baeutiful review Ari, I really need to try a Sarah Dessen book soon!


Laura I know! It killed me! I have to confess (view spoiler)


Laura Jasprit wrote: "Baeutiful review Ari, I really need to try a Sarah Dessen book soon!"

Jasprit! You haven't read Dessen yet????


Jasprit No I haven't I think I should go hide under a rock somewhere until I have, I keep meaning too, but just distracted by other books, Rachel recommended me some the other day. So I really should read one, I will try and squeeze one in somewhere :D


message 13: by Ari (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari Jasprit wrote: "I really need to try a Sarah Dessen book soon!"

My favorite so far is The Truth About Forever, and when I asked about her books everyone recommended both "The Truth.." and "Just listen".

Laura wrote: "I have to confess [spoilers removed]"

Hahaa.. same here ;)) Oh, they were so cute :D


Jasprit thanks for the recs Ari :) I just checked my library has all her books so I'll check either of them out :)


Laura Jasprit wrote: "No I haven't I think I should go hide under a rock somewhere until I have, I keep meaning too, but just distracted by other books, Rachel recommended me some the other day. So I really should read ..."

@ Jasprit—Hey that’s my rock! I have been missing all sorts of fun series and tales because of that rock! I’m making fun really! To be honest, I just read my first Dessen this year! I started with Along for the Ride. Eli will always have a special spot in my heart. But Ari is right--Truth About Forever is my favorite too! :)


message 16: by Ari (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari I need to read Along for the Ride too, but it will have to wait for a while.. I have so many book on my to-read list *sigh*
Don't get me wrong, it's a happy sigh, I like having lots of books to pick from ;))


Laura Happy *sighing* right back at ya my friend! The piles are out of control! In a good way of course! Plus I keep going to the library and pressing that BUY button on my kindle! Hehe…Book addict! :D


JazzyCat I really loved what you said. I'm going through this right now. I've been cutting for a few months, and I'm trying to stop. Nobody understands why I'm always listening to music. I turn it up loud enough so that I'm drowning in it. Music understands me. People don't.


message 19: by Ari (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari All my teenage years I've been in love with music, it was a big part of my life. I knew what songs cheered me up, in fact I pretty much had a song for every occasion, LOL.
We should all enjoy music as much as we want (but of course, we shouldn't shut out the world, there are plenty other things that can make us happy and we can and should enjoy them with other people too)


Elceehayward Wow! What a wonderful review you wrote! :) Your extremely talented and managed to say alot of the things I have always questioned! :) Thankyou for this review! It's beyond inspirational!


message 21: by Ari (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari Thank you! I guess this story was for me quite inspiring :)


Teddy Nice Review!! i think it's better than the summary!!:P


message 23: by Zaria (new) - added it

Zaria This review was completely beautiful. I didn't read the book, much less heard of it, but your review makes me want to. So now, i go through my usual book hunt phase: Go to one library. If it's not there go to another. If i don't find it at either of those places, then i go to a book store and buy the book. And that usually works.
So thank you Ari, I haven't even heard of the book until now and now I'm obsessed. And I'm not saying this sarcastically, I'm serious. Thank you. :D


message 24: by Ari (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari Oh, I really hope that you will like it (I am always afraid when people decide to read a book after reading one of my reviews). It's a bit slow at times, but it makes you know well many of the characters.
What I liked the most about this book was that it made me think about all those things I've mentioned and also it made me want to change something here and there.
Thank you too and happy reading!


Christina Klemzak I loved this book!!!!
it was a great book !!!!


message 26: by Ari (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari Oh my.. 100 likes.. Well, these words came straight from my heart, so thank you! Happy reading!


message 27: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna Glad to be the 101st to like. This is my ultimate favorite book! :)


message 28: by Ari (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari I am really glad that you liked it! :) I've enjoyed it a lot as well.


message 29: by Dd (new)

Dd Great review...It shows that the words came straight from your heart.:)


Dragonsfire After reading your review, I am now even more eager to read this book. I always lose myself in my music when I don't want to "think" about anything or I just want to be left alone or I just can't express the emotions I am feeling.


message 31: by Ari (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari This happens with probably all of us at some point and it's good when you can relate with a character at least a tiny bit. It makes you enjoy the story even more :)


message 32: by Jordan (new)

Jordan I loved your review. It is so true.


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

loved ur reveiw was so dead on


message 34: by Ari (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari Thanks! ^_^


message 35: by Ana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ana Siordia I am in love with your review, I really love Sarah Dessen, in fact, can't stop re-reading her books (again), last midnight was Just Listen and now Someone like you.


message 36: by El (new) - added it

El Shaikha I didn't read the book just yet, but reading your review made me so eager to start reading it ASAP!


message 37: by monet (new) - added it

monet your review was wonderful. i've never read sarah dressen and i was planning on it but i didn't know what to start with. your review has convinced me that this is the one. i'm just in love with your review and how you explained it.


message 38: by Ari (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari Thanks, I hope you will enjoy this book.
My favorite book from Sarah is "The Truth About Forever", but as you can see this one is great as well :)


Ala'a Wow. Your review was absolutely beautiful. Honestly, you should like copyright it or something or I might steal some of your words ;) but seriously, it's making me want to reread Just Listen. I think I'm gonna do that...


message 40: by Ana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ana Siordia I was reading "Keeping the moon" just a week ago and I don't feel something!


message 41: by Ari (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari I guess that the first paragraph in this review is the one getting all this attention. That's good.. it came all from my heart :)


message 42: by Javiera (new) - added it

Javiera Olivares i love your review. it definitely make me wanna read this book!


message 43: by Ari (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ari Thanks! Hope that you will enjoy it just the same when you get to read it.


message 44: by Hana (new)

Hana Qtait you should be a writer, nice review
good luck


message 45: by Amos (new) - added it

Amos Parruque Well, reading this my body became streighten and the hart spinned happely. They say a good listener is a good speaker


Khadija Khan This review is beautiful. You can be an amazing writer.


Elvine This is the most amazing and inspiring thing I've ever heard.


Zahra'a Al-dabbagh. i fell in love with the book before reading it from this review.
it only indicates you truly listened to your heart and thought about it a lot to write such a brillian review


Sarah Salvaggio Because of this review I am reading this book. Thank you for sharing.


✨Helena✨ Beautiful and very Honest ❤️


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