Apr 18, 2014

Just Listen

Just Listen is one of my favorite books written by Sarah Dessen. Ever. It's a story that to this day has stuck with me and every time I find myself rereading it I find I love not only the story but the characters within it more.

Annabel Greene is "the girl who has everything" — at least that's what she portrays in her modeling shoots. But Annabel's life is far from perfect. Her friendship with Sophie ended bitterly, and her older sister's eating disorder is weighing down the entire family. Isolated and ostracized at school and at home, Annabel retreats into silent acceptance. Then she meets Owen–-intense, music obsessed, and determined to always tell the truth. And with his guidance, Annabel learns to just listen to herself and gains the courage to speak honestly. But will she be able to tell everyone what really happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends?

Annabel Greene is the girl with everything. The girl who holds back as not to hurt others feelings. The girl who can't handle conflict. A girl who has something brewing deep inside of her that she won't allow herself to say. She's dealing with something far bigger than anyone has any idea about. And then she meets Owen and he teachers her honesty and that silence is so freaking loud.

Annabel Greene is one of my favorite characters. Sarah rights her so beautifully and she's so real. I could relate a lot with Annabel in the way that she has a hard time expressing herself and doesn't do well with conflict. And because there was so much about Annabel that reminded me of myself I found myself getting very invested in her story. It's such a beautiful and often times heartbreaking story. She's the type of character who sticks with you for a long time. Her story always at the back of your mind.

Owen Armstrong will and forever be one of my favorite book guys. He is so admirable and utterly honest. He does not lie. What so ever. What you see is what you get with Owen. And boy do you get something amazing. He isn't perfect though and that's something I really appreciate about Sarah Dessen and the characters she creates. He's very much real and such a music junkie.

I really loved the way Sarah wrote Owen and Annabel's story. Here are two complete strangers who build a friendship and slowly find a romance building. I personally really love the gradual growth of two characters who are friends before a romance starts. There is something much more endearing and charming about the romance when that happens. And Sarah does it so well that it makes it that much better between Owen and Annabel.

Me being someone who really loves music always really enjoys when music is featured in books. There is a lot of discussion and mention of music in this book because of Owen being so into it. And I really loved that. There was mention of so much music and such a wide variety of things. Owen definitely listen's to a bunch of different things and the discussions with Annabel about it were the best parts of the book.

There are a lot of great characters in this book from Rolly and Mallory to Annabel's sisters. That is something I really loved was it wasn't just about Annabel but also about her family and how through the years and struggles they've changed. Whitney grew to be one of my favorite characters and I loved her character growth as she came to terms with her condition.  And Kirsten as well was great as she too changed.

There is so much I loved about this book. I could talk about it for hours from how beautiful Sarah Dessen's writing is to how amazing the characters are. Just Listen gets 5 out of 5 birds from me. This book conveys a very good message and it's too beautiful of a story not to be read. I'd recommend everyone read this one. You'll quickly become invested in the story. It's very hard not too.


  1. Awesome review Bailey! This sounds like a story I would enjoy. I love when the characters develop a friendship first that grows into a romance. Those are always the best relationships. Plus, all the talk about music sold me. Totally adding this to my TBR, it will be my first ever Sarah Dessen book =)

    Amanda @ Born Bookish

  2. I can't tell you how many times I've almost bought this book. I'm not huge into contemporaries, but this one just sounds so good. I'll have to give it a try soon!