Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  14 and up

# of pages:  371

RAC Book:  Yes

Annabel Greene is beginning her senior year with a sense of dread.  She is afraid that no one will talk to her and she will have no friends, which is exactly what ends up happening.  She eats her lunch alone and the school outcast is the only one who will even come near her.  Her former best friend has now turned everyone in the school against her based on something that happened early in the summer that is not revealed for a long time.

Annabel has two older sisters, one who is currently taking classes in New York, and one who is at home recuperating from an eating disorder.  At one time all of these girls worked as models, but now Annabel is the only one who still does it.  As she realizes she would like to end her modeling career, she also realizes that this will be yet another thing she keeps inside and doesn’t tell anyone.  Annabel does not like to upset people or disappoint anyone, so therefore never tells anyone what she truly thinks or feels.

Owen is the outcast who sits with her at lunch and eventually they begin talking.  He has a radio show in which he plays very untraditional music.  He demands honesty at all times and Annabel begins to think he might be someone she could really confide in.  The question is whether or not she will let herself actually tell anyone about what happened on that fateful summer day that forever changed her life.  This story is well written and will be a favorite with many teenagers.  This book encourages teenagers to take control of their lives in order to plan what they want to do in the future instead of what their parents’ plan for them.  In today’s society it can be difficult to break away from a parent’s protective guidance.  Recommended.



24 Responses to “Just Listen by Sarah Dessen”

  1. 1 Ashleigh August 3, 2008 at 6:43 am

    I really liked this book! it is so good i am doing it for a school assignment. i hope it doesn’t make me hate it afterwards!

  2. 3 Carolyn Chonoles October 1, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    I just finished reading Just Listen as a recommendation from my older sister, and it immediately went onto my list of Top 10 favorite books! I loved this book so much that I’m also using for a school project!

  3. 4 CANDY October 15, 2008 at 1:17 am

    ME TOO 🙂 Im doing it for my ISU project.

  4. 5 lele2211 January 13, 2009 at 2:13 am

    I really loved this book too! I’m summarizing it in a reading log like, right now… LOL 😀

  5. 6 Raegan January 18, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    I thought the book was just ok. Not one of Dessen’s “bests” that’s for sure. While I DID enjoy reading it, I just didn’t love it.
    I’ve read quite a few books in the past little while (Love, Rosie – Cecelia Ahern, Remember Me? – Sophie Kinsella, A Complicated Kindness – Miriam Toews) and Just Listen didn’t make the cut for favourites.
    That being said, I love Dessens’ writing and have fallen absolutely head over heels for some of her novels. Just not this one.

    • 7 Anonymous November 21, 2010 at 4:49 pm

      Yes, I agree, I absolutely love Dessen’s writing style, but felt this book went on for too long with out explaining the main plot. All we know in the beginning is that something happened… as a reader I want to know what happened, so I can make predictions as to what will happen next.

      • 8 nicole May 27, 2011 at 7:26 pm

        im sorry but i dont agree i loved the book to death and honestlty i dont like to know what happens next when u know whats gonna happen it ruins the book

  6. 9 Ambar January 28, 2009 at 4:35 am

    Just Listen was the first book i read by Sarah Dessen. This book was the book that led me to read the rest of her books. This book made me want to read again, which i had not done for awhile. I fell in love in the way Sarah characterized Owen Armstrong. He became like my dream guy x) I had a strong connection with this book. In a way i felt like she understood me, and that is exactly what a great author must do if he/she wants to sell books.

    oh well I LOVE SARAH DESSEN shes an awesome writer x))

  7. 10 Juanata February 1, 2009 at 3:06 am

    I personally love all of Sarah Dessen’s books. Just Listen was really good. I love how Sarah includes characters from other stories. I got so excited when Dexter and Remy came in! She is by far my favorite author.

  8. 11 Maddy September 25, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    i’m still not done reading just listen but so far i love it!!!!! i also love how the action and excitement starts off like right away!! i totally recommend it!

  9. 12 Aubz November 12, 2009 at 1:41 am

    Oh…my…god…i absolutely LOVED this book!!! I was able to relate to it. I love how Remy and Dexter came in as well!!!

    I ❤ Sarah Dessen!!

  10. 13 Alex January 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    I am only a few chapters into this book, but so far it is very good! This is my first one of Sarah Dessen’s books that I have read. I like the way she describes things, it makes me feel like I am in the story. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read it!

  11. 14 jemmaaa March 11, 2010 at 8:53 am

    have only read to page 31… doing a book report on it due 2moro after reaidng things about it it now makes me want to read it all.

  12. 15 kate March 25, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    read read read till you cant read this no more. this book is amazinly great. I is mysteriouly addicting . It is only the best book since Percy Jackson and the Olympians

  13. 16 morgan April 1, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Im on page 42 and my reading logs were do the last friday i procrastinated big time on reading this book but now that im actually reading it i like it i doubt i will get done and finish my reading logs but ill definitely finish it sometime.
    oh and if you would like to help with my project tell me because im not looking forward to doing it at all.

  14. 17 Anonymous February 22, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    This is one of the most amazing things I have ever read. I think it’s the best thing Sarah Dessen has ever wrote. ❤

  15. 18 sierra May 3, 2011 at 12:40 am

    I am reading this book right now and i love it! i think that she started with a great lead…because you know that something has happend between Ananbel and sophie. and it makes you want to keep reading to find out more. i have a question though, What of the sarah dessen books it sclosest to this one cause i really liked it

  16. 19 Gabi W May 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I loved this book so much. It’s one of my favorites! I’ll NEVER forget it (:

  17. 20 Sadia August 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Curently I’m reading her book the truth abbot forever it’s really cool different from the other books I read I.e supernatural so it’s nice to take a little break from it. I’m gonna read just listen seems like a deep plot with meaning

  18. 21 Maya Zarski August 27, 2011 at 12:28 am

    i love this book, this is my fourth Sarah Dessen book, i would recomend this to anyone and everyone 😀

  19. 22 Lilly October 23, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    this book was amazing!

  20. 23 Maria January 30, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Great blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog
    stand out. Please let me know where you got your design.
    With thanks

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