Thursday, May 15, 2014

Title: Just Listen
Author: Sarah Dessen
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Series: n/a
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: October 14th, 2008
Source: purchased audio
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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 Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

A long time ago, my friend Andrea and I started Just Listen together. We both got caught up in other things and never finished. We didn’t get very far, and it got shoved to the back of my shelf and forgotten. When I was going through Audible, I saw that there were tons of Sarah Dessen titles, so Just Listen was the first one I downloaded.

I am so glad I finally got back to it. I loved it so much. My first Dessen book was Along for the Ride, and though it was great, it was nothing compared to Just Listen. This book had so much going for it. The laughs, the tears, the smiles, it had it all.

Annabel is the main character and I connected with her immediately. Something serious goes down in Annabel’s life, and things change for her. She’s always been that girl everyone thinks is perfect and has everything, but looks can be deceiving.

Throughout the story, Annabel slowly gives you peeks into that horrible night. Not because she doesn't remember, but more like she makes you as the reader work for it. You get the idea way before you know what actuallu happens but the lead up to it all makes it that much worse.

What I really loved about Just Listen is all the multiple layers of story going on. You’ve got the anorexic sister, and the overbearing mother. Also there are her friendships with Clark and Sophie. You get the whole back story there and I think all of us girls can relate to an extent where all that’s concerned. Then there is Owen Armstrong. The budding romance between him and Annabel is just precious. And of course there is that night, and Annabel coming back from it full circle.

Oh and we can’t forget the laughs. Just Listen covers some pretty hard stuff, but Owen’s little sister is the best comic relief. I was constantly cracking up at her antics.

Now I’m not a Dessen expert, but if you love contemporary that’s going to make you feel everything, give Just Listen a try! Seriously, you won’t be sorry. I went with Audio, and I have to say the Narrator was pretty good. Loved this book.

About the author:

Sarah Dessen grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and attended UNC-Chapel Hill,
graduating with highest honors in Creative Writing. She is the author of several novels, including Someone Like You, Just Listen and Along for the Ride. A motion picture based on her first two books, entitled How to Deal, was released in 2003. Her eleventh novel, The Moon and More, will be published in June 2013. She lives in North Carolina.

Find Sarah:

WebsiteGoodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. I have never read a Sarah Dessen book. o.O I KNOW, RIGHT?! I think there is a hole in my contemporary repertoire here. XD This one sounds really good, maybe it's a good Sarah Dessen to start with?!

    1. Oh my gosh, that is crazy!! You have too soon, and this would be a great one to start with. :)

  2. I have never read any Sarah Dessen. I should really try pick up one some time soon because everyone seems to adore them. This one sounds pretty cool though. I might give this one a try!

    1. wow, so many sarah dessen virgins out there! I haven't come across one I didn't like yet. you should def give this one a try!

  3. I've never read (or heard) a book by this author before but I hear so many good things. I'm gonna have to check this one out on audio!

    1. Yay!!!!! :) I hope you love it as much as I did.

  4. Replies
    1. <3 It's so good!! glad you share my love of this one. :)

  5. Oh, Jennifer Ikeda narrates this? I love her! And I've been told that this Dessen book is a MUST. Not that I didn't believe you when you told me it was good, lol. My library doesn't have the audio, though. :( Maybe I'll catch it in an Audible sale or something. Or maybe I already have a copy on my bookshelf, who knows? :P

    1. Yuppers!! I loved her narration, this is the first I've listened to her before but I'll listen to her again in the future.

      That sucks that it's not at your library. I do have it in paper back if you want to borrow it. I'll drop it in the mail. :)

  6. I've never read a Sarah Dessen book but after so many recommendations I got a bunch of them but just haven't had a chance yet. I really must try. This one seems really emotional! Very worried about what happened that night! LOL But the romance and friendship and family stuff all sounds good!

  7. Just Listen was my 1st Dessen. It was enough to get me hooked. "Hate Spinnerbait"

  8. It's been a while, but I remember loving this one too. I think this was my intro to Sarah Dessen. She's got this genre cornered, for sure.

    Glad you loved it!



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