Title: Just Listen
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Age: 14 +
Review Rating: 4/4
Review Rating: 4/4
When Annabel, the youngest of three beautiful sisters, has a bitter falling out with her best friend—the popular and exciting Sophie—she suddenly finds herself isolated and friendless. but then she meets Owen—a loner, passionate about music and his weekly radio show, and always determined to tell the truth. And when they develop a friendship, Annabel is not only introduced to new music but is encouraged to listen to her own inner voice. with owen's help, can Annabel find the courage to speak out about what exactly happened the night her friendship with Sophie came to a screeching halt?
This book is a real to life, honest look at the after math of sexual assault. Because this topic is one that hits close to home, it was hard for me to finish, but was totally worth it. The book starts at the beginning of the school year after a summer of isolation for Annabel. As soon as you are introduced to her, you feel instant connection. She has so many things, but at the same time has lost so many things. Her emotional state is very precarious because she feels she has no outlet and cannot connect to anyone around her. Because of a big fight with her best-friend, she starts the new school year basically alone. I think we can all understand that feeling, of starting out alone and having no one to turn to.
Owen, the boy that really helps pull her out of her emotional pit, is someone that I think we all know. He's that guy that is a little different and everyone kind of keeps away from him because he keeps to himself. But because Annabel is alone, she turns to others like her, also alone. Owen is the perfect person at the perfect time for her. He is completely obsessed with music and through that, he connects with Annabel.
The two of them really have an amazing connection, but as with all Sarah Dessen novels, I wanted there to be more romance. They were very good friends and you could tell they both were playing with the idea of getting together, but it takes almost the entire book before they really explore it.
The biggest thing for this novel that hit me was the moral of the story. What I got out of it was how important it is to have people in your life you can rely on and TELL SOMEONE. If you are attacked, don't keep it in. Tell someone that you love and trust, a parent, friend, teacher, someone. Because of her feeling that she was the 'good' daughter, she didn't tell her mother. Because the boy that attacked her was close to her best-friend, she couldn't explain what really happened. When the book ends, she is much more connected with her family and has the ability to speak. It's a fantastic novel that handles a hard subject very well.
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