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...
True Rating: 4.5
This was a captivating read which held me until the very last moment. It is one of the best realistic romance fictions I have ever read (normally I'm not a big fan of them at all).
Have you ever enviously watched that 'perfect' girl endlessly, studying her looks and wondering why, and how, she has it all? That perfect girl could very well be Annabel Greene.
But then something happens. And the fact that she is perfect can only be questioned.
Throughout the first half of the novel, I was hooked on finding out what happened to Annabel. Although the answer to this is not inconspicuous, I still highly savoured finding out the before, after and now. The way which what happened is revealed is very similar to Speak. The revelation catches you without warning, giving an effective and certainly bewildered reaction to the reader.
Now to Annabel herself. I found her slightly annoying, with her unrevealing and naive ways. But I totally appreciate the way Sarah Dessen has painted her. I can sometimes relate to Annabel, feeling overwhelmed and timid, unable to speak out on what you really want to say. I do not see this as a fault; instead, I see this as a small wrinkle which can be ironed out.
If you're into Sarah Dessen novels, or looking out for a book dealing with common teen issues, then I highly recommend that you pick up Just Listen. It was a compelling and surprisingly finger-licking good read.
When I read this, I pictured:
When I read this, I remembered: "Like a word on a page that you’ve printed and read a million times, that suddenly looks strange or wrong, foreign. And you feel scared for a second, like you’ve lost something, even if you’re not sure what it is."