Saturday, August 7, 2010
Once again, Sarah Dessen has created a very layered and intense book, full of pain and love and laughter and heart. Annabel is such an excellent narrator; she focuses on being the successful student and the ideal daughter in a picture-perfect family, even as everything around her is evidence that she is anything but perfect. Her friendship with Owen is a refuge, and with him, she's not afraid to speak her mind. And Owen, despite his anger issues and his struggles with communication with Annabel, is kind, caring, and his passion for music of any kind makes him stand out as a character. As Annabel is forced to work her way through the many problems in her life, Dessen slowly drops hints and reveals the big secret that caused Annabel to shut down, and builds the book up to a point where Annabel is forced to make a decision: speak out, or go on with her silent suffering. This book is heavy with symbolism, from the title to the final page, but Dessen never overdoes it--Just Listen is a beautiful, meaningful, and pitch perfect novel that will make readers Dessen fans for life.
Cover Comments: I like this cover a lot, it is really relevant to what the book is about, and very pretty. However, I do think that the mp3 player does date the cover. When it came out a few years ago, I;m sure it was current, but now there are slimmer devices, and that one looks a little bulky and out of place. Nonetheless, this is a very nice cover.
Review copy borrowed from the library.