Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Just Listen

Just Listen Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Book 31 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 7 of 12 for the 2009 YA Challenge

Awards: VOYA: The Perfect Tens; Heartland Award for Excellence in Young Adult Lite; YALSA Teens' Top Ten; Junior Library Guild Selection; YALSA Best Books for YA; YALSA Popular Paperbacks

rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Truth About Forever was one of my favorite books last year. I've read one other Dessen since then--Someone Like You--and I thought it was OK. This one falls somewhere in between the two for me. This is a YA novel about Annabelle Greene, who becomes ostracized from her friends as a result of something that happened at a party during the summer. What happens over the course of the next school year will define who she is and help her understand her place in the world.

This story has some great themes--the meaning of friendship, learning how to talk openly and honestly, dealing with confrontation, helping those with eating disorders, and standing up for the truth. I like that we get a good look into Annabelle's family as well and I enjoyed exploring her relationship with her sisters and parents. However, Dessen's books are becoming a little formulaic for me. But I do have to admit that it is a formula that clearly works.

Overall, I thought this was really good. I know that when I'm in the mood for a sweet romance and easy page-turner, Dessen will hit a home run every time. This is definitely a book for the older YA crowd with some explicit language and issues of a sexual nature.

Side note: As a North Carolinian like myself, I have to say that Dessen nailed the typical North Carolina subdivision right down to the cliques at the pool and the chemically-induced green grass.

Also reviewed by:


bermudaonion said...

I'm glad to see YA books tackling some great issues like that. Thanks for the review.

alisonwonderland said...

i've still only read Just Listen and The Truth About Forever - but i do want to read some more of Dessen's work. next time i'm in the mood for "a sweet romance and easy page-turner," i guess. nice review! (and thanks for the link.)

bookreviewsbybobbie said...

Sounds like a great book for teen girls! Thank you for the wonderful review. :-)

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I am passing on the Sisterhood Award, to you! :-)
Please drop my blog to find out all the details. Here is the link:

Have a fantastic day!

-Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Luanne said...

I'm quite intrigued by cliques at the pool and chemically induced green grass. Definitely not in Canada - we're supposed to get snow by Monday. And it's April...
I have an award for you Tricia

Stephanie said...

Great review! I agree about the formulaic-but-works. Although I wish she'd toss it up with her romantic male characters. I'd like to see something other than a misunderstood misfit/bad boy once in a while.

Amy said...

I just bought this book last night!

Angie said...

I was doing some spring cleaning and I discovered that I have this book in my to-read stack. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Joy said...

I felt the same way about this one. Thanks for linking me.