Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

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Annabel Greene seems like the average popular teenager: She has lots of friends, does well in school, and even works as a model. But in the reality she keeps hidden, her life is a very different story. She is an outcast at her school because of the fight she had with her then best friend Sophie. Her sister Whitney has an eating disorder, and makes it hard on the family even when she is let out of the treatment center by “refusing to eat breakfast, or getting caught doing forbidden crunches in her room late at night.” Annabel lives in a world of lies. She wants to quit modeling, but she's too afraid to tell her mom, who thinks her life is perfect, and no one knows what happened the night she and Sophie fought. Then, she meets Owen, a music-obsessed guy who always tells the truth. He brings her out of her shell, teaching her not to accept things just because they're there. Whenever he makes her listen to a new song, he says, “Don't think or judge. Just listen.” But when her lies threaten their friendship, Annabel has to come to grips with the consequences of that night, and for once let someone into her life.

I chose to read this book because I'd read most of Sarah Dessen's other books and loved them all.
I loved this book because it was written really well, and it didn't seem fake. Sarah Dessen makes things seem real, like you were actually there. I would definitely recommend this book because it will suck you in and keep your attention until the end.

My favorite character was Owen because he seemed scary and intimidating on the outside, but on the inside, he was thoughtful and caring, with a strong personality who says “I'm just doing the best I can, under the circumstances.” And it's true. Whatever the circumstances are, whether it's anger management classes or annoying little sisters, he handles it all. He also always tells the truth, no matter what. I think this made him a perfect friend for Annabel, because her life revolved around lies.

I think the theme of this book is to be true to yourself and not be afraid to tell the truth. Annabel was afraid to tell the truth because she was afraid of hurting her mother, but her mom handled it well. Another theme is to not be afraid to let someone into your life. Annabel was afraid to let Owen into her life, but then she realized that Owen was the best thing that ever happened to her. Once she told someone what had happened that night, she realized that she had been hiding from herself all those years.





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