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
Okay, you guys have my deepest apologies for not posting sooner! I finished Just Listen at the end of June and I have finally had time to take a brain break to post!
One thing I absolutely love as I get deeper into the #SarahDessenMarathon is how much her stories intertwine! There’s mention of former characters, bands, places, activities, and her stories are based in two cities – Lakeview or Colby. It’s just a fun reminder of previous stories and how in life we are always running into familiar things and how we’re all connected.
I think the pairing of Annabel and Owen was adorable. Yes he was a “reformed bad boy” but he literally had a heart of gold unlike Rogerson from Dessen’s Dreamland, while she was model, former popular girl, and had a sister with an eating disorder. Annabel was constantly fighting to figure out how to make everyone happy, while being true to herself. She hated modeling, but didn’t want to hurt her mother’s feelings; she was called out as a slut when her best friend”s boyfriend attempted to rape her; and she didn’t know how to include her sister Whitney in her life without feeling like she was throwing her modeling career down her throat. Owen was simple. He didn’t need popularity, he just needed to be plugged into music because sometimes silence is just SO LOUD. Together, the pairing was unusual, but it worked.
This book made me realize a few things:
- Sometimes when people who say they’re fine, actually aren’t fine.
- People seem to always be afraid of asking for help, but if you need the help then ask for it, and don’t stop until you get the help you need.
- People like to keep others out of their life because they don’t want to complicate their life, but guess what! Sometimes that is how you get help!
- It’s hard to speak the truth, but if you don’t speak up, they’ll never know, and keeping it to yourself or telling them what they want to hear is not doing them any favors.
My favorite quotes from the book:
There comes a time in every life when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn to know the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.”
Don’t think or judge. Just listen.
I have to agree – silence is s freaking loud that I have to have some sort of background noise whether it’s the TV or music or the fan. If it’s dead silent and then noise comes in, I’m suddenly aware of every little sound in the room and it gets really distracting. In case you were wondering, while writing this post I have been listening (and dancing/headbanging/singing) to the following songs on Spotify:
- Five More Hours — Deorro and Chris Brown
- Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things To Do — Fall Out Boy
- There’s Only One Way to Rock — Sammy Hagar
- Come Back to Me — Vanessa Hudgens
- Summer Of ’69 — Bryan Adams
- Shots & Squats — Vigiland and Tham Sway
- Smack That — Akon and Eminem
- Fine by Me — Andy Grammar
- Sweet Emotion — Aerosmith
- Fragile — 2Cellos
- I’ve Done Everything For You — Sammy Hagar
I know, quite a mix, but I never really know what music mood I’m in until I turn my music on, and this was a mix!
#SarahDessenMarathon is almost finished – Hallelujah! But for now look forward to my post about Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen – coming soon hopefully if life doesn’t get in the way! Happy reading lovelies!