Title: Just Listen
Author: Sarah Dessen
Major Characters: Annabel Greene, Owen Armstrong
Main Plot: Annabel Greene has the perfect life - or at least that's how it seems. Beneath the exterior of a thin, blonde model and local celebrity lies a girl who desperately needs someone to hear her out. If only she'd speak up.
"Silence is so freaking loud."
"All you could do was take on as much weight as you can bare. And if you're lucky, there's someone close by to shoulder the rest."
"Being nice was the ideal, the one place where people didn't get loud, or so quiet they could scare you. If you could just be nice, then you wouldn't have to worry about arguments at all. But being nice wasn't as easy as it seemed, especially when the rest of the world could be so mean."
My Rating: 4 - 4.5
I read this nearly 400-paged novel in 12 hours, I kid you not. I just couldn't put it down. And I have to say that this is usually the case with any Sarah Dessen novel I read. In high school, I and one of my close friends zipped through both The Truth About Forever and This Lullaby (Hate Spinnerbait!). I really enjoy how easy Dessen's writing is to read. Flowery language and detailed descriptions, although capable of really making a story, can also encumber one, making it frustrating to read. Dessen abandons the extras and frills without lessening her writing style one bit. It's a rather straightforward story with just enough detail to make it a wonderful read.
Ever notice how much we simply say "I'm fine" when things truly aren't at all? Annabel Greene, out of habit, does that all the time. Even as her world falls apart - the events at the end of the last academic year leave her friendless in this one, the at-times destructive choices of her sisters majorly affect her life choices, and the actions of a boy can change it all either for good or for bad -, Annabel insists that she is okay. That is until she meets Owen Armstrong, her most unlikely ally and an unexpectedly handsome boy who's promised to tell the truth no matter what. But can Annabel handle his truth? And most of all, can she handle her own?
Although I have many more books on my "to read" list, I'm so tempted to just pick up another Dessen novel (perhaps Lock And Keyor her newest The Moon And More) instead. Some reviews complain that all of Dessen's books are the same, but I disagree. The only constant in her novels is that every girl has a story to tell, and every girl could be you.
More like 7am this time!
What have you read recently? Any recommendations?