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Just Listen
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Just Listen
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As her beautiful, self-assured image flashes across the TV screen, model Annabel Greene is the ideal 17-year-old girl—just crowned prom queen, escorted by a handsome hunk, and smiling broadly....
As her beautiful, self-assured image flashes across the TV screen, model Annabel Greene is the ideal 17-year-old girl—just crowned prom queen, escorted by a handsome hunk, and smiling broadly....
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  • As her beautiful, self-assured image flashes across the TV screen, model Annabel Greene is the ideal 17-year-old girl—just crowned prom queen, escorted by a handsome hunk, and smiling broadly. But the glitter of Annabel's commercials is a far cry from the reality of her life. Her sister suffers from anorexia, her mom struggles with depression, and Annabel is a social outcast hiding behind a cheerful facade. And then she meets eccentric Owen Armstrong. Can this music-obsessed youth with his fervent commitment to truth convince Annabel to reveal a dark secret and bravely confront reality? Garnering five ALA Best Book for Young Adult honors and two School Library Journal Best Book of the Year selections with her first five novels, Sara Dessen has taken the young adult world by storm. In Just Listen, Dessen delivers the bittersweet story of a dissatisfied model and the offbeat guy who teaches her that only truth can set her free. "...absorbing and enjoyable." –Kirkus Reviews

 

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Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Shhh, Annabel, it's just me. These words, whispered in the dark at a party, haunt Annabel. As the youngest, she has always been a quiet observer. Allowing her older sisters' their complicated lives and keeping peace with her controlling friends take precedence over her own needs. Now as aspects of her life are falling apart, Annabel meets Owen, who values honesty above all else and teaches her to find her voice. It is the voice of narrator Jennifer Ikeda that haunts listeners when she whispers as the would-be rapist, when she displays righteous indignation as Owen, when she confesses a sister's eating disorder, and, especially, when she conveys the emotional confusion Annabel feels about all of these relationships. Just listen to this remarkable production. M.M.O. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 13, 2006
    Annabel Greene, who narrates, lives with her gorgeous sisters in a glass house designed by their architect father, in Dessen's (This Lullaby
    ) familiar suburb of Lakeview. Predictably, the surface perfection masks trouble. Oldest sister Kirsten, "the family powder keg," has left for New York. When middle sister Whitney follows to pursue a modeling career, the two clash, and Whitney returns home with a full-blown eating disorder. Their mother, Grace, operates in what Annabel wryly calls the "default Greene family mode," pretending everything is just fine. Annabel, who inherited this trait, nevertheless begins her junior year as a pariah. Flashbacks reveal that her unwanted status is the result of something that happened with the boyfriend of her ex-best friend, a vicious girl who believes "everyone had a place and it was her job to make sure you knew yours." What moves this story beyond problem novel fare is Dessen's nuanced characters, especially hulking Owen, another outcast who, in befriending Annabel, reminds her not to judge by appearances, while steeping her in his eclectic musical tastes. Annabel sharply observes everyone's blinders, including most of her own—with one disturbing exception. The heroine paints her problem as social ostracism, when really the situation is much more serious. But since Annabel " do confrontations," she swallows the truth until her attacker victimizes someone else. Comparisons to Melinda, the heroine of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak
    , are inevitable. Dessen packs a lot into this novel, perhaps too much; but Annabel and Owen's finely limned connection alone gives this novel staying power. Ages 12-up

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