Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Lauren Garner, Staff Writer

Annabel Greene is a popular girl, has a modeling career, and a great best friend named Sophie, but it all goes downhill when Sophie’s boyfriend tries to rape her. Suddenly, she’s an outcast, and everyone is against her. She spends most of her time alone and in her own world, but her home life makes these matters worse. Her older sister is suffering from an eating disorder, and her other oldest sister is as happy as can be, which makes her feel like a nobody.

Then Sophie tries to fight Annabel, and she meets Owen Armstrong who is another outcast who sits near her on a wall at lunch. Together they learn things about each other that they never thought they would. For example, Owen is a strong, hardcore Goth who is musically enlightened, but his sister is a pretty and pink girly-girl who listens to pop music, and is totally in love with Annabel’s modeling. Owen found out that as perfect as Annabel may seem, her life is just the opposite. Their new friendship sends rumors around school and causes a lot of drama.

Then just when she thinks that everything can be okay again, Owen gets mad at her, and she stops talking to him for months. Then one of her old best friends, Emily, gets attacked by the same guy, but this girl doesn’t just stay quiet, she speaks up, and Sophie’s boyfriend gets arrested. The haunting memories come after her when she is asked about it by Emily, and eventually, Annabel has to decide if she should tell and take him down, or if she will stay silent and let him possibly get away with it.

This book will drive you crazy with how deep and emotional it is. It will have you feeling a crawling sensation up your spine through all of her memories and her daily life. Has anything ever happened to you that was so complex that you would die if it was ever spoken of? Well then, you are in the same boat as Annabel, but all Annabel wanted was for someone to Just Listen.

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