Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mock Printz: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Title: Just Listen
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking
ISBN: 0670061050
Starred review in: Kliatt, VOYA
Review: After a traumatic summer, Annabel Greene returns to high school friendless and isolated. A part time model, Annabel comes from a family where everything seems fine on the surface and everyone’s problems are held inside. As a result, Annabel has perfected the art of swallowing her emotions, until she begins a friendship with Owen, the loner-with-an-anger-management-problem. Owen helps Annabel face the truth and deal with her problems , instead of pretending they don’t exist. I found this book to be very true to high school life. Owen’s obsession with music provides much of the framework for the story and is appealing. Annabel is a very likeable character who is easy to relate to. The other characters are believable and the problems very real. (KIND OF) SPOILER: The storyline does seem to mirror Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak a little too closely to be considered very original, but there are other situations and problems that help make the story more well rounded. All in all, this is another good Sarah Dessen story. It will be popular with her fans, but is in no way groundbreaking.
Reviewed by: Annie Miller, PARA

1 comment:

Carlie said...

I think the parallels to Speak were intentional. In that case, it's kind of cool to see the defining of new YA classics, which I think Speak definitely is.

I found this book to be just like everything else Sarah Dessen writes: mediocre. I think all of her books are slow, heavy, and somewhat whiny. Current fans will flock to it, but it doesn't deserve to be on BBYA or to be considered for the Printz.