by Sarah Dessen
Originally published on April 6, 2006
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
My take: I loved this just as much as I remembered. It's a book about the nature of female friendships and sister relationships, about some of the pitfalls that come with growing up as a woman.
Reading Just Listen a decade later, in the age of Gigi and Bella or Kendall and Kylie, makes the story of the Greene sisters seem almost ... quaint. But in a good way.
Annabel Greene's older sisters were models, so she followed in their footsteps. After her eldest sister quits modeling and her middle sister enters treatment for an eating disorder, Annabel realizes that she really doesn't enjoy modeling that much. But she finds it hard to be honest with her mother, and even harder to talk about a traumatic incident in her past, a night that also ruined her friendship with Sophie.
Enter Owen. He's had some anger issues and is now committed to speaking the truth, something that doesn't come easy to Annabel. They seem like an odd couple, but slowly bond into fast friends and perhaps something more.
This book balances a lot of issues, but does so in a way that really worked for me. I loved the way the three sisters talked about their perceptions of their childhood and how they come closer together. Love Annabel and Owen together. And the guest appearance by Remy and Dexter was fantastic.
This post is not officially part of #ReadaDessen, but be sure to enter to win the Penguin contest for a full set of Dessen books here!