Everybody has those ‘lighter’ books they read – the easy, light-hearted reads which require little concentration. Just Listen was to be my lighter read.
Having heard praise of Sarah Dessen I was happy to be finally reading one of her books. However, I have to say that this book did disappoint me.
Just Listen follows teenage part-time local model Annabel in a new year of her High School. Her summer was life-changing for her, she fell out with her best friend which meant a new life style. Instead of partying every weekend and hanging out with the popular crowd, she now spends most of her time alone.
Or she does, until she begins talking to Owen. Owen is a mysterious figure, little is known about him other than rumours. Annabel begins to befriend him and find out the truth behind the rumours.
Annabel’s character was a large factor of my disappointment in this novel, I didn’t like her as I found her selfish and self absorbed. I also disliked Owen though, he was too intense and unrealistic to me.
The book was written with extended flashbacks to earlier events which made reading confusing sometimes, because it wasn’t always clear when the scene was occurring.
The book also deals with challenging issues which makes it less of the light-hearted novel I was expecting. Perhaps this is ultimately where my disappointment lies, it wasn’t what I anticipated which made me passive towards the characters and plot line.
However there were also elements of the book I enjoyed, the ideas Owen presented were original and there were deep thoughts sprinkled throughout the narrative which I found intriguing.
Ultimately it is a book I had to finish and whilst it was not a favourite of mine, I hope to try Sarah Dessen’s which will hopefully be more enjoyable for me.
I encourage others to read this book to make up their own minds and please share your opinions with me.