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Just Listen

Just Listen - Sarah Dessen So surprisingly I liked this book. This type if genre is not really my cup of tea but I had to read this book for a reading challenge and i have to say I did like it. It wasn't the best book in the world but it was good.

I like how the book dealt with the topic of honesty, shunning, eating disorders, sexual assault, keeping secrets, anger and music. I loved Owen who was an "enlightened" music obsessed guy who was in anger management therapy and who never lied. He brought out so much in Annabel and changed her for the better with his honesty and his music. Annabel was a girl who was keeping a horrible secret and was being shunned from her friends at school because what happened to her was twisted in to rumors labeling her as a slut. I'm just gonna say it because its obvious what happened from the beginning~ She was sexually assaulted (not raped) by her best friend's boyfriend. He didn't rape her only because, his girlfriend Sophie, who was also Annabel's best friend walked in on him attacking her. She didn't know what was going on and neither her boyfriend nor Annabel offered an explanation so she assumed they were hooking up and that is why Annabel is shunned at school. However because of this shunning she meets Owen.

Annabel never told anyone about what happened to her, even her parents. The whole family was dealing with her sister's eating disorder and Annabel didn't want to add to their burden. That's how she is~ she doesn't like conflict, she doesn't like people getting angry at her and she doesn't speak the truth. She doesn't lie per say, its more like she omits the truth and doesn't say anything or is very vague. This approach does not work with Owen. He has learned to always be honest and that while people do get angry, they'll get over it. Somehow Annabel doesn't realize this, which I gotta say makes me question what the hell is wrong with her. But anyway.

While I do like Annabel, I couldn't really relate to how she was. I mean yes, I felt awful about what happened to her, but I'm not the kind of person who would keep it in. I'd be more like Emily, who immediately went to the cops, not caring how it affected anyone. I just can't see how someone wouldn't do that but everyone is different and has different reactions. That's why sometimes I can't understand books like this where the main character hides horrible secrets and needs someone else to help her realized what she has to do. My sister and I have always been the type of girls who don't put up with anyone's bullshit, even each other's, and we would not think twice to tell anyone about something that happened or to fight back. Its just different to read about different ways people react to things, since we have been taught to act a certain way.

I loved the music aspect of the book, with Owen opening Annabel's eyes to more than just the teeny bob stuff on the radio. While they talked a lot about music, it was clear that music was used as metaphor for bigger issues. The things Owen said could be transferred to different aspects of life.

I liked the romance in the book because, as I always say, it wasn't all in your face or instalove. Owen and Annabel started out as friends and then moved onto something more. The romance was not the focus of the book. It was more about how Owen's friendship help Annabel realize things (yes I know that word is a placeholder) and helped her grow.

All in all a good book.

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews