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Just Listen

By: Sarah Dessen
Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
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Summary

From the award-winning and New York Times best-selling author of The Rest of the Story comes a moving novel about the power of finding and speaking your truth.

When she’s modeling, Annabel Greene is the picture of perfection - the girl who has everything.

But her real life is far from perfect. Her best friend, Sophie, and she are no longer speaking; her older sister’s eating disorder is affecting everything at home.

Then she meets Owen. He’s intense, music-obsessed, and dedicated to always telling the truth.

And most of all, he’s determined to make Annabel happy....

“This is young adult fiction at its best.” (School Library Journal)

©2008 Sarah Dessen (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Xaviera
  • 05-01-21

Just as good as I remember it!

Read this as teenager when I was younger and it brings back all the memories I had experienced during my first time reading it. The story itself is meaningful as you follow Annabelle into becoming the type of person she wants to be, instead of who she is at the beginning of the book. However, this book is about Annabelle only, meaning you shouldn’t read or listen to this if you want a fulfilling love story full of cute moments between the main character and the love interest Owen, which was essentially non-existent. He was there to help Annabelle develop into who she wanted to be and that’s pretty much it. Not that this book needed more insight into their relationship, but it would’ve been nice to get some cute romantic development in there, which only had a few moments. I just couldn’t see how their relationship turned into a romantic one when really, they seemed more so as friends than anything else, which can be a bummer to some people. The one thing I disliked was Owen and his obsession with music and literally that’s all he talks about. Although I get that that was the intention of his character, it was a bit overboard and it didn’t feel like he had any depth to him. Their love story wasn’t interesting, but this book isn’t about that, but about the journey of self realization and character development for Annabelle. The narrator was great, but I could not stand her voice for Owen and often times, messed up the way I wanted to see him versus the way she voiced him as. Also, they had a build up for Sophie, only for it to never be discussed again, which was a huge miss for character development on her part. Other than that, it’s a pretty good book, however Sarah Dessen has better books out there, which I will be binging on. This was just comfortably delightful!

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  • Olivia
  • 30-09-21

Phenomenal story as always

My only issue was the poorly done reading. Im sure this woman tried her best but her voices were terrible, just my opinion. Her voice for Owen sounded like a somewhat whiny straining to be hyper tween not gone through puberty, massively not a match for a taller than all brooding young man who has such a gigantic presence and portrayal. If you love Dessen then you know she always has character crossovers, those with the biggest presence in this being Remy and truth squad from "This Lullaby". The voice this young woman did for Remy made her sound seriously stoned and as though the character was desperately trying to sound seductive, which is not at all how that character acts/is written. I understand she may not be familiar with all of Dessen's works but at least familiarize yourself with the essence of who those characters are since they had a significant cameo (in comparison to Macy and Wes who were a casual presence mention at world of waffles). Her voicing for Ted I found especially ridiculous and just made him sound more dumb frat jerk than the pretentious artistic integrity snob that he is and then gave Lucas some weird attempt at an accent it sounded like. So much inconsistency with main character voicing, felt like she made her sound like a cutesy dumb girl every time there was dialogue with another character. While the writing was wonderful as always, I truly hope they do an updated recording because it honestly kept making it hard to stay focused on the story. I own all of Sarah Dessen's books and have read them many times over as I love them dearly, I would still say to give this book a listen for the story itself but if you also feel the readers voice detracts and distracts I highly encourage you to pick up a copy from your local bookstore (or download, as we tend to do these days) so you don't miss out on what is, yet another, wonderful Dessen tale

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  • Laura Cabrera
  • 07-06-21

I love this Book.

I have read the physical book over 10 times, and hearing it was wonderful. The narrator says it a little differently than I imagined it, but in a good way. She made it seem like a fresh take on a story I love, making me love it more. "Remember, don't think or judge, just listen."

This book is one of my all time favorites (obviously), I always recommend it to people looking for a great YA (young adult) book. I read it for the first time about 8 or 10 years ago, and still continue to read it.

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  • Amy Moulton
  • 11-09-20

Great Book, Occasionally Odd Narration

This was a really good listen, and overall the narrator was really amazing, however some of the side characters had really odd accents. (I'm not sure why a 17 year old boy would sound like a cross between a 1920's gangster and a newscaster?) But the main characters sound great and it's 100% still worth a listen if you can sort of ironically enjoy some of the character voices.

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  • Laura
  • 04-09-22

A++ Narration

Obsessed with the narration of this book. Had me giggling at times and made a great read 10 times more enjoyable!

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  • Rachel
  • 07-08-22

Love it!

Sarah Dessen is a genius with teenage emotion. She has a beautiful gift for really tackling and capturing the nuances of perception in her novels that makes them so compelling. Annabell's friendships, her relationship to her sisters, to her mother, are all a product of her perception of events and emotions. arguably the only thing that's not, is what happened to her at a party. Annabell is really challenged in this book to learn the difference between perception and truth, and to really commit to vocalizing those truths when she feels them. Owen, ever honest, is an incredible pair for her, helping her find her own inner peace and strength

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  • Kaitlyn
  • 11-06-22

Beautiful Coming of Age Tale

I have found so much comfort in this novel. From the first time I picked it up as a young teenager to today in my mid 20s. I would recommend this book to any young person who is struggling to speak their truth.

The narrator put so much effort into conveying the emotions in this story and it shows. The performance was easily a 4.5/5, I only hesitate to give 5 stars because of the fact that the narrator sounded a bit silly trying to narrate the male character.

That being said, as a former avid reader who suffered a traumatic brain injury I absolutely love Audible. I adore being able to revisit my favorite story worlds without the tears and frustration that comes with trying to make my eyes work together again.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-11-21

Empowering

This has been one of my favorite books since I was 13 years old. It gave me the strength and support to speak out on my own SA that had been ongoing for 5 years. Thank you for giving me my voice.

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  • Nicole McCoy
  • 15-02-21

pretty good

Enjoyable story overall, your typical Sarah dessen story with quirky characters and unique plot. the narrator was ok too but her male accents were super irritating and her voice for rolly was WAY over the top and pretty unbearable. but aside from that I think she captured the main characters inner dialog perfectly.

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  • Sarah
  • 31-01-21

I love this book. The audiobook was ehh...

I have read this book on my own several times and like the story. The performer was talented with her voices but didn't like her portrayal of certain characters. However this might just be a personal preference. I kind of wish I just read the book on my own though and the voices would have conflicted with how I usually read them on my own.