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Just Listenby Sarah Dessen
Synopses & Reviews
Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.
Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.
Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?
Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?
Sarah Dessen's devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.
"Annabel Greene, who narrates, lives with her gorgeous sisters in a glass house designed by their architect father, in Dessen's (This Lullaby) familiar suburb of Lakeview. Predictably, the surface perfection masks trouble. Oldest sister Kirsten, 'the family powder keg,' has left for New York. When middle sister Whitney follows to pursue a modeling career, the two clash, and Whitney returns home with a full-blown eating disorder. Their mother, Grace, operates in what Annabel wryly calls the 'default Greene family mode,' pretending everything is just fine. Annabel, who inherited this trait, nevertheless begins her junior year as a pariah. Flashbacks reveal that her unwanted status is the result of something that happened with the boyfriend of her ex-best friend, a vicious girl who believes 'everyone had a place and it was her job to make sure you knew yours.' What moves this story beyond problem novel fare is Dessen's nuanced characters, especially hulking Owen, another outcast who, in befriending Annabel, reminds her not to judge by appearances, while steeping her in his eclectic musical tastes. Annabel sharply observes everyone's blinders, including most of her own — with one disturbing exception. The heroine paints her problem as social ostracism, when really the situation is much more serious. But since Annabel '[doesn't] do confrontations,' she swallows the truth until her attacker victimizes someone else. Comparisons to Melinda, the heroine of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, are inevitable. Dessen packs a lot into this novel, perhaps too much; but Annabel and Owen's finely limned connection alone gives this novel staying power. Ages 12-up" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In her new multi-layered, impossible-to-put-down novel, the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Someone Like You" delivers the story of a year in the life of a family coming to terms with the imperfections beneath its perfection.
This multi-layered tale tells the story of a year in the life of a family coming to terms with the imperfections beneath its perfect fa
ade. Viking Children's Books
A New York Times bestseller
To find the truth youve got to be willing to hear it.
When shes modeling, Annabel is the picture of perfection.
But her real life is far from perfect.
Fortunately, shes got Owen. Hes intense, music-obsessed, and dedicated to always telling the truth.
And most of all, hes determined to make Annabel happy. . .
This is young adult fiction at its best.” —School Library Journal
Also by Sarah Dessen:
Along for the Ride
Keeping the Moon
Lock and Key
The Moon and More
Someone Like You
The Truth About Forever
What Happened to Goodbye
To find the truth you've got to be willing to hear it.
When Annabel, the youngest of three beautiful sisters, has a bitter falling out with her best friend—the popular and exciting Sophie—she suddenly finds herself isolated and friendless. But then she meets Owen—a loner, passionate about music and his weekly radio show, and always determined to tell the truth. And when they develop a friendship, Annabel is not only introduced to new music but is encouraged to listen to her own inner voice. With Owens help, can Annabel find the courage to speak out about what exactly happened the night her friendship with Sophie came to a screeching halt?
"Expertly done." —Booklist
"This is young adult fiction at its best, delving into the minds of complex, believable teens, bringing them to life." —SLJ
"Dessen weaves a sometimes funny, mostly emotional, and very satisfying story." —VOYA
About the Author
Sarah Dessen is the highly acclaimed author of ten previous novels, including the New York Times bestsellers What Happened to Goodbye, Along for the Ride, Lock and Key, Just Listen, The Truth About Forever, and This Lullaby. Her first two books, That Summer and Someone Like You were the basis of the movie How to Deal, starring Mandy Moore. Sarah graduated with highest honors in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband and her daughter. Visit her at www.sarahdessen.com.
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