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Just Listen

Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
Length: 11 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (353 ratings)
This title is included in Audible Escape

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This Story Is Sweet

Publisher's Summary

Garnering five ALA Best Book for Young Adult honors with her first five novels, Sara Dessen delivers the bittersweet story of a dissatisfied model and the offbeat guy who teaches her that only truth can set her free. As her beautiful, self-assured image flashes across the TV screen, Annabel Greene is the ideal 17-year-old girl. But the glitter of her commercials is a far cry from Annabel is a social outcast. Can music-obsessed Owen with his commitment to truth convince Annabel to reveal a dark secret and bravely confront reality?
©2006 Sarah Dessen (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A must read!!!

This had been my favorite book for almost 10 years! Give it a try, it is AMAZING!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing book.

Such a good book how tackles so many important issues and perspectives. Would recommend to anyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Just TRY to Listen and maybe that will help.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The story has a good premise, and until now, an awesome reader. But the story is S L O W.... And please be aware that it is written for very "YA." Very clean without hard language. But the characters are very immature, simply "textbook" high school adolescents, more moody and dissatified than how I remember that time of life. (SMALL SPOILER>>>) The author finally gets around to her tense subject of sexuality, after 12 or 15 chapters with a rape scene. Not to make light of that in any way whatsoever, I just found it an awkward and forced part of the book. The characters, especially the main Annabelle and her "BFF" Sophie, were unlikeable and shallow. Annabelle cannot stand up to her mom to tell her she hates modeling, and cannot confront one of her two sisters (don't want to give it away) about that sister's potential life threatening mental disease: anorexia. To continue her spiral, she loses her real best friend and just keeps faking it through day by day. Until Owen. Thank god for Owen. He managed to save the story from a final pressing of the STOP/FINISH button with his interesting and sometimes humorous realistic character. But Ms Ikeda butchered his voice unfortunately. A radio host just cannot be that juvenile and nasally and keep his job.If Dessen could have drawn the reader into Annabelle, especially since it is written in first person, perhaps the story would have been more poignant and enjoyable.

What was most disappointing about Sarah Dessen’s story?

I didn't expect a deep novel or enthralling story, or a complex plot. The story is just a downer, following a tedious storyline with so many coming of age angsts that I could not relate to. It felt long and drawn out, touching on so many problems with all of the various characters, that the listener is fatigued and ready for it to end.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I believe this was an early performance. I checked the date and this appears to be a very early book for her (2006 or 08), so I gave her 3 stars instead of two. Almost every other book performed by Ikeda are highly deserving of 5 starts. The only reason I bought Just Listen was due to the reader, Jennifer Ikeda. Ms. Ikeda is phenomenal in most of her other books, Discovery of Witches trilogy for example. In this story, however, her male characters were flat, childish and nasally. She differentiates between many of the female characters fairly well, but not her best accomplisment.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Just Listen?

The book could have been written without the third sister. She plays mainly meaningless parts and only adds slightly to the development of the interpersonal effects of anorexia on the family. The scenes about Owen's music taste are far too long and drawn out. Other areas are verbose and could be condensed or eliminated.

Any additional comments?

Please do not avoid Jennifer Ikeda's other performances, as she has grown immensely since this book and is one of the top 2 or 3 readers in the Audible library.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • belmont, MA, United States
  • 05-03-11

Exelent story

This is an excellent story that shows a girl over coming her struggles with the truth and confronting people with how she feels. I love this story and hope you will to.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

story of overcoming

I loved it. it's in the Romance package but I really don't think it belongs there. it's more a story of overcoming past hurts and tramas and finding companionship where least expected. a story of finding one's self. the story made me laugh and cry, absolutely beautifully written.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best of Dessen

I have been reading Sarah Dessen since I was a preteen and she has always been one of my favorite authors. She writes things that teens really do go through and live through. Just Listen is my favorite of her books mostly because of how well I relate to Annabelle especially back when I was in high school. If you enjoy this one The Truth About Forever should be next on your list (even though technically it comes before this one and they even have a fun cameo in this book.)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A beautiful book about an ugly topic

Sarah Dessen has a way of capuring your heart via her characters. This book is well written and very real as far as the High School experience is concered. Annabell and Owen are the two main character who find each other during a dark period in each of their lives and through a mutual love of music begin to open up, grow and heal together.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Slow but good storyline

This has alot of good points. To me the worst part was HOW the story started. I think it should have started at the point in time it kept flashing back to every few minutes. It was VERY hard to keep up with and you didn't know if you were in present time or a flashback. It would have been better to just start off in the flashback and build up to the present. OR make the flashbacks a little less long and super detailed. Other than that, this was a great story. I loved Owen and I loved Annabelle. It was a very interesting story line and I highly recommended. But I will warn you the first half of the book is mind boggling at the back and forth of the flashbacks or memories.
It does tackle very important issues and is a story of one girls struggle to overcome and grow into who she needs to be.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good

This novel is phenomenal. However, the narrator wasn't the best that I've heard. I felt like she could have done better than the voices she chose for a few of the characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love it

Loved it.. ahe is one of my favorite authors . love that everything worked out in the end an she wasnt alone anymore.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-07-19

A difficult but beautiful book

Strong themes, wistful prose and a shockingly and gratifyingly Frank approach to some difficult topics. Well worth a listen