As for me, I fell somewhere between my sisters and their strong personalities, the very personification of the vast grey area that separated them. I was not bold and outspoken, not silent and calculating. I had no idea how anyone would describe me, or what would come to mind at the sound of my name. I was just Annabel.
I had already read Sarah Dessen's Just Listen last year, but I liked it so much that I picked it up again and read it more carefully. It is a very good story.
Annabel Green, seventeen year old, seems to be the girl who has it all: good looks, good grades, and a part-time modelling career at Lakeview Models. However, as she returns to school for her senior year, things aren't going so well for her. Annabel's best friend, mean and bossy Sophie, has dropped her and accuses her of having slept with Sophie's boyfriend; Annabel's sister is anorexic, which means no peace at home; and Annabel's modelling career isn't fun for her anymore. Moreover, Annabel is shaken by an attempted rape from her best friend's boyfriend, which she hasn't confessed to anyone.
For these reasons, Annabel is very withdrawn into herself and lives with a series of lies surrounding her. At school, however, she meets and makes friends with Owen, a boy who is in Anger Management class after being in a fistfight and whose policy is always being brutally honest. Thanks to Owen's friendship, Annabel discovers that she can be more honest about herself, thus battling the ghosts in her recent past.
One of the main themse in the book is listening. Listening to music (Owen is a music fanatic and has his own radio programme on a local radio station), but also, of course, listening to each other. Learning to listening to each other helps Annabel's family to cope with their daughter and sister's anorexia problem, while it also helps Annabel overcoming her difficulties with being honest with herself.
Just Listen is a very good book, like all the books I have read by Sarah Dessen. I'd definitely recommend it.