Parents' Guide to

Just Listen

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Teen girl struggles following trauma in riveting novel.

Just Listen Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 14+

Great book

This is a great book for the very mature young lady. It deals with subject such as rape, underage drinking and smoking. Definitely not for everyone. I personally really enjoyed this book but I didn't read it til my junior year of high school. Read with caution.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.
age 14+

A good real life example of eting disorders...

I really like how Dessen portrayed anorexia through a different point of view, and how it can affect the lives of family members and others that really care about you.

This title has:

Too much consumerism
Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (70 ):

This angst-filled, moving novel is so engrossing it's truly difficult to put down. Thanks to author Sara Dessen's exquisite attention to detail, each moment in Just Listen is rendered so clearly and vividly that readers can easily enter Annabel's world: her misery at school and home, her inability to deal forthrightly with any of her problems, and her developing relationship with troubled outcast Owen. The characters are equally vivid, especially menacing Owen, with his bizarre musical tastes, theories, and unusual life outside school. He's a real original. And all of the main and secondary characters have an intriguing emotional complexity usually missing in teen problem novels.

Though Dessen doesn't reveal the pivotal event until near the end, most readers will have figured it out almost from the beginning. Still, it's a testament to her skill that despite the fact that for large stretches not much happens, this is a real page-turner.

Book Details

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