According to her website, People Magazine calls Sarah Dessen's novel, Just Listen, "A cut above chick lit," meaning it's a book better than most books for young girls. On this count, I'd have to agree.
I picked up the book from my library counter with the intent of putting it away.
Because I do enjoy Dessen's books, I thought I'd thumb through it quickly to decide whether I'd come back to it later. I read the book in its entirety yesterday afternoon.
Admittedly, I had to work to finish it before lights out at 10:00 (Rich thinks a schedule will help me to get more sleep) but, honestly the book is neither difficult nor long winded. I like that in a book, especially YA lit.
Annabel seems to have it all--a modeling career, friends, family, money, etc. However, there are two things in Annabel's life that are kept deeply hidden: one horrible event that she cannot bring herself to tell and her inability to confront others or deal with uncomfortable situations. Though she has lost two best friends, fears her mother's weak emotional state and runs from the only boy she has ever cared for, Annabel survives on sheer will power, using her inner strength to steel herself against the unspeakable. Observing family dynamics and seeing changes in family members and friends strengthens Annabel so that she is able to face her own secrets and fears.
Definitely a great read, Just Listen is one I'd strongly recommend to any young adult looking for a realistic novel that portrays serious themes, well-developed characters and contemporary music genres.