Tuesday, October 15, 2013

15: True Love Tuesday - Dessen's Just Listen

Some Young Adult books transcend their genre, both timeless and ageless.  Other Y.A. books are very much written for a teenage audience.  Sarah Dessen is #1 New York Times bestseller who truly writes for that young audience.  However, she still greatly appeals to me as a reader because I see so much of my younger self in her characters. And sometimes a lot of that young self is still lurking around in my almost-forty-year-old life.
Publisher's Blurb for Just Listen:  
"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 Owen’s help, can Annabel find the courage to speak out about what exactly happened the night her friendship with Sophie came to a screeching halt?"

Just Listen happened to be the first Dessen novel that I grabbed at random.  I related to young Annabel with frightening familiarity.  Most of her human interactions are tempered by fear of conflict.  There is a moment when Owen, a music-obsessed boy in anger management, tells Annabel that she needs to find out that there is an after.  Life doesn't end after conflict.  There is an after.  Life goes on, and so do relationships.   

The young me and the current me are still trying to grasp this truth.

I wasn't expecting to be confronted with life issues.  While the story arcs are somewhat formulaic, Dessen's strength is in her characters.  They shine with coming-of-age battles that are familiar to all of us.  Also, it didn't hurt that I have an obsession with books centered around the joy of sharing music.

Click the image below to read Day 16:
Wild Card Wednesday - Code Name Verity

Or click the image below to read Day 18:
Follow-up Friday to see my other favorite Dessen novels

Or click the image below to read
the series from the beginning:

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