Monday, 22 February 2010

Just Listen - Sarah Dessen

First Sentence: I taped it back in April, before anything had happened, and promptly forgot about it. A few weeks ago, it had started running again and, suddenly, I was everywhere.

Just Listen is another book by the 'amazing' Sarah Dessen (SD). Annabel Greene is one of these girls that have it all - model looks, confidence, a social life (I'm sure we've all come across one). Or so it seems. After the night at a party where everything changes, Annabel can't bear to remember or tell about the night and the things that happened before like her sister's eating disorder and her grandmother's death. Until he meets Owen - a guy who always tells the truth, has Anger Managerment and who is also obsessed with music. Soon, a close bond forms. But can he help her forget her past and help her face her fears - telling the truth.

This isn't one of SD's best novels for me but still it is good and definately worth a read. Yes, it's quite girly in the sense that there's love and that sort of stuff but not as much as in some of her other novels. This is about music and telling the truth. I must admit a couple of times, I did feel a little bit guilty for some of the white lies I've told. Apart from that, it is well written including some descriptions of the type of people you see in every school (the bitchy popular girl, the girl who seems to have it all) which made me relate to it much more. Like all SD novels, you will 'Read her once and fall in love.'

I give her 5 out of 5
Author's Website:

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Along For The Ride - Sarah Dessen

I have been a fan of Sarah Dessen for many years now since I first picked up 'The Truth About Forever' and actually fell in love with her writing. If you're the type of person who hates romance and relationships in a book, then, you might not want to be reading this at all.

First Sentence: The e-mail always began the same way: Hi Auden!! It was the extra exclamation point that got me. 

THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. And is now one of my favourite Sarah Dessen (SD) novels. The story follows Auden who suffers from insomnia (can't sleep at night). Since her parent's divorce, she's hid away behind books with no social life. She goes to Colby for the summer to get away from her demanding, educated mother and stay with her father, new step mother, Heidi and their newborn, Thisbe. Suddenly, she is opened up to a new world full of beach parties, foodfights and having fun with her new girl-friends, Maggie, Leah and Esther. She meets Eli, a mysterious, secretive boy who is getting over a car crash that killed his friend and creates a friendship with him only at night as he also suffers from insomnia.
If you know the normal SD stuff, you can sort of guess what happens in the end but even though, I guessed, I still found it surprising and well....brillant with lots of twists and turns.

One thing I love about SD is the references she puts in the novel that link to other novels of hers. Like:
- Morgan and Isabel (From Last Chance or Keeping the Moon) are good friends with Heidi
- Jason Tablot, who was Auden's old crush, was also Macy's old boyfriend in 'The Truth About Forever'. Nate Cross from 'Lock and Key' is another one of her crushes.
- The waitress who serves Auden at the Last Chance, on her first day in Colby, is described as Colie from 'Last Chance (Keeping the Moon)' and Auden also sees Norman.
- Maggie, Leah and Esther mention going to a club where the band were singing off a shopping list. This is probably the Truth Squad in 'This Lullaby'
- Heidi wears a red, key necklace like the ones that Harriet sells in the mall in 'Lock and Key'

I think that is so clever. So...I would recommend this book to anyone in their teens that likes romance and comedy. The writing and structure is good and you will, as it says on the cover, 'Read her once and fall in love' - guaranteed. :)

I give it 5 out of 5
Author's Website: