just listen

Just Listen

Quick Overview

To find the truth you’ve got to be willing to hear it.
When she’s modeling, Annabel is the picture of perfection. But her real life is far from perfect. Fortunately, she’s got Owen. He’s intense, music-obsessed, and dedicated to always telling the truth. And most of all, he’s determined to make Annabel happy. . .

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Health Professional Review

Health Professional Reviewer: Karen Gardner, Youth Clinical Specialist Mental Health Brief Intervention Service. Reviewed 26 August 2015.

Book Title: Just Listen

Date published: 2006

Suitable for: Adolescence and parents with adolescent children (daughters). Intermediate reading level.
Problems addressed:  Adolescence/Personal Growth/Sexual Assault

Book Summary: 

This is a fictional story of a teenage girl who faces social difficulties, family difficulties and life pressures. It works through several difficulties she faces and also how she overcomes these.

The main character’s journey is about finding her true voice and being able to live more honestly and confidently as the person she wants to be.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

This is easy to read and well written. It develops nice characters that are believable and likeable. The themes in the book are very personal, including sexual assault and anorexia; however they are not exaggerated or too detailed. The main focus of the book is about overcoming adversity and building self-confidence to face up to difficulties and work through them.

This is not a therapeutic book; however it does have therapeutic themes throughout it, which could be used as examples (e.g. honesty, perception/thoughts versus reality, self-confidence, and social dilemmas).  The story is quite Americanised and about a well off beautiful white family with a very happy ending, which may not relate to some readers, however putting that aside the themes underneath are easy to relate to and it does work through the difficulties in a nice way.

Recommendations:

  • This is suitable for adolescents or parents of adolescents who are struggling with change, social pressure, friendships, self-confidence, honesty…
  • It does contain reference to sexual assault which may be difficult for someone who has experienced sexual assault (depending on their comfort with this)
  • This book needs to be read as a whole.

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