This book is a 2006 Cybil Award Nominee for YA Fiction.
Annabel Greene looks like one of those “It” girls — thin and pretty in a family of thin and pretty, with thin, pretty friends, and those ubiquitous “It”girl accesories: a 3.3 GPA (smart, but not too smart) a prestigious boyfriend and prospects for more. The appearance of being an “It” girl is furthered by Annabel’s modeling jobs, one of which lands her on a back-to-school promotion from the Kopf’s Department Store, which plays on TV’s all over the state. But reality is rarely the same as appearances. Annabel is alone, broken and lonely. Her best friend deserted her in a confusing scene that now involves rumors and lies floating around her high school. Her family of ‘thin and pretty’ is now too thin — her older sister Whitney has horrible anorexia, and her eldest sister has quit modeling for good — which Annabel longs to do, but can Mom take it if someone in her family isn’t actively working towards ‘pretty?’ Annabel has replaced being quiet for being truthful, which works out — until she meets Owen, who is truthful to a frightening degree. He’s also starting to get too close to what Annabel can allow him to know. She wants to be friends with someone real like that… but she can’t.
Truth is a major thematic element in all of Sarah Dessen’swork, and this novel returns to that theme and happily resurrects some fun characters (and the hatred of Spinnerbait!) from her other novels. This novel made me laugh and cry and made me envious of all those good friendships which begin and end in truth. Dessen has channeled the magic again: pick it up, and Just Listen.