Just Listen

By Sarah Dessen (Flyer by Bethany Meitner)

Don't Hide the Truth

There were so many times people especially Annabel Green either lied or just kept the truth hidden. It started when Annabel's older sisters, Kirsten and Whitney came home for Thanksgiving. Whitney was much skinnier than normal and her face was sunken in. If she would have told someone what she was doing, they would have gotten her help and things would not have gotten worse. When Annabel's best friend at the time Sophie was in an argument with her boyfriend Will, he was not in a good mood and he ended up raping Annabel at an end of school party. She decided to keep it a secret which ended up ruining the few friendships she had because he made it look like she came on to him. Later on after summer break she became friends with Owen Armstrong. With his help she became an honest person except for the fact she still never told anyone including him about what happened right before summer. Annabel was also a model for the local mall and a few other things in the area. This was her mothers wish for all of her daughters to be models. With Kirsten not being interested any more and Whitney and her eating disorder it was up to Annabel to fulfill this dream. Annabel was no longer interested in being a model, she did not want to end up like here sister Whitney. She kept this from her mother and she just tortured herself for many months.

''Just Listen''

Yes, I know this is the title of the book but it also a very good theme. At first when Kirsten and Whitney came home Kirsten tried to tell their parents what Whitney was doing but they wouldn't listen. They didn't think that Whitney would have an eating disorder. When Will raped Annabel and they were caught by Sophie, Annabel tried to explain but no one listened to her. That is why she no longer had any friends. When Owen and Annabel became friends all they talked about was different kinds of music. Owen burned a bunch of CDs for her to listen to. They were all labeled with what kind of music was on them except one it said ''Just Listen''. He told her, ''Don't judge it, just take the time and listen.'' When she did this all that was there was static. She realized there was nothing burned on it. She took it back to Owen and he there was a mistake there should have been something on it. It was never said what was supposed to on it. By listening to the static Annabel realized that silence can be annoying especially if you are expecting noise. She also realized that silence isn't always silent. She did a lot of thinking while the static was in the background.
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How these relate.

Listening and telling the truth sort of go hand in hand. People need to listen if you are telling the truth otherwise no one will ever believe you. Every time Kirsten tried telling her parents what was wrong with Whitney her parents never listened. The one time Annabel tried to tell people what happened at the party, Will changed what she said and no one listened to her. Finally when Annabel became friends with Owen, she had someone that would listen to her when she tried to tell the truth. He convinced her to talk to a lawyer that someone else hired who was in the same situation as Annabel. Because of this and a few other girls coming forward to this lawyer, Will Cash was put in jail for the things he did.