Saturday, October 27, 2007

Just listen

I taped the commercial back in April, before anything had happened, and promptly forgot about it.

I just finished this last night--really nice plot and characters; I was sad to see it end.

Annabel is starting another year in high school--she left school popular and carefree, but she returns in the fall shunned by all her friends. While the reader wonders why this is the case, Annabel explains the other troubles in her life--her mother's ability to overlook problems, her sister's eating disorder, and her own desire to quit modeling. Over the course of a few lonely months, she befriends Owen Armstrong, the school's version of Judd Nelson's Breakfast Club character. He introduces her to his passion for music (and some that seems far from being music).

There is a little romance, but as the story progresses, the reader finds out a darker history of sexuality. The ending can be anticipated by adult readers, but I think that teens will not have as much experience putting together all the author's clues and foreshadowing. Dessen is skilled with words without being overwhelming to her readers, and her characters are fleshed out, yet still sweet. I was surprised and delighted to see how all the typical teenage dramas can come together in one book in a whole new way.

"People get mad, Annabel. It's not the end of the world."
"So I was supposed to just explain myself, and let you be mad and me, and then maybe you might have gotten over it--"
"I would have gotten over it."
"--or not," I said glaring at him. "Maybe it would have changed everything."
"That happened anyway!" he said. "I mean, look at us now. At least if you'd told me what was going on, we could have dealt with it. As it was, you just left everything hanging, no resolution, nothing. Is that what you wanted? That I be gone for good, rather than just mad for a little while?"
I just stood there as he said this, the words sinking in. "I didn't," I said. "I didn't realize that was an option."

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