Just Listen – Chapter 4

Why Adele’s blog hasn’t been updated?
Really, Adele? I hear you ask. Really!

Turns out one of my students saw the novel on my desk and borrowed it. (I let them do that a lot). I only knew once she handed it back to me to gush about how great it was. So again, I offer my apologies.
Chapter 4


Such an ugly word. And one that you never want to be labelled with in high school. What I love about Sophie’s tormenting of Annabel is her realisation that she used to be the wordless henchman. The observed and enabler of her friend’s nastiness and now karma has come back to bite her on the butt.

“I did homework; he listened to music. And we never, ever spoke.”

It’s a rare thing to see silent teenagers. Teens are typically loud and somewhat dramatic so I am always struck by the idea that two teens, sitting six feet away from one another, would stay utterly silent for lunch, day after day after day. It seems lonely but reassuring as well. Like the silence is welcoming in some way from the chaos of high school.

It’s through this silence, her shunning from the high school hierarchy, that Annabel becomes obsessed with Owen Armstrong. He of the gigantic arms, impressive height and pretty eyes. Music obsessed, ear phone wearing lovely Owen. He was scares the pants off of everyone in the school somehow makes Annabel feel safe. She doesn’t know him but his presence sets her at ease. His constant presence, knee tapping, head bobbling was comforting, secure and somehow reassuring.

Sophie insinuated herself into Clarke and Annabel’s relationship and the ousted poor Clarke. I think it was her plan all along. Annabel may have been quiet but she was pretty and a not bad second choice to Kirsten and their crew. Clarke was expendable. Clarke wasn’t going to help Annabel talk to Chris Pennington, was she? What Sophie did was horrible but Annabel made a choice too.

“It was this moment with Sophie, my fear of what would happen if I stood up to her, that stopped me. And shame me for years to come.”

At least she feels bad about it but does the fear of Sophie justify not apologising and re-connecting?

I love the whole description of the family photo. They clothed in white, their physical placement telling of their relationships to one another, another fake representation of how their family is perfect. Beautifully depicted!

Will Cash. Creepster esquire. He gives me and Annabel the heeby jeebies. Blech. Excuse me while I throw up in my mouth. The fact that she has such a strong physical reaction to his presence is telling. This just isn’t revulsion, it is sheer terror. It actually reminded me a little of Melinda in Speak.

Sophie completely misreads the situation. In fact I think she doesn’t even read it at all as body language alone would make it clear that Annabel wants nothing to do with Will. I love that Annabel finally asserts herself, although the teacher in me wishes she done so with words rather than a push. Despite this, Sophie deserved it and I cheered a little. Yet it’s Owen who is the saviour, the anonymous hand that reaches forth with her notes, ready to support someone who is desperately alone.

And this is why Owen Armstrong is my favourite Sarah Dessen love interest.


4 thoughts on “Just Listen – Chapter 4

  1. Sam says:

    Hey, I just wanted to say that Owen is by far my favorite, too 🙂 He’s great. In Lock and Key, they reference him (I’m not sure if you can remember the part… Valentine’s Day, I think) and I had a spaz attack on the bus. I want his rings, too! My friend and I considered getting them, but decided our parents would kill us if they found them. Anyhow, Owen is amazing, I use his “catchphrases” all the time now, but nobody knows what they mean. Enjoy reading and I can’t wait for more!

  2. Emma says:

    Isn’t he fantastic? I can’t get enough of the guy. I want an Owen. Without having said a word, he was my guy. I need to get me one somewhere…:P

  3. Bethany says:

    This was my book. I do what Annabelle does, just change it all up a little bit. Owen is the man! I want one of him, and one of his rings. I might change the first phrase to something that fits me better but I seriously consider it. His Anger Management pgrases are from this point on going to pop into my head whenever someone uses a ‘placeholder’ or slips in some ‘I-lang’

  4. Deanna says:

    What does I-Lang mean again ?

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