You know how it is. You go to the bookshop, and then you realise that the person you came with is going to be hours. And you’re stuck. As this was in my friendly bookshop I searched their office for something to read (the shelves in the shop seemed too obvious) and found four bookproofs, three of which looked excellent. I needed to decide which one to start reading, so in order to eliminate the fourth book I began with that.
You know, cover with pink sixties style flowers, blurb all about an American high school beauty queen. A few hours later I surfaced for some soup to keep me going, but I’d stopped wanting to eliminate Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. Later on I actually had to go home and feed Offspring, so didn’t get to finish book until that evening.
To put it simply; it was really good. Subject matter, very clichéd. The rest, absolutely perfect. Sarah Dessen manages to write about well off beautiful girls, anorexia, rape, high school, modelling, music, and still be interesting. There was never that moment of thinking “oh, here’s a boring bit again”. Sarah’s language is very simple, but is used to describe a complex story. There’s nothing difficult here, so the book should be accessible to less confident readers, while not being too easy for others.
I was tempted not to return the book to the shop, but luckily Puffin sent me my own copy the next day, so I was able to return it with a smile. I believe this may be a sort of re-launch in Britain for Sarah Dessen. Puffin aren’t saying anything about her previous books, at least some of which are already available here, so seem to be treating her as a “new author”.
Just Listen is out on 5th July, so that leaves you a couple of weeks before Harry Potter.