With most of my recent reading revolving around the paranormal and fantasy dramas, it was nice to pick up a book that could have been about someone who lived down the street from me. Well, that might be a bit of a stretch, but I'm sure you understand my point.I had never read anything by Sarah Dessen, though I knew of her popularity and I believe there is also a Sarah Dessen reading challenge out there. I now understand why. I have to admit that Just Listen is probably not a book I would normally pick up. Honestly, I'm not much for reading books that deal with various psychological and physical issues, such as eating disorders and so on. But I happened to see this on a bargain shelf (why it was there, I'm not sure) and I knew how great Dessen's books were supposed to be, so I decided to give it a try.I am so glad I did! Dessen's writing style was spot on for this book, in my opinion. I felt like I was reading about teenagers who could have been real people. Nothing ever felt forced or fake about this story, which was refreshing to me. The characters were so well-developed and realistic I often had to remind myself I was reading a fictional book and not someone's memoir. Annabel's growth throughout the story was handled very well, too--she didn't magically have all the answers but made progress, slipped a few steps, but carried on. As for Owen, I loved his character and the part he played in Annabel's growth. As for the other characters--Annabel's sisters and friends, in particular--I wouldn't be surprised if you could think of people you knew when you read about them. There is only one reason I can't give this book a five star rating, and that is because it was sometimes difficult to distinguish the transitions into Annabel's memories from what was actually going on at the moment. I would find myself confused only to realize that she was remembering something that had happened a year, or several years earlier. Other than that, I really thought this book was extremely well-written--it had me hooked the entire time.So, in case you were wondering, I will definitely be checking out other books by Sarah Dessen.