Monday, May 15, 2006

Ipods - the newest thing in teen books

I just finished Just Listen, by Sarah Dessen. It's her newest book, and if you don't think you've read any books by Sarah Dessen, I'll bet you have. She wrote the books Someone Like You and That Summer, which were made into the movie How to Deal with Mandy Moore. Her books are mostly about teenage girls, trying to deal with problems with family, friends, and boyfriends, and they are really good. She also lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina (where I went to graduate school - Go Heels!), so I like her for several reasons, really. And if you're really interested, this is the link to Sarah's blog: .

She writes something everyday, and it's usually about her real life. I think it's sort of cool that she watches American Idol and tries to get her dog to behave, just like the rest of us.
Anyways, back to Just Listen. Annabel begins the first day of school her junior year worried about what her best friend Sophie is going to say to her. Before Annabel even gets out of the car, she knows. Sophie calls her a name through the window of Annabel's car, so everyone around them can hear her. Now everyone knows that Sophie and Annabel are no longer friends, something Annabel has been keeping a secret all summer long. But Annabel isn't ready to talk about what happened with Sophie, at least not yet.

The reason for the title of this post is because much of this book revolves around music. Annabel begins a friendship with Owen Armstrong, who she has never talked to before. Owen is really into music, and carries his Ipod around with him everywhere. As Owen and Annabel become closer, he expects her to be as honest with him as he is with Annabel. But there is a lot in Annabel's life that she can't talk about - what happened between her and Sophie, things that are going on in her family, her modeling career.

The Ipod is not just a marketing ploy in this book - Owen cannot live without his music, and as he introduces more and more music to Annabel, neither can she. This book is about all of the things going on in Annabel's life, and all of the assumptions that she has made which have left her feeling alone. But being alone also helps Annabel get the strength to talk about all of the things that she has kept quiet for so long. This is a great book with a little bit of romance and a lot of true friendship. And one Ipod.


Princess said...

I noticed that a lot of librarians get advance reading copies. Do all librarians get ARCs? How do you become a librarian? Is there anyway nonlibrarians and noncritics can get ARCs? Thanks.

Merideth said...


To become a librarian, you need a Master's degree in Library Science.

Not everybody who works in a library is a librarian; but, if you want the title, you need the degree.

Librarians get ARCs for a number of reasons. A librarian may review books for a library journal, and get review copies. Or a publisher might send out copies to librarians who are on ALA committees like Best Books or Popular Paperbacks, or, you can pick up ARCs at conferences and workshops.

As to how to get an ARC, I think the best bet is to contact a publisher. However, most publishers only give out Advance Reading Copies to professionals or reviewers.