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Contributor(s): Dessen, Sarah (Author)

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ISBN: 0142410977     ISBN-13: 9780142410974
Publisher: Speak
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: March 2008

Annotation: This multilayered tale tells the story of a year in the life of a family coming to terms with the imperfections beneath its perfect facade. Includes a teaser chapter of Dessens new hardcover, "Lock and Key."
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Young Adult Fiction | Romance - Contemporary
- Young Adult Fiction | Performing Arts - Music
- Young Adult Fiction | Social Themes - Emotions & Feelings
Dewey: FIC
Lexile Measure: 750(Not Available)
Physical Information: 1.1" H x 5.4" W x 8.2" (0.90 lbs) 371 pages
- Topical - Friendship
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 105494
Reading Level: 4.9   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 15.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
when Annabel, the youngest of three beautiful sisters, has a bitter falling out with her best friendthe popular and exciting Sophieshe suddenly finds herself isolated and friendless. but then she meets owena loner, passionate about music and his weekly radio show, and always determined to tell the truth. And when they develop a friendship, Annabel is not only introduced to new music but is encouraged to listen to her own inner voice. with owens help, can Annabel find the courage to speak out about what exactly happened the night her friendship with Sophie came to a screeching halt?

Contributor Bio(s): Sarah Dessen is the author of thirteen novels, which include the New York Times bestsellers The Moon and MoreWhat Happened to GoodbyeAlong for the RideLock and KeyJust ListenThe Truth About Forever, and This Lullaby. Her first two books, That Summer and Someone Like You, were made into the movie How to Deal
Dessen’s books are frequently chosen for the Teens’ Top Ten list and the list of Best Fiction for Young Adults. They have been translated into twenty-five languages. Sarah Dessen is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the Young Adult division of the American Library Association.
Sarah Dessen graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with highest honors in creative writing. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine.
Visit Sarah at sarahdessen.com.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Fall)
Preoccupied with keeping others happy, Annabel has forgotten how to speak up for herself, maintaining a claustrophobically [cf2]nice[cf1] personality. A complex, credible plot charts Annabel's gradual rebellion against socially endorsed self-repression in delicate prose and naturally flowing dialogue. A heartfelt, challenging romance with anger-management alum and alternative-music nut Owen forms the heart of the novel. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2006 #3)
Annabel is nice. She is nice enough to take local modeling jobs to make her mother happy, watch the History Channel with her father when no one else will, and go out of her way to befriend others. She's so nice that when her own problems -- a falling-out with self-absorbed best friend Sophie and the subsequent social shunning -- threaten to overwhelm her, she says nothing at all. It wouldn't be nice to draw attention away from more important things, like her sister's silent struggle with anorexia. The problem with nice, though, in the words of anger-management-alum and alternative-music-nut Owen (the only classmate still speaking to Annabel), is that "it usually involves not telling the truth." As her relationship with Owen deepens, Annabel is inspired to speak, to argue, and finally to reveal the truth about the sexual assault that ended her friendship with Sophie. In delicate, unassuming prose, naturally flowing dialogue, and a complex, credible plot, Dessen portrays Annabel's socially endorsed self-repression with depth and intensity. The romance with Owen, which forms the core of the story, is everything a romance should be -- challenging, heartfelt, and most of all organic. In the end, families are healed, friendships are resurrected, and love -- in all its unexpected incarnations -- triumphs. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2006 March #2)

Annabel Greene, who narrates, lives with her gorgeous sisters in a glass house designed by their architect father, in Dessen's (This Lullaby ) familiar suburb of Lakeview. Predictably, the surface perfection masks trouble. Oldest sister Kirsten, "the family powder keg," has left for New York. When middle sister Whitney follows to pursue a modeling career, the two clash, and Whitney returns home with a full-blown eating disorder. Their mother, Grace, operates in what Annabel wryly calls the "default Greene family mode," pretending everything is just fine. Annabel, who inherited this trait, nevertheless begins her junior year as a pariah. Flashbacks reveal that her unwanted status is the result of something that happened with the boyfriend of her ex-best friend, a vicious girl who believes "everyone had a place and it was her job to make sure you knew yours." What moves this story beyond problem novel fare is Dessen's nuanced characters, especially hulking Owen, another outcast who, in befriending Annabel, reminds her not to judge by appearances, while steeping her in his eclectic musical tastes. Annabel sharply observes everyone's blinders, including most of her own--with one disturbing exception. The heroine paints her problem as social ostracism, when really the situation is much more serious. But since Annabel "[doesn't] do confrontations," she swallows the truth until her attacker victimizes someone else. Comparisons to Melinda, the heroine of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak , are inevitable. Dessen packs a lot into this novel, perhaps too much; but Annabel and Owen's finely limned connection alone gives this novel staying power. Ages 12-up (Apr.)

[Page 67]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2006 May)

Gr 9 Up -Annabel Greene seemingly had everything: cool friends, close family, good grades, and a part-time modeling career in town. But it all came crashing down, and Annabel has spent the summer in shaky, self-imposed exile. She finds herself dreading the new school term and facing, well, everyone again. The last thing she wants to do is revisit old friendships-while the losses are painful, the secrets behind the rifts are almost unbearable. Her solid family seems fragile, too. What happened to cause the stiff silences and palpable resentments between her two older sisters? Why is no one in her loving but determinedly cheerful family talking about her middle sister's eating disorder? Annabel's devastating secret is revealed in bits and snatches, as readers see her go to amazing lengths to avoid confrontation. Caught between wanting to protect her family and her own struggles to face a devastating experience, Annabel finds comfort in an unlikely friendship with the school's most notorious loner. Owen has his own issues with anger, but has learned to control it and helps her realize the dangers of holding in her emotions. Dessen explores the interior and exterior lives of her characters and shows their flaws, humanity, struggles, and incremental successes. This is young adult fiction at its best, delving into the minds of complex, believable teens, bringing them to life, and making readers want to know more about them with each turn of the page.-Roxanne Myers Spencer, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green

[Page 122]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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