Archive for November 7, 2009

just listen

Book: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Category : Young Adult

Protagonists : Annabel

Summary of the book from Goodreads

Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything; at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf ‘s Department Store. This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

Things I liked about this book:

Like other Sarah Dessen’s books , Just Listen deals with many sensitive and important issues . Anorexia and it’s effects not just on the person but also on the family  has been portrayed in a touching manner. It’s not just Annabel’s sister Whitney who is going through a bad patch of life but her parents and sisters too have to suffer seeing her go about refusing food , resisting therapy and throwing tantrums. More  painful was that they  failed to see the signs of the condition popping up .Something they could have stopped if they had intervened earlier.

“Everything’s all right,” she said. “Don’t worry.”
Looking back, I don’t doubt my mom believed this at the time. I learned later how Whitney had
completely reassured her, saying she was just overworked and overtired, and while she had been
working out more and eating less because she had found she was a little bigger than the girls she was going up against for jobs, it was by no means to extreme levels. If Kirsten thought she wasn’t eating, she maintained, it was because they kept totally different hours, as Kirsten worked nights and Whitney worked days. Personally, she’d said, she felt that there was more to this than just concern. Since arriving in New York, Whitney had clearly been working more than Kirsten ever had, and perhaps that wasn’t sitting well. Maybe she was just jealous.
“I am not jealous!” I heard Kirsten say, her voice angry, a few minutes after my mother went downstairs.
“Don’t you see, she’s tricked you. Open your eyes !”

Not having been confident enough to tell  her part of the story concerning the day Sophie stopped being her best friend, Annabel  loses many things .Most importantly , she loses the life she used to have.  But that doesn’t make her look bad. She is just trying to protect her dear ones from getting hurt. initially though I could not judge her character or form an opinion ,I can tell you she was one of the those who starts growing on you as you read on.

Another highlight of the book was Annabel’s friendship with Owen. Their conversations were the ones I enjoyed the most in the book.

Things I disliked about the book : Nothing in particular

On my rating scale : 4  out of 5

Challenges for which the book is listed : Sarah Dessen Mini Challenge 2009

With this I complete my Sarah Dessen Mini Challenge 2009 🙂

Source : Personal Copy

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Book : Journey To The Center Of The Earth by Jules Verne

Category : Classic , Science Fiction

Protagonist : Otto Lidenbrock

Summary of the book from Good Reads

As irascible scholar Professor Lidenbrock pores over a rare Icelandic tome, he discovers a scrap of parchment with cryptic writing tucked away between the ancient pages. And when his nephew, Axel, finally breaks the writing’s secret code, he learns of a hidden underground passageway that may lead deep into the center of the earth.

Despite Axel’s misgivings, he and the obsessed Lidenbrock travel to Iceland and, with a guide named Hans, set out on a perilous expedition in the course of which the trio will encounter an extraordinary new world of extinct yet living species, an underground sea, and gigantic, battling monsters.

Things I liked about this book:

This book was published in 1864 and the forward thinking Jules Verne conceptualised a plot that continues to enthrall readers of all age even to this day. It is a perfect balance of science and fiction . The fictionalization has been in everyplace accounted with facts that can at least partly explain the occurence. Writing this stuff in 1800 itself makes me wonder what kind of imagination Verne must have had.

The excitement is never-ending in this book. The well placed obstacles make it a fun reading as well as keep the story moving.

Most importantly, it was the book I read as a kid in form of Illustrated Classic. It was my first book in that series and has always remained a favourite. I really wanted to read the unabridged form but never got a chance until I landed up participating in the Classics Challenge 🙂

classics illustrated 1

This is the cover of my Illustrated Classic version of the book  [Googled for the image 🙂 ]

Things I disliked about the book : None

On my rating scale :4 out of 5

Challenges for which the book is listed : Classics Challenge 2009

Fill In The Gaps 100 Project