Dear Sarah Dessen,
Ever since I read Just Listen I’ve noticed every white lie I say. I've really tried to listen to the kind of music I am hearing. I also find myself thinking a lot like Annabel, Owen and even a little like Whitney.
I have a lot of bad days, yet when my mom asks me how my day went; I always say "fine." My friends often wonder what is bothering me, or why I am sad all of a sudden; but I always say "I'm fine," whether I am or not. Not because I don't want them to know, but because everything is so complicated that they wouldn't understand. After reading Just Listen I’ve realized that my friends can't understand if I don't let them try.
I usually listen to 106.9 KROC, but after reading Just Listen I've tried listening to other kinds of music, I'm not necessarily saying I like all the other kinds of music, but I can honestly say I've tried. I've really paid attention to the lyrics of each song I listen to, and if I find some I like, I write them down. I have a busy schedule, so I never really took the time to "Stop and smell the roses" per say, but now I take the time to try. Before I never really noticed how so much could go so wrong in just one day, or even just one conversation.
I have also noticed how in a lot of hard to handle situations I often turn my thoughts toward Annabel. I regularly think about how by hanging with the wrong friends, or people who aren't really your friends at all, you end up acting just like them; intentionally or not. I've opened my eyes and seen that you need to be careful in every conversation you have, every word you say, because there is always someone who is willing to take it against you.
When I find myself thinking like Owen, I use his anger management terms. I think whether people think they have issues or not, everyone gets angry from time to time. I find myself preparing for a conversation with a friend, or a comeback to an enemy and always remembering not to use "thing" or "stuff." I go for the full truth, not just a part, or the twisted truth.
This book is an inspiration, to me as a person but as well as my soul. Reading your books, especially Just Listen. I have learned that even though the truth may be painful, it's more painful to be lied to. A quote I've come to love is "The only thing worse than being lied to, is knowing you aren't worth the truth." I have realized that it's important to listen to myself before others. In addition, I’ve grown as a person, a character, a student and as a friend from reading this book.