Character Spotlight: Owen Armstrong

Owen Armstrong from Just Listen

While Owen Armstrong might not be an unappreciated character in the novel Just Listen, I think that he is a brilliant and nevertheless important character and a great friend to the protagonist in Just Listen; Annabel Green.

  1. He’s honest, and he doesn’t hold back. A lot of people in books and in real life including the protagonist; Annabel, lie or don’t say anything to spare people’s feelings. Owen recognises that lies hurt more than the truth, and as a result he is always honest.
  2. When Sophie confronts Annabel in the car park. Owen is there for Annabel even though they’ve never actually spoken and helps her out. Despite the fact that it would’ve been easier just to ignore the conflict.
  3. He also gives her a lift home, when Whitney doesn’t turn up to give Annabel a lift. Annabel doesn’t even ask, he just offers her a lift.
  4. He encourages Annabel to be more honest and tries to encourage her to give up modelling which she clearly doesn’t enjoy. However Annabel wants to avoid confrontation with her mother.
  5. He’s not above being a photographer for his sister’s fashion shoot (although he does constantly criticise her music taste).
  6. He has a radio show, and is clearly dedicated to it even though it’s at 7-8 on a Sunday when most people are asleep (except maybe the enlightened insomniacs!)
  7. He doesn’t care what people think, he doesn’t seem that bothered when Annabel doesn’t like some of his music. On the contrary he seems to enjoy hearing what people think.
  8. He burns at least ten CDs for Annabel to listen to, ‘Don’t speak, don’t judge, just listen’.

So if you are looking for a YA contemporary to read and characters that you’ll fall in love with, then I’d recommend Just Listen, and I guarantee that you’ll fall in love with Owen Armstrong!


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