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Review: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Thursday, July 28, 2011
5 Stars: Incredible
Hardback: 304 Pages
Publication: May 27, 2002 by Viking Children's

When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

Remy is a control freak. She likes to organize everything from clothes to her car to relationships. She wants to know where everything stands so that she knows where to go to fix something if a problem arises. Her stoicism comes from having to take care of her whimsical mother and watching said mother go through several failed marriages. That’s why Dexter perplexes her so much from the beginning. He’s her polar opposite—chaotic and optimistic—past guys.

Dessen builds Remy three-dimensionally as with her other main characters. While we know that Dexter is going to change Remy’s pessimistic view on love, Remy doesn’t hang around with him all the time or spend her time day-dreaming about him. She has a life away from Dexter, and Dessen details it just as much as her time with Dexter, if not more. As such, we really get a feel for her as a person throughout the book. We learn that Remy isn’t as much of a bitch as she thinks she is; sure, she’s pessimistic about love, but it’s because she hasn’t had a stable familial life. She has motivation for acting the way she does.

I really like Dexter. If it were another guy, the whole instant attraction deal would have seemed absurd. With Dexter, his easygoing attitude and optimistic take on life and love made it sweet and adorable. I can’t imagine how he’s forever tripping all over the place, but considering how it’s Dexter I find it believable—and endearing. He may have had a hard time making his way into Remy’s heart, but he won me from day one.

Remy’s friends and family are a delightful cast of characters. Her friends are very realistic and engaging people that suit Remy’s character. Her brother’s a cool guy with an interesting hobby of raising monitor lizards, and her mom is a whimsical woman that you can’t help liking. I love how big Remy is on family and how protective she is of them. As for Dexter’s band, they’re pretty cool guys, though it’s pretty obvious that Remy isn’t too fond of them, especially Ted and his strong opinions on his craft.

I also love how Dessen starts off each section telling us which month it is. Not only does it reflect how time passes in Remy’s mind, it shows us just how long it takes Remy to change. It shows us that it takes time for Remy to open up to Dexter, to finally open herself to love. Such changes don’t take place in a couple weeks. It takes timing, an important concept that Remy grows to recognize over the course of the book.

If it was any other writer, perhaps I would have liked the book. Perhaps I wouldn’t have. But with Dessen behind the book, I can relate to Remy. I don’t hate her. I love her and her down-to-earth attitude. This Lullaby is about learning how to open yourself to the goods and bads of a relationship. It is about learning to let go of your fears and to learn how to love. I recommend this story to those look for a contemporary read filled with laughs and tears.

View my favorite quotations from This Lullaby.

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2 comments on "Review: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen"
  1. thank u for this! I am yet to read this, it is waiting on my box to be read :)

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  2. Remy is a girl who doesnt belive in love. She has had her fair share of boyfriends and her mom has had plenty of husbands. She meets Dexter and her beflief in love is still the same untill after the breakup. She relizes that two people dont have to be perfect together or be exactly their type......their can be some differences...Awesome story.

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