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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

(My apologies if you get this twice in Google Reader- 6 hours after I first posted it it is still not showing up for me.)
I suspect that I've picked up more books because Janssen told me to than any other blogger. She made me read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (she blogged about it ELEVEN times!) She made me read Bloom by Elizabeth Scott (not because she loved that one so much, but because she read a lot of Elizabeth Scott at once and I had to see what the fuss was about.) My library stack overfloweth and I think it is possible that EVERY SINGLE ONE is her fault*. It was hard to choose what to read next because I had all this potential goodness, so I choose the one with the shortest checkout time and read This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen.

(Because I'm having a hard time writing reviews lately, I'm going to modify Ti's lovely new review style to suit my own style. I asked, she said it was fine!)

What's the book about?

Remy has just graduated from high school. She's looking forward to leaving for Stanford in the fall and running as far away from her family as possible. Her mother has been married five times and Remy wants to stop managing things for her mom and be free from obligation. She doesn't believe in love or attachments and she intends to have a carefree summer. Obviously, this can't happen or we have no plot. Enter Dexter. Dexter is a musician (a no-no in itself) and is a bit of a mess. He needs someone to manage him. Can Remy forget that love isn't real and allow herself to care? Will Dexter be the summer fling she hopes to have?

Quickly, what did I think about it?

It was good, but not great. It hit all the "right" plot points and the ending was very satisfying.

Ok, now explain yourself:

Remy is so sure that she knows how relationships work. She has a schedule, a Speech, and a formula to determine when she'll break up with a guy. She does not date musicians. She's known as a bitch, an image she cultivates so that no one gets attached to her. Of course at heart she's not REALLY one, right? This was my main problem with the book, I thought Remy herself was a cliche. Dessen seemed to have a checklist- ok, bitch in situation A, B, C, softhearted here, conflicted HERE, etc. I didn't really like Remy, which lessened my enjoyment of the book overall.

Dexter is cuter than cute. He's funny and charming and sure of himself. The flap hints at him being a bad boy, but I didn't get that at all. From the minute he launches himself through her window, I loved him. The Truth Squad (his band) was also a bit of a cliche, but it didn't matter so much because they worked in this situation.

The whole novel is about Remy figuring out that she can take a risk and love someone, even though it doesn't always work out. It's about her emotional turmoil while she discovers this about herself- but I didn't really buy it. I couldn't figure out if I thought she really believed from the beginning or if I just didn't like the obviousness of her realization or what, but it didn't quite work. Other people might not have the same reaction and it didn't actually ruin the book for me, but it did keep it from being a top favorite. I did love Dexter (a lot) and felt he really made the book worth reading.

*The Library list in it's entirety. Janssen, please tell me which of these you didn't talk about:

Someone Like You- Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever- Sarah Dessen

That Summer- Sarah Dessen

Ten Cents a Dance- Christine Fletcher

Perfect You- Elizabeth Scott

I'm currently reading Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (from the library) and today I have to pick up:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

(and a couple of Jane Austen movies, no idea when I'll watch those!)

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Viking Juvenile


304 pages



  1. Sounds pretty good - maybe it'd make a good beach read.

  2. Well, isn't this the nicest post ever :)

    That Summer isn't that awesome - one of her weakest, I think. Truth about Forever is MUCH better.

    I can't wait to hear what you think about Jellicoe Road.

  3. I read Someone Like You recently and really liked it and then I tried That Summer and wasn't too impressed. Maybe I should read one that everyone raves about before I try some of her others. I don't know.

  4. I brought this one as a beach read (my first Dessen) and really liked it. I'll try Truth about Forever as Janssen recommends!

  5. This book is a book about a girl named Remy whose dad left her mom before she was even born. When he found out he had a daughter he wrote her a lullaby, and he is very famous for it. He died before he could even meet her and tell her he loves her. Now she doesn’t trust any guy in a long relationship, or a guy who is a musician like her dad, Will that change when she meets a boy named Dexter, a musician and a guy who is not up to her standards?


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