Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

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?

From acclaimed author Sarah Dessen, this is a captivating novel about a tough-as-nails girl and the unexpectedly charming boy who’s determined to soften her up.

Grade: A // Now you're talking!

A note from the personal files:
I keep hearing people say The Truth About Forever is their favorite Dessen book. Frankly, when people tell me this, they're met with a huge, "HUH????" facial expression and/or gesticulation. How does This Lullaby not trump The Truth About Forever at every single evaluable aspect?!

But I digress. This is another post entirely. (Check back Thursday for it.) Onward we go.

Review's up!
I'm a character gal. Whenever a new novel crosses my vastly crowded desk, sliding between the piles and piles of flunked biology tests, my weary, coffee-induced eyes twitch ever so slightly. It's been a long day. I want a great book. Ah, and therein lies the enigma--to be, or not to be? Will the characters drive the plot with compelling force? Or are we in for a doozy? I pray for the former and rejoice when it does come, so in shortage are such books.

This Lullaby falls under the rejoicible book category. This was the fourth Dessen book I picked up, the one I really got caught in. The plot itself isn't all that mesmerizing, I'll admit. I mean, what's so special about a tough girl with a revolving door of boyfriends and an irresponsible mother? This book is as coming-of-age as they come, meaning unless you care about the characters and how they grow throughout the novel, you won't enjoy it. But I loved Remy, the main character, and I loved how Sarah Dessen handled her, and handled the characters that surrounded her. Which is why I say I'm a character gal.

You know, it's hard to write a tough girl like Remy without making her gratuitously hard-up or just plain narcissistic. Come to think of it, she was one of the few truly tough characters I've come across in all the books I've read. I really thought she was well defined and shaped, and reading the book through her eyes was one hell of a trip. The writing was Sarah Dessen at her best. It was exactly what it needed to be to be to make this novel work--sarcastic, intuitive, confident; but with it all accompanied a certain sadness. Pitch-perfect.

Oh, and for people who have read this book: Hate Spinnerbait. Love Dexter. Yeah, baby!

Would I recommend this novel? Strongly. I challenge anyone to tell me otherwise.


Amee said...

Well I am one of those people who enjoyed The Truth About Forever more; however, I agree, This Lullaby was awesome in its own right.

Great review!

Steph said...


Well. I'll stop here before I lose all the contents of my Thursday post. :)



Heather said...

I really do love Truth About Forever, but... I agree. This Lullaby is my favorite. Dexter is...AMAZING! And comes with him phrases such as "Hate Spinnerbait" and friends such as John Miller. I love Sarah Dessen.

Spectacular review!

Anna said...

I haven't gotten a chance to read this Sarah Dessen book yet, sadly. Everybody tells me it's really good. I've only gotten through Someone Like You, The Truth About Forever, and This Lullaby. I think this one's next on my list...


Steph said...

Hey Heather! Thanks! So glad we agree XD

Hope -- this is This Lullaby, lol.


Khy said...

I still need to pick this up. It's been on my list for a while, along with every other Sarah Dessen novel except Just Listen and Dreamland. I've read those two. They were quite good.

Caroline said...

I firmly agree! I meet everyone who cites The Truth About Forever or Just Listen as their favorites like, "WHAT? WHY?" Personally, unless they haven't read This Lullaby, I don't get that at all.
I love The Truth About Forever, too, but this is without a doubt my favorite of her books. I can't WAIT to read Lock and Key. Great review. :D

Elainareads said...

lol awesome review!!

This Lullaby was the first book that I read by Sarah Dessen and its my favorite. I liked it so much that I got a copy for some of my friends for Christmas lol and they loved it too. =D

Rachael Stein said...

I really loved both A Truth About Forever and This Lullaby. They were both amazing.

basically all of Sarah Dessen's books are amazing... :D

Chelsie said...

This was my first and favorite Sarah Dessen novel... and I have a feeling it always will be, even though I just got Lock and Key today =D

Either way, the review was great. Can't wait for Thursday's post. =P

Te amo,

Gerb said...

I got my first Sarah Dessen book (Someone Like You) from my publisher when I visited NYC a couple of years ago (one of the perks of having the same publisher!) and I've been a Dessen fan ever since.

This Lullaby is one of my favorites. I loved Dex and I loved the connection with her dad's song and I loved the references to Zip Coke as I'm a Coke addict myself!

Excellent review.

Steph said...

Wow, many comments. You're all the coolest :)

Frenetic, I personally liked this one more. But those two were good as well :)

Caroline, yay, another member of the Awesome People club aboard! We totally own, thinking TL's better than TAF. :D

Elaina, hehe, always good to be spreading the word!

Muncher-pal, to tell you the truth, I couldn't get into Someone Like You or Keeping the Moon. But the others I've read were good.

Chelsie, take cover. You have L&K and I don't, and I might just kill ya for it :P

Gerb, oo, author comment on one of my reviews! That's a first :D I agree, Dex was so awesome. My favorite Dessen man. Oo, and so I see I wasn't the only one totally taken by the Zip Coke thing! I'm a coca-cola addict (if I'd put "coke" there, it'd have a weird double meaning :P) myself!Thanks for dropping by!


Anonymous said...

I completely agree. This Lullaby was the first Sarah Dessen book I picked up, and I adored it. The characters were really what set it apart from other books I'd read of the same genre. I loved how she write Remy and Dexter. I fell in love with the both of them, and found that I could not stop reading even in the late hours of the night.

And, I've noticed that heaps of people are all about The Truth About Forever (and while I wuite like that too) it's just nothing compared to This Lullaby. I love that book way too much.

Anonymous said...

i totally agree. I cant understand how people can love The truth about forever when you have read This Lullaby. I do love love TTAF but this lullaby is just my favorite.
Yeah Hate Spinnerbait! dexter is just love.

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