Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Thursday Post


Ah, so here tis, the post I'm sure no one is really anticipating except for myself because I've been foreshadowing its occurrence since...Tuesday, was it? Yes, yes it was.

Anyway, the ultimate battle: The Truth About Forever vs. This Lullaby. Who will win? Well, to be honest, I already know who I'd hands-down choose. And, to me, "because I said so" is reason enough to convince myself. Alas, I have to do the case-in-point routine because, let's face it, this is a blog and not much else is happening :P

So, I present to you my first ever book brawl--or book discussion, if you like euphemisms!

The Contrast

This Lullaby:
1) This book's golden girl is tougher, not to mention more cynical, which gives her humor a certain edge--you gotta love a character with a razor-sharp wit. And yes, as Ambeen posted in the comments section, Remy's a perfectionist. But she's aggressive, too, and became a stronger character.

2) Dexter, our hottie-in-da-house (yes, the alliteration is necessary), is possibly the greatest Dessen character currently in print. He's charming, but not intoxicatingly so; he's soft, and truly a gentleman, but not a weeny; he's got a wicked sense of humor, and he is sort of a goof, but not in the slightest annoying. What better mix is there?

Besides which, I like 'em musical.

3) The total vulnerable and irresponsible mother. Yes, this does directly affect the overall appeal of the book. I like reading about dysfunctional families not because of my thirst for others' pain (ha, good one), but because the toll parental neglect takes on a person is usually worth reading about--the character becomes real, vulnerable, angry, and all of those emotions that I personally think do well in the lead part of any book. (Or, actually, any character, now that I think about it.) To be fair, though, Remy's mother didn't neglect her, not really; she just wasn't your typical mother figure.

4) The group dynamics between Remy and her three friends. Each have very distinct personalities, not to mention different outlooks on life, love, and relationships, but something makes them click together. A very feel-nice thing to read about.

5) The band/music layer to the story. Sorry, I'm a sucker for anything music-related. I excel at sucking at almost every instrument I've tried playing, so reading about someone who's not a total lost cause is inspiring.

6) Lizards. Remy's brother bred lizards. If that's not the single coolest thing you've ever heard of, I don't know what is.

The Truth About Forever:
1) Main character was, at times, stiff and too controlled for my liking. I understand these were Macy's attributes, part of her whole let's-program-what-life-will-be-like-until-I-kick-the-bucket plan. But it irritated me. Which I suppose is actually a plus, because it was an irritation not drawn by boredom but rather because I cared. So there. Sarah Dessen made me care. (... Again!)

2) Wes, although well-intentioned, didn't stir me. Or at least, he didn't stir me quite like Dexter did.

3) Different kind of dysfunctional here. I'm not entirely sure you'd even classify Macy's family's situation as dysfunctional, but things have hardly been the same since her father's death. It paralyzed Macy, made her be the twitchy person she is before Wes changes her. Very sad.

4) The dynamics between Macy and the Wish Catering crew. That was funny, I'll admit. I loved the girls who worked there. They were probably my favorite characters.

5) Though there's no music, we get some artistic Wes here and there, and that's pretty nifty. Still comes in second to the musical dudes of This Lullaby, though.

6) No lizards!!


Like I said in my review of The Truth About Forever, the book had a nice message. It was a generally nice book. But I got a way bigger kick out of This Lullaby. I just don't see how you could not when Dexter is factored in. I don't mean that in a squealy fangirl way--Dexter's character genuinely fascinated me. As did Remy's. With two characters who make the impression they make, you simply can't go wrong.

Then again, I'm a character girl.

The bigger question is, which book is your favorite?


Amee said...

Well I disagree about This Lullaby being better, but good job anyway. :p

Also, how is Macy too controlling and Remy not? I totally missed that because they both seemed to be the controlling perfectionist type tome.

Steph said...

Yeah but Macy was meeker. Though you make a good point--adding it in.

Khy said...

If you like music in books that much, you must read Just Listen if you haven't already. Owen, the main guy, is obsessed with music. And he's got his own radio show, which is awesome.

Chelsea said...

GREAT post idea. I haven't read these books in a while, but I do remember enjoying This Lullaby more, but liking The Truth About Forever's overall message better.

I thought Dexter was better than Wes, definitely, which was a main reason why I enjoyed it so much. Musicians get me, too. I'm a SUCKER for them.

But I could resonate with The Truth About Forever more. The title is genius, and goes with the message well -- no one can live forever. I've had several friend's parents die recently, and it's just something I couldn't even comprehend. I think it's an important book.

So I guess there are pros and cons to both. I don't really know if I generally LIKE one over the other. I like different ASPECTS of one over the other, sure, but I don't think I have a specific favorite of the two. It's HARD to pick between Sarah Dessen books. They each have their own specialties.

Chelsie said...

This Lullaby is the greatest! I still love it...

Go lizards!

Te amo,

Nurin said...

My favorite out of the two was The Truth about Forever

But for me, nothing will ever beat Just Listen in Sarah Dessen books.

Even lock and key didn't surpass it.

Sandy said...

ok, this lullaby is an amazing book, but if your into dessen, don't forget about the 2 best- keeping the moon and just listen.
i found keeping the moon's Colie the most relatable character ever in the history of reading. and as for just listen, i'm totally in love with owen.
on the contrast of these two, i totally agree. this lullaby was so much more absorbing.
and dexter= yesss!

Ms. Yingling said...

Didn't think about this that much, but would have to go with TTAF. In general, I liked Keeping the Moon best, but it doesn't circulate as well at my library.

Heather said...

most definitely 100% This Lullaby. I agree with...Everything you said. Yeah, everything. I'm a character girl, too. They're important!

Caroline said...

Definately liked This Lullaby better, because, like you, I am a character girl! And Dexter. Ahh, Dexter. I mean, come on. He's about the most incredibly loveable thing in the universe. And Remy, I agree, was stronger than Macy(as well as almost all of Sarah Dessen's other leading ladies). But The Truth About Forever was maybe my second favorite, though I'm less than half-way through Lock and Key which could give it a run for it's money.
I loved The Truth about Forever especially because it provided the ONLY character that I've ever read with my name that I didn't hate.

Anonymous said...

Although I felt like screaming at Macy sometimes, I love Wes and the whole thing with the waffles and Truth, so I'm going with The Truth About Forever because I could read it every week and never get tired of it.

Steph said...

Wow, some great discussion went on here! That's awesome, guys! Thanks!


Anonymous said...

See, I totally hear this opinion, but I think what you left out of your list is the flirtation. The Truth About Forever is my favorite because of the way the flirtation keeps sloooooowly escalating. So. Much. Fun.

And it's funny that the Wish girls are your favorite part of TTAF, because actually, some of those side characters (like Monica) drive me a bit nuts in that book. I don't really believe in them as people.

And yet, I am drawn to read TTAF over and over again... it's a sickness, really.

I blogged about this over at my own blog if you're interested.

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