This Lullaby - Sarah Dessen
Rating: 4/5 stars
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? (Description from Goodreads)
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Another book to add to my list of comfort contemporary YA reads. I had high expectations for 'This Lullaby' not only because I have loved all Sarah Dessen books I've read in the past, but also because many friends recommended it and claimed it was the best Dessen book ever. I wouldn't go that far, but I really enjoyed the book and I can definitely see myself rereading it when I need a comfort story.
Sarah Dessen's books have a pattern. This isn't a bad thing, I like the pattern she uses, but it does mean you go into each new book knowing what will come next. There will be a girl with some family or personal issues, who falls for a guy who brings out the best in her; but she gets scared, worried or lost along the way. There's a separation for a while and then they'll get back together in the end. I like this pattern and knowing it exists means it fits into my "comfort" category so well. I don't have to worry that the story will send me spinning out of control; I know it'll end well.
'This Lullaby' starts with Remy Starr, a teenage girl who is just finishing High School and who plans to spend the summer before college having fun and letting loose - but first she must plan her mother's fifth wedding. Remy was a strange main character, I didn't like her all that much for most of the book. Because of her mother's relationship past, Remy convinced herself that love didn't exist, and this showed in nearly all her actions. She was hard and cold; and even though she used the same words (and others) to describe herself, I just couldn't bring myself to like her. I could understand why she came off this way, because of her images of love and relationships she wasn't really open to them for herself - it drove me mental. She's not an easy character to like. I sort of hated myself for not liking her, because Remy reminded me a lot of Auden from 'Along for the Ride' - they had a few differences, but I loved Auden and had to really try to love Remy. In the end, I warmed up to her a lot more, but I think that was all because of Dexter.
When you say the word 'lullaby' you think of music and, as the title suggests, the book involves a little bit of music. It's not a big focus, but there is a band: Truth Squad. Their musical journey becomes a side story as we see them write their own strange songs about Potatoes and attempt to get signed by a record label. Dexter, our love interest for this book, is the lead singer of Truth Squad and the one who finally breaks through Remy's cold heart. It sounds cheesy, but he had a really tough job to tackle and he did help change her. Dexter's a clumsy, loud, funny guy and he balanced Remy's personality so well. He brought out the best in her.
What I love most about Sarah Dessen books are the friendships she writes. Not all of her main characters end up with a close group of friends, but some of them do, and I love the dialogue that comes with them. The easy banter and the crazy conversations. I always like seeing characters that have these stable and well formed friendships. It makes them seem more real.
An easy, touching and comforting read. I loved it!
(Originally posted on Goodreads)