Title: This Lullaby
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publication Date: May 2002
Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
Review: There are some books that are so hyped up, they can’t live up to expectations. There are some out there that are the underdogs, sneaking up from behind and all of a sudden it’s a new favorite. And then there’s something like This Lullaby.
This is my first Sarah Dessen novel. I’ve read all the raving reviews about the author, especially about this novel, so I went into it hesitantly. Would it be one of those that couldn’t live up to the hype? I am happy to report that it was everything I had hoped it would be and more.
Remy is a complicated teenage girl who has a problem with commitment, relationships and all else in between. She could have easily been a whole lotta teenage angst, but Dessen steers clear of making Remy too sad. Yes, she’s cynical, but with a mother on her fourth marriage, it’s no wonder why. Remy’s voice is clear and unique, unlike any other narrator I’ve read. I really appreciated Remy’s views on the world and on love. She is the best mix of vulnerable and strong.
Dexter is quirky, easy going and refreshingly different. Now don’t think that way. Dexter isn’t your run of the mill swoon worthy guy, although he does possess some wonderful swoon-like traits. He’s more developed than that and the dialogue between him and Remy is spot on. Fun, clever and believable, their relationship grows, strengthens, falters and sustains in a natural way. I had an emotional response to their trials and triumphs. These characters were so real to me, leaping off the page like my friends. I wish the novel didn’t have to end.
I loved the use of music in this story. It wasn’t forced and was an excellent way for the characters to be explored. It also aided in developing their relationships with each other. All of the supporting cast is well rounded and whole. I especially enjoyed reading about their Mom and their new stepdad and how that changed the family dynamic.
Well done, Sarah Dessen. You’ve made me a big fan.
Rating 8 Cookie Worthy