Book Review: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen


Young Adult > Contemporary | Realistic Fiction

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.

Literary Awards: South Carolina Book Award Nominee for Young Adult Book Award (2005), Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award Nominee (2003)


I had no illusions about love anymore. It came, it went, it left casualties or it didn’t. People weren’t meant to be together forever, regardless of what the songs say.

So, that’s Remy. Such a bucket of sunshine, right? *snorts*

This Lullaby is my second Dessen book… and I liked it. Not bad, see? This is because The Truth About Forever damaged Dessen’s first impression on me. It was not my cup of tea, really.

Last January, I was tweeting about my plans to read romance for February. Tina hinted, “Why not try Dessen again?” And I say, why not! I was feeling gracious that day, I think. When I added This Lullaby in  Goodreads, I was surprised that some of my friends wanted to read it as well. And so we decided to buddy read. And I thought it was awesome, right guys? =)

Moving on. Tina told me that I will like Remy than Macy (from TTAF). Well, I did not like Remy a whole lot (sorry, Tina!), but Dexter… he’s my funny surprise! Well, I’m not asking to be his girl anytime soon, but there’s something… magnetic and charming in Dexter that just seemed to rub off me. His antics in trying to goad Remy were just plain funny. I’m not even offended by the silliness of them all (because normally I would). Every single time that I want to throttle Remy with her washed-out ideas on relationships, Dexter almost always saves the day. His flippancy more than made up Remy’s run-down attitude. And I really, really liked that.

Remy is complicated. How can she not? Seeing love as a weakness. Just look at her mom! Already at her nth-time marriage. But… maybe I see myself in her? Thus, my hostility to her bullheadedness? I hate that she’s too scared, too rough, too tapped out on her life. And how old are again, Remy? *deep sigh*

I still think Dexter deserves better than Remy. That Remy’s mom is indeed stronger than her, jadedness included. That Dexter might not be the most responsible among his lot, but I adore him anyway. That Remy, despite all her flaws, deserves to be treasured.

The ending was open, not quite satisfying for me (as I rarely feel good about open endings) but it felt right. Not forced. Or formulated.

This Lullaby was an amusing read. I’m still getting there – on being a Dessen fan – but for now, I think it’s enough that I gave her work another chance.

I will leave you with this:

But wasn’t it better to just be brutally honest? To admit that your feelings for someone is never going to be powerful enough to justify taking up any more of their time?

Do you agree with Remy?


THIS LULLABY by Sarah Dessen

Published March 8th 2004 by Penguin Group USA

3.5/5 stars