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Friday, June 8, 2012

This Lullaby, a review by Lauren

Title:  This Lullaby 
Author:  Sarah Dessen
Format: paperback
Price: $7.99

Remy Starr is an 18-year-old girl who is excited to go off to college in the fall.  Before she does that, she has a big summer in front of her.  She has to plan her mother, Barbara's wedding...her fifth wedding...to car salesman Don.  So while Barbara writes her latest romance novel, Remy works out the nuts and bolts of the wedding and consequently meets Dexter, a messy musician that is a singer in the band that will be playing at Barbara's wedding.  From the moment they meet, Dexter is 100% sure that they are meant to be together.  Remy, however, is much more hesitant.  Her mom's experiences with her different husbands and boyfriends has left Remy with a belief that there really isn't such a thing as true love.  Dexter sets out to soften Remy out...Will he succeed?  Read to find out!

Remy:  the protagonist of the novel, a calm, cynical neat freak.  She is more of a mother to her mom than her mother is to her.  After witnessing her mother's four failed marriages, Remy declares that she no longer believes in love.  Remy never gets too close to her boyfriends; she likes to "keep them at arm's length," so that she constantly has the upper hand.

Remy's motivations throughout the book change a fair amount.  First, Remy hopes to pull off her mother's wedding successfully, and more importantly, not to end up like her mom.  Her other motivation towards the beginning of the book is to make it to college in the fall.  After meeting Dexter, her motivations are basically to not get too attached because she knows she will end up losing him at the end of the summer.  If I told you what her motivations are at the end of the book, I may spoil something.  We don't want that, now do we? :)

Remy starts out as this tough, cold girl.  Then she meets Dexter, and everything changes.  He slowly but surely opens her up a bit.  It was really interesting to watch Remy's character change throughout the novel.

The theme of this book would be hope.  Hope for change, for courage to start again, and just hope as a whole.  To me, the theme really goes hand-in-hand with the growth of Remy's character.  Remy has a lot of hopes throughout the book, although she hides them below a frigid exterior.  I thought this book taught a good lesson simply by encouraging hope.

Sarah Dessen does an absolutely wonderful job with her characters in this book.  Each character was described in vivid detail, and by the end of the book, I could have sworn I knew them in real life.  I also liked the way she developed and changed Remy throughout the book.  All in all, I thought the writing was great, and I was resistant to put it down as I was reading.

The only real weakness I could find in this book was the lack of build-up and foreshadowing.  It was a pretty unpredictable book, which I liked, but there could have been more suspense built up by the author before some of the big events in the book.

As much as I adore this book, I did find the ending a little unsatisfying.  It may just be that I don't care too much for open endings...Oops, that was a bit of a spoiler.  However, I think the ending did fit in with the book and I thought it worked for the book as well as the genre.  I have and most likely will read more books by Sarah Dessen.

Rating:  4.999999 chocolate bars
Cover Thoughts:  I liked the cover, but I didn't really understand what it had to do with the story.
Appropriateness:  mild sexual references and medium language

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