I am halfway through my ‘A Year of Sarah Dessen,’ and I have to say, this was a great place to start to make sure I get at least one YA read in a month. While I don’t always like everything about her books, I feel like the things I don’t care for are intentional on her part. She has made me rethink my ratings more than once over these six months. I’ve discovered some fantastic books with this feature, and I’m excited to see what the next half of the year of Sarah Dessen brings!
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 27th, 2002
Angie’s Review – 4 Stars – B
Once again I find myself pondering my rating for a Sarah Dessen book. On the one hand, I didn’t care for Remy at all. On the other hand, I’m not convinced I was supposed to. (For the record, the other rating that I had to really think about before I could come to a fair rating was for the same reason.) She creates realistic characters that I may not always be able to identify with, but her plots almost always win me over. And this book was no different. The highlight of this book for me, hands down, was Remy’s circle of friends. They all had flaws and it was obvious they struggled to deal with each other at times, but when it came right down to it, they were there for each other. Jess, Remy’s friend who is helping her father raise her younger brothers, was the most level-headed of the four, and I would love to read her story. YA, NA, or CR, whoever wins that young woman’s heart is going to have their work cut out for them.
Back to Remy – there were parts of this book that I found hysterical, but the underlying theme of this book was sad. Remy controls every aspect of not only her life, but also that of her mothers. Regimented to the core, things are scheduled to nearly the minute. She is a stellar wedding planner – she’s had experience planning her mother’s weddings, and she is used to making decisions on the fly. By all accounts, Remy is satisfied with her life. It’s not until Dexter appears that she starts to question things. Meant to be another in a long line of Remy’s young men, she is surprised when Dexter doesn’t allow her to slot him into her life and timeline like all the others. I like a persistent hero in any genre, so Dexter worked for me from the moment I ‘met’ him. He was the exact opposite of Remy. He lived life on the fly and was very easy going, and he really was an enigma to Remy. Remy thought for sure going away to college was the only aspect of her future that was going to be mapped out, but that changes when Dexter does the unthinkable and worms his way into her heart.
I thought it was interesting that Remy’s brother chose a woman like her. And not even like her, but she was more like Remy on screech. It made sense, because her brother was more like their mother, but Remy and he didn’t always get along, so I thought it was funny he gravitated to someone similar to her. As with all Sarah Dessen books, this heroine has more to her life than getting or having a boyfriend, but unlike others I’ve read, the hero played a bigger part. After all, it was Remy’s clinical approach to relationships that was the backbone of this book. The only thing that I had an issue with was how Remy’s mother conveniently got her stuff together at the eleventh hour. That was maybe a tad too fairytale for this story. But make no mistake, this book was worth the read. Reading is like having a front row seat to the character’s lives, and while I always feel that to some degree, I feel it more with Sarah Dessen’s books. For the time I spend reading her books, I become the main character in the story. And I enjoy every moment of it. This Lullaby was a fantastic read, and I can’t wait to dive into the next book on this author’s back list!
FYI, I listed the audio of this book, and I really enjoyed the narrator. I had to bump the speed up to 1.25x, but that is standard for me.
This is my tentative reading order for my year reading Sarah Dessen. If you’ll notice, I did switch the order around for this month. I wanted to read Someone Like You next, but the audio just wasn’t doing it for me, and with my reading load for this month, I needed an audio! I may have to change it up for this reason next month, too.
If there’s a book you think should be added to the list or one that is so spectacular it should be moved up, feel free to let me know in the comments below!
1. Just Listen – March 2016
2. Lock and Key – April 2016
3. Saint Anything – May 2016
4. The Truth About Forever – June 2016
5. Dreamland – July 2016
6. This Lullaby – September 2016
7. Someone Like You – August 2016
8. Along for the Ride – October 2016
9. That Summer – November 2016
10. The Moon and More – December 2016
11. Keeping the Moon – January 2017
12. What Happened to Goodbye – February 2017
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