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This Lullaby (2002)

by Sarah Dessen

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4,144922,263 (4.05)64
Raised by a mother who's had five husbands, eighteen-year-old Remy believes in short-term, no-commitment relationships until she meets Dexter, a rock band musician.
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Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
Okay I still hold everything I previously said. Dexter is lovely and Remy is extremely annoying, whatever Dexter finds "adorable" in her is a mystery to me, and the whole thing is just confusing in that sense. That said, I really liked one of the Remy/Dex scenes specifically, the one in the grocery store.
Overall, I liked it, but the main character made the read kind of annoying as a whole at times -but only at times. I also laughed a lot whenever the whole band was on the scene. Forgettable, but nice. ( )
  ssuprnova | Nov 3, 2021 |
I think this may have been the first Dessen novel I read; it remains one of my favourites. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
3.5 stars

Remy doesn't believe in love, and if she's learned anything from her mother's past five marriages, she's better off without it. It never works out, right? She even has a method for dating, which is to not keep a boyfriend for too long, and just so she doesn't string them along, she gives it to them straight that she's not looking for a permanent thing.

Then Dexter crashes into her life.

Literally. The boy slams into her to get her attention at her soon-to-be stepfather's car dealership claiming that he felt they have a natural chemistry and were meant to be together. Remy only gets annoyed by him and goes on her way, thinking that he's off his rocker and that she'll never see this weirdo again. Only she does - he's the singer of the band that was booked for her mother's wedding. Then she runs into him again after that. What she cannot deny is that yes, he is cute, but he breaks her number one rule which is not to date musicians. But will she be willing to give Dexter a chance?

Remy was a good character to follow the story of because you can see that there are some things she's willing to change about herself. While she's adamant about her cynical feelings about love, she does find that there's something different about her relationship with Dexter, and it scares her. She learns a good lesson over the summer which is that good things are worth waiting for, and even if a good thing doesn't last forever, you need to make the most out of it.

Dexter on the other hand, stole the show! I missed him when he wasn't around because he is just a character you love to love. He's hilarious and adorable, kind of like an excitable puppy, so you just want to hug and cuddle him. His banter between not only Remy, but his band mates as well, is fun to read and I just enjoy the camaraderie he has with everyone, even Ted (who's kind of a downer).

While I enjoyed the book, I can already feel it's one that's kind of slipping through the cracks of my mind. The only parts that kind of stick are most of the scenes with Dexter. It is a good book though, so if you're looking for something easy to read with some fun summer romance, I'd say to pick up this one. ( )
  genieinanovel | Sep 15, 2020 |
Thoroughly enjoyable.

With Remy’s background, she has every reason to be cynical about love, to want no part of it, but the moment she meets Dexter, this clumsy, goofy musician throws everything off balance, he has her feeling things she most definitely doesn’t want to feel.

I really appreciated that Remy’s family is so much a part of the narrative, the way the father she never met continues to affect her, the damage her mother’s multiple marriages have done, the way she looks after her mom while simultaneously resenting it, and her brother, who was supposed to be as down on love as Remy in a relationship with Jennifer Anne (such a great character). Giving so many layers to Remy’s home-life not only gives the reader a greater understanding of who she is, it adds a sense of realism that I don’t tend to feel in YA books when the focus is pretty much just on friends and love interests. This feels more like a full life being explored.

Typically in a romance, it’s the guy who’s reluctant to be all in and the girl who’s much more willing to put her heart on the line, I loved that this flipped that. I loved how guarded Remy is and how Dexter’s heart is right there on his sleeve, and how that dynamic is demonstrated time again throughout the story in vastly different ways, for instance, cute with the flatware and emotionally gutting at the mini-mart. Their relationship is sweet and hurtful and had me hoping to the very end. ( )
  SJGirl | Aug 24, 2020 |
This is only the second time I was not feeling a Dessen book, and man this book had me rage screaming while hiking with my friend this weekend. At least I made her laugh when I was recounting some of the crap this book is full of. We have slut shaming, a boy that ignores what the heroine asks, ie (tries to force feed her cake at one point), underage drinking to the point I checked to make sure none of these fools was over the age of 21), no understanding of relationships, emotions, and oh can I say again, the slut-shaming?

What really shocks me is that this book came out after "Dreamland" which was so good and really got into teen physical abuse. I don't know what this book was trying to showcase. That assholes are people too? I don't know.

"This Lullaby" follows Remy. Remy is in the midst of dumping her boyfriend and trying to organize her mother's fifth wedding. The way that Dessen rights Remy you think she was a hard talking 20 something year old. But nope, she's 18 in this book. She and her friends have just graduated high school and Remy starts at Stanford in August. So she wants to get her mother married and be off with no worries about leaving anyone behind. Of course that all changes when she meets no boundaries at all Dexter. Dexter decides after seeing Remy at a car dealership that she's a challenge and he is going to wear her down so she will date him.

There is nothing at all charming about Dexter. For most of this book I found him insufferable. And Remy is just a straight up asshole towards him, her mother, her brother, her friends, and even the guys she dates. But I am supposed to someone get that Dexter found Remy and let her see that it's okay to be in love. Man I wish this book had been different.

Dexter is a musician in his 20s and he and his friends travel around doing odd jobs while trying to make it. I didn't see the charm in them and their whole deal. Heck, I was waiting for the moment I was supposed to care about any of them. All of the secondary characters in this one were sketched so thin it was unreal. As much as Remy talks about her friends, they felt like they were barely in this book.

Remy has rules about getting involved with a guy. Keep things distant, don't fall in love cause love isn't real, and just dump with no regrets. I definitely see why she was that way, but I think that Dessen tried to handwave away too many things that are revealed about Remy. And I hate that Remy and her friends considered her a slut for sleeping with so many guys. And oh cause she was hot, it's kind of understood that is just the way things happen? I don't know. The whole book was so odd and off-putting. I really just had it when Remy and her friends try to convince her she's in love with Dexter and that's just cause she never sleeps with him.

Banging head.

I was really happy to see the end of this book. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
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Epigraph
In the depth of winter,

I finally learned that

within me there lay

an invincible summer.

-- Camus
She'll be back soon. She's just writing.
-- Caroline
Dedication
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The name of the song is "This Lullaby."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Raised by a mother who's had five husbands, eighteen-year-old Remy believes in short-term, no-commitment relationships until she meets Dexter, a rock band musician.

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