Book Review: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

This Lullaby
Narrated By: Ali Ahn
Published By: Penguin Audio
Publication Date: June 2009
Audio Length: 10 hours, 30 minutes
Source: Library
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

On the Story & Writing:

I've long been a fan of Sarah Dessen. She has an amazing ability to capture the angst and excitement of the teen years better than most other contemporary YA authors. She was one of the first contemporary authors I read and I am slowly but surely working my way through her novels. 

Remy is preparing to move from North Carolina to California for college. All that is keeping her from her new life is the summer. She plans everything out - a summer boyfriend, fun with friends, and saving money from her job at the local salon. Remy is close minded when love is concerned. She hasn't had the best role models. Her father was a musician who died young and her mother has been through numerous marriages. She doesn't think love is permanent; it is just something fleeting that provides only a moment of happiness. 

Things change drastically for Remy when Dexter enters the picture. He's everything she's not - spontaneous, fun loving, and willing to give his heart away. Dexter is everything Remy never knew she always wanted. Their relationship shows that sometimes opposites do attract.

This Lullaby while good was not great. I found it difficult to like Remy for most of the story. She is so stubborn! I tried to be understanding, but it became annoying pretty quickly.

My other big complaint was this one had some boring moments. You pretty much get to see every detail of Remy's day to day life which is less than thrilling. The beginning and middle of this one often felt like they were moving at a snail's pace.

In the end, I liked this one because of the commentary on love. I think Remy, her mother, and her brother all serve as symbols for types of relationships. It was interesting to watch these play out.

On the Audio:

I also think part of my reaction to this story was the narrator. I didn't like her voice. She didn't truly give Remy or any of the other characters voices of their own. Every character sounded the same. It was far too easy for me to tune out the audio and daydream. I'd suggest reading this one on your own. I believe I would have connected with Remy more if I had read this one on my own.

One Last Gripe: I never understood why Dexter was drawn to Remy.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The change in Remy's perspective on love

First Sentence: The name of the song is "This Lullaby."

Favorite Character: Dexter

Least Favorite Character: Don

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?


  1. I really love Sarah Dessen's books, but I agree this one wasn't one of her best. It was really slow at times. And I don't get why Dexter was attracted to Remy either.

    ~Sydney@Pika Pages

    1. Glad to know it wasn't just me that was perplexed by Dexter's feelings. My favorite Dessen novel is Just Listen. What's yours?

    2. I have Just Listen, but I haven't read it yet. My favorite book from her is probably The Truth About Forever.

    3. I don't think I've read that one. I'll have to check it out.


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