This Lullaby is my second Sarah Dessen book, the first one was The Truth About Forever which I rated 4/5 stars. I haven’t really gotten around to writing a blog post about my first Dessen book, but suffice it to say that I immensely liked it, especially the character development of Macy and how she comes to cope with the sudden death of her father.
Enter This Lullaby which I decided to read along with some of my friends in TFG and I can say that somehow I have gotten familiar with the Sarah Dessen formula. I have also included this book in our book club’s February Romance reads, and romance is indeed what I got, but so much more.
Remy is about to graduate from high school and oh boy, how she desperately longs to finally get out of their house and go to Stanford University where she was accepted for college. But for the meantime, she has to attend to the preparations of the fifth wedding of her writer-mother, Barbara, as well as end her relationship with her boyfriend, Jonathan. You see, Remy stubbornly does not believe in true love anymore. How can she when she sees “love” disintegrate several times in the life of her mother? However, she meets Dexter who is as stubborn and persistent as Remy is, but in the opposite way. Dexter is determined to win the affections of Remy and make her believe in a love ever after.
I cannot fault Remy for feeling that way about love and relationships. Her mother has been married four times and all, except for Remy’s father, ended in divorce. Remy grew up without a father figure and for that I can safely assume that whatever views she has about men and relationships with them have somehow become jaded. She surrounded herself with girlfriends, all of whom have the same dismal experiences with their boyfriends. The only person close to Remy who seems happy with this love life is her brother Chris, and for this, I conclude that no matter how similar the situation life throws our way, it is still up to us to react accordingly. Remy chose to be bitter and angry but Chris chose to believe in the redeeming value of love.
Dexter is not actually a swoon-worthy kind of guy, for my taste at least. For one, he has not finished school. He spends his time going from one state to another with his band, trying to make it big in the music industry someday. Now don’t get me wrong. I absolutely have nothing against musicians, only that if I have my way, I would prefer to have a boyfriend who has a stable income and who shows that he is can be trusted with responsibilities and not forget his obligations like paying the electric bill, for example. But then again, that is me. And despite these character flaws in Dexter, I admit that there are several instances which actually made me laugh at him and his antics. If I were a little younger, I believe I would have a crush on Dexter too. 😀 At least, and I think this is his strong point, Dexter firmly believes in love, and is intent in changing Remy’s mind — and heart — regarding this matter.
I like how the story wraps itself in the end. I especially like how Barbara and Remy finally resolved the issues between them. Barbara may not have been the perfect mother (who is perfect anyway) but at least she has shown Remy that there is nothing to fear about love. Their confrontation is not that dramatic (I was expecting to cry) but then again, a cry-fest is not what the characters’ personalities require of the situation. I even like how the new marriage of Barbara with Don turned out. Beautiful, the ending is just beautiful.
On a personal note, I want to say that I had been a Remy once in my life too. I was too afraid to be hurt and be confronted with my own fears and imperfections that I cocooned myself inside a tough exterior. But that was all in the past when I I should have known better. When I finally learned to open myself and embrace all the goodness life has to offer me, I began to understand that love is one of the best gifts of life, and despite all the fears and uncertainties, it is all worth it.
“(H)olding people away from you, and denying yourself love, that doesn’t make you strong. If anything, it makes you weaker. Because you’re doing it out of fear.”
My copy: ebook downloaded from www.epubbud.com