Throwback Thursday Review: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

The Throwback Thursday review is where I take a book I recently reread and review it with new eyes. It could be a book I’m reading for the second, third, fourth or millionth time. Some books haven’t been read in years so its fun to flashback and see if my opinion has changed!

This week’s book is This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen – this book has been a favorite of mine for years but its actually been quite awhile since I reread it so I decided to give it a go!

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Please keep in mind that Throwback Thursday reviews are based on reread books. They most likely will contain spoilers as the books have already been released for some time. This is your only warning if you want to avoid spoilers for these books. 

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GENRE: 

Young Adult, Contemporary

PAGES:

345 pages

PART OF A SERIES?:

Standalone Novel

RELEASE DATE: 

May 27th 2002

 

PUBLISHER:

Speak

SOURCE:

E-Book from Library (I do own this book)

YOU CAN FIND THE BOOK AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE OR THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

GoodReads 

IndieBound

Amazon

Audible

Barnes and Noble 

Book Depository

Apple Books

Kobo

Google Play

Author’s Website

GOODREADS SUMMARY: 

She’s got it all figured out.

Or does she? When it comes to relationships, Remy’s got a whole set of rules.

Never get too serious. Never let him break your heart. And never, ever date a musician.

But then Remy meets Dexter, and the rules don’t seem to apply anymore.

Could it be that she’s starting to understand what all those love songs are about?

MY REVIEW

This was my favorite Sarah Dessen book for the longest time, before Along for the Ride came out. I felt so connected with Remy Starr and I wanted a cute, goofy, adorable musician boyfriend like Dexter.

Now that I’m 31…honestly I don’t love this book as much as I did in high school.

First off, there’s Remy. When I read this in high school, I thought she was so cool – even though the point of the story is that she’s wrong. I still thought she was so mature, so put together and she was so tough and that’s all I wanted to be in high school. She had her own job, she bought herself a pretty new car, she had a fake ID and super cool friends, she was popular and pretty and smart. She was everything I wished I was in high school and she had this totally adorable boy that loved her. I loved her tough exterior being cracked by this boy. It was such a sweet story.

Now? I find Remy incredibly irritating. Her ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude, that she knows better than everyone – her mother, her brother, the boys in her life, her friends – gets so irritating. I know a lot of it is a fake facade to keep her heart closed off from hurt but its still hard at times to feel connected to her and feel as if you understand what she’s going through. She just constantly pushes everyone away, pushes any kind of emotion away and I get that we’re supposed to understand that she’s a product of her father leaving her, her mother’s many marriages and so forth, but sometimes its just seriously hard to feel anything but pity for her. I struggled through reading this book again because I was just so irritated with her.

I also had issues with Dexter. I still liked him because he was so hopeful – for his relationship with Remy, the success of his band – but after actually dating a musician for seven years, I am like Remy in the beginning of the book – no musicians LOL. Again, maybe its because I’m older, but there were little things about him that absolutely drove me crazy – his inability to work a job well, his inability to pay the bills, his inability, honestly, to act like a responsible adult. It was definitely frustrating to me and I definitely understood Remy more in those moments when Dexter was caught in the middle of just being a total mess. I kept reminding myself that Dexter is young and learning and such but my 31 year old brain kept being like OMG PAY YOUR BILLS!

I think the thing that kept me going is the secondary characters are always so interesting. I love all of Dexter’s band mates, I love Remy’s friends, I love the background stories of Remy’s mother and brother’s relationships. I love the ladies that Remy works with at the salon. Sarah is always so great at secondary characters and making them feel so real and making them stand out and I’ve always appreciated that and I think its what makes me love her books the way I do.

All in all, after years of reading Sarah Dessen’s books (I’ve read them all), I definitely have changed my mind about this being one of my favorites. Its not a bad book overall but I just don’t think it holds up over time and it doesn’t hold up to me as an adult as it did when I was a teenager. I definitely don’t think its one of her stronger novels. It sits happily on my shelf but I may reach for the other novels before this one next time I’m in a Sarah Dessen mood.

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