"This Lullaby" – By Sara Dessen

It’s hard for me to describe this book. Mostly because I’ve never had a book that “preached” to me like this one. No. More so, I’ve never had a character that I relate to so much, before this book.

It’s kind of weird to say that, since the book is about a girl who has a set routine with how her relationships pan out, making having a boyfriend – but mostly dumping them after a certain amount of time – a hobby, and never letting anyone get close to her. And I’m really not that  or a heart breaker to that extent. My best friend’ll understand where I’m coming from with this. But anyway. I just liked it.

This story is about giving love a chance. Getting out of the routine. Bending some of your anus ideals. And letting people in.

Remy never strays from the rules she’s set, until Dexter comes into her life, albeit unwelcome. And she just can’t shake him. His charm and honesty threaten to soften her up into letting him in. She doesn’t know whether to believe in love and open up to hurt, or stay closed, and safe.

The story made me, personally, think about things. I mean, obviously we each have our own ideals or limits we’ve set regarding relationships or whatever. But really the story is simply about opening up. And by opening up, being willing to brace for the hurt, or happiness, whatever it may be, that come into your life once you do.

Even though, I may not be dating a different guy every two weeks, or have more ex’s than I can count on one hand like Remy, I felt like I was looking at myself in the mirror, a certain way. I’ll be honest, I can be pretty skeptical about love too – which is funny because I’m such a romantic. But I guess I’ll have to agree, which is better? Keeping your pride and being safe, but alone? Or opening up (to anybody, doesn’t even have to be romantic) and facing whatever you let in; happiness, hurt, friendship, or even love.

VIOLENCE/GORE: Remy has a hard night and drinks too much, on her way out of the bar, she gets in a scuffle with a man and ends up whacking him in the face, then Dexter comes in.

LOVE/SEX: This story is obviously about love. Remy talks about having an active sexual life before, with no greater details besides that, but says how “she’s changed,” showing that she knew it was bad and wants to be better. She also stays the night at Dexter’s, but nothing happens. She gets this feeling that he won’t respect her anymore if she did anything, and for some reason that she doesn’t understand since it’s never happened before, that means a lot to her.

Some of the boys in Dexter’s band work at a photography shop and begin a collection of random photo copies they liked from it to tack up on their wall, some being of women trying to look seductive in their underwear. The book isn’t any more descriptive than that.

Adultery is found out in the story also.

DRUGS/ALCOHOL: There is a lot of underage drinking in this book. Remy and her friends are regulars at a bar and know all the bars in town that don’t look at their fake IDs too closely. Her and her friends get drunk on and off throughout the book. There’s also smoking. Remy has just started to quit.

Besides these things that I know are necessary to make Remy into the tough-as-nails, heart breaker, love-hater she is, I liked this book, personally. Now I don’t know if EVERYONE will, but you can always give it a shot. And Sara Dessen is really good at “showing” not telling. =-)

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