Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

This Lullaby

This Lullaby

Sarah Dessen
For ages 14 to 18
Abrams, 2004   ISBN: 978-0142501559

Remy is the problem solver in her family. When her mother needs someone to plan her fifth wedding, Remy does the job beautifully. Skillfully she organizes everything, all the time believing that this marriage will go the way of the other four; it won’t last. Remy does not believe in love. "I had no illusions about love...It came, it went, it left casualties or it didn't. People weren't meant to be together forever, regardless of what the songs say" she says. Remy has seen her mother’s struggles, and she herself has experienced enough pain in her own relationships to think that love is just a word.

Then Remy meets Dexter. Dexter is a college dropout who plays in a band and who insists that he and Remy as destined to be together. At first Remy thinks he is strange, and she does her best to avoid him. Then, one night, Remy drinks too much, she hits a guy in a bar, and Dexter is there to get her out of what could have been a very sticky situation. Somehow, a connection is made, and Remy and Dexter start going out. Remy knows from the very beginning that this is just another summer relationship. It has to be, because she is going to college in the fall. Dexter is just another guy to add to her list of summer boyfriends and she doesn’t have to risk anything or invest anything in their relationship. She can keep the wall she has built around herself intact. The only problem is that Dexter is not aware that this is the plan. He doesn’t think that falling in love is a myth at all.

In this powerful and memorable book, Sarah Dessen explores the way in which one young woman learns that though falling in love is risky, it is still worth it, no matter what happens in the end. Perhaps happy endings are hard to find, but that doesn’t mean that we should not keep trying.

Remy’s voice is vivid and true to life. Her experiences are sometimes painful, but in the end, her discoveries are full of hope for the future.