Kerry Winfrey
November 16, 2013 11:00 am

It’s not like you can go wrong when it comes to Sarah Dessen. All of her books are the perfect blend of romantic-yet-real and funny-yet-sincere. And, of course, she’s the author behind some of the dreamiest dudes in all of YA, including my favorite, Wes from The Truth About Forever. I love that book so much that I wasn’t sure if I could ever love another one of her books in quite the same way.

But then I read This Lullaby in one day and I felt like a total idiot for not reading it sooner. I mean, this is basically a perfect book, full of family drama, close best friends and (of course) some serious romance. But enough of my rambling…in case you haven’t read This Lullaby, let’s get to the plot.

Remy doesn’t really believe in love. And who can blame her? She just helped her romance-novelist mother plan her 5th wedding, and Remy’s had a front row seat to the demise of all her mother’s previous marriages. The only connection Remy has to her own father is a song he wrote for her right after she was born. Remy avoids ever falling in love by becoming a serial dater-and-dumper; in fact, she’s got such a routine that her BFFs can always tell when she’s ready to run.

But then Remy meets Dexter…or, rather, Dexter literally bumps into her and then refuses to leave her life. Dexter can’t be as easily categorized as all the other guys Remy’s loved and left. He’s clumsy, messy and relentlessly positive. Even though his own mother’s had her share of failed marriages, he’s not the cynic Remy is when it comes to love. Remy starts hanging out with Dexter and his bandmates more and more, but she freaks out as her guard goes down. She knows love just leads to broken hearts and broken marriages. Can she find the courage to open herself up, or is Dexter doomed to be just another guy in her past?

SOME HIGHLIGHTS:

-The song Remy’s dad writes for her, “This Lullaby,” is described sort of like that way-too-sweet father/daughter classic “Butterfly Kisses.” Do you guys remember that song? Just thinking about it is giving me bad flashbacks to roller rink slow skates.

-I loved that Remy’s mom was a romance novelist. I mean, talk about a dream career. A lot of times when I read YA, I get bored if there’s too much detail about the parents, but this time I was like, “Please, tell me more about Remy’s mom’s writing routine. I want a whole book of this!”

-Remy’s three best friends (Lissa, Chloe and Jess) were so realistic and hilarious. Even though they were a relatively small part of the plot (Remy’s relationships with Dexter and her mom take up more of the book), they were all completely well-rounded characters. Nothing makes a book better than strong female friendships!

-Okay, so way back when I talked about my favorite YA dudes, a lot of you mentioned Dexter. And at the time, I was like, “Psh, please, like anyone could be better than Wes.” And while Wes is probably still my favorite (just to recap: he’s an artist, a former delinquent and a pro at playing Truth), I’m absolutely in love with Dexter now. He’s goofy, incredibly nice, and ridiculously positive. He sort of reminds me of Joe from The Sky Is Everywhere, which is high praise. And while it would be annoying to have to clean up after someone constantly so that the kitchen didn’t get overrun with fruit flies, I’d totally put up with it to hang out with someone as cool as Dexter.

What about you guys? Have you read This Lullaby? Of course you have! You probably didn’t wait as long as I did to read such a perfect book. And while we’re at it, what’s your favorite Sarah Dessen book? Let me know in the comments! As always, I love to hear your suggestions for books to feature in Young Adult Education. Leave a comment, email me at youngadulteducation@gmail.com or find me on Twitter @KerryAnn.

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