This Lullaby

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Overview

Remy always knows the perfect time to give a boyfriend "The Speech" telling him it's over -- after the initial romantic whirl, but before the reality of an actual relationship hits. Her friends tease that her boyfriend tally is nearing the triple digit mark, but she's a girl who knows just how to avoid any messy emotional entanglement. After all, she's had the example of her five-times-married mother to show her what not to do.

So what, then, is it about Dexter that makes it so ...

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This Lullaby

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Overview

Remy always knows the perfect time to give a boyfriend "The Speech" telling him it's over -- after the initial romantic whirl, but before the reality of an actual relationship hits. Her friends tease that her boyfriend tally is nearing the triple digit mark, but she's a girl who knows just how to avoid any messy emotional entanglement. After all, she's had the example of her five-times-married mother to show her what not to do.

So what, then, is it about Dexter that makes it so hard for her to follow her own rules? He's everything she hates: messy, disorganized, much too vulnerable, impulsive, and worst of all, a musician like her father: the father Remy never knew, the father who wrote a famous song for her, the father who disappeared from her life.

Sarah Dessen's most captivating novel yet introduces readers to a girl who believes her heart is made of stone -- and the boy who proves her wrong.

Raised by a mother who's had five husbands, eighteen-year-old Remy believes in short-term, no-commitment relationships until she meets Dexter, a rock band musician.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This modern-day romance narrated by a cynical heroine offers a balance of wickedly funny moments and universal teen traumas. High school graduate Remy has some biting commentary about love, including her romance-writer mother's betrothal to a car dealer ("He put one hand on my shoulder, Dad-style, and I tried not to remember all the stepfathers before him that had done the same thing.... They all thought they were permanent, too") and her brother's infatuation with self-improvement guru Jennifer Anne. But when rocker Dexter "crashes" into her life, her resolve to remain unattached starts to crack. Readers will need to hold on to their hats as they accompany Remy on her whirlwind ride, avoiding, circling and finally surrendering to Cupid's arrows. Almost as memorable as her summer romance with a heartwarmingly flawed suitor is the cast of idiosyncratic characters who watch from the sidelines. There's the trio of Remy's faithful girlfriends, all addicted to "Xtra Large Zip" Diet Cokes practical-minded Jess, weepy Lissa, and Chloe, who shares Remy's dark sense of humor as well as Dexter's entourage of fellow band members, as incompetent at managing money as they are at keeping their rental house clean. Those expecting a Cinderella finale for Remy will find a twist consistent with the plot's development. Contrary to any such implication in the title, this one will keep teens up reading. Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
KLIATT
It's Remy's last summer at home, where she and her brother have always been close to their mother, a successful writer of romance novels, who is now in her fourth marriage. Because of the endless failures of love Remy has witnessed, including her own first sexual encounters in high school, she feels she has no illusions about love. The lullaby of the title is a song written by her father, who never was able to love his children, but a song that Remy returns to again and again. Lines in the song say, "even if I let you down/this lullaby plays on." So this is the story of how Remy comes to understand that love, even flawed love, is worth experiencing; that she would rather open herself to life and love than to be so self-protective as to deny herself the experience. Oddly enough, it is her mother, even in the midst of a failing new marriage, who helps her to understand this truth. She also learns about loving from meeting Dexter, a musician who makes her laugh and loosen up a bit. Their relationship defies all the rules Remy usually follows to maintain control of her feelings. And she doesn't sleep with him either, even though that is usually her pattern. Their stumbling, bumbling love affair hardly gets going in the first weeks of summer, as both of them are working hard, busy with friends, planning on futures—Remy at Stanford; Dexter dreaming of his band signing a contract with a music company. Remy knows on some level that her feelings for Dexter are different and that she is in danger of falling in love with him. So she tries to keep the relationship contained to avoid hurt, even breaking up with him to pursue a "safer" situation with another guy—safer in the sense she can enjoy hiscompany and know it won't hurt when they leave each other. With Dexter, she isn't so sure, which is why readers will appreciate the final chapter that takes place in November when Remy is at Stanford and Dexter sends her a package that reveals where their relationship is heading. What is good about this book is the humor mixed with reality, with the honest portrayal of smart, articulate teenagers struggling to make sense of a world of nonsensical expectations. Remy, Dexter and their friends and "families" are exasperating, funny, smart, and quite interesting. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2002, Penguin Putnam, Viking, 330p.,
— Claire Rosser
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Remy's parents split up before she was born, her boyfriend is cheating on her, and her ever-hopeful mother is about to tie the knot for the fifth time. The teen's wry, humorous voice is the best part of this heartfelt novel, which takes her through the summer before she starts college and, she hopes, a brand-new life; her spirited commentary will keep readers entertained. Remy's father, a musician who died shortly after her birth, left behind a popular song with lyrics that include the line, "I will let you down." It's no surprise, then, that her rules for relationships aim to keep the boys in her life at arm's length. Then she meets Dexter, a scruffy but lovable musician who seems capable of knocking down her carefully constructed defenses as their rocky romance progresses. Remy's relationships with her friends and family are realistic and believable. However, aspects of her past life-a rape followed by a period of promiscuity, drinking, and drug use-are not fleshed out and don't quite ring true. The Remy readers encounter is for the most part mature, organized, and responsible, more so than the adults in her life, and it is not clear when and why she abandoned her self-destructive behavior. On the whole, though, this is a winning story about coming to terms with the fact that loving someone requires a leap of faith, and that a soft landing is never guaranteed.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Not every high-school senior gets to plan her mother's fifth wedding the week after graduation, but then, not everybody has a mother who is a famous romance novelist either. Remy is not the average grad heading off to college at Stanford; she's perfectly organized, neat, tidy, on time, and boy-smart, having learned from her mother's experiences that commitments are too risky to take. This summer will be her usual: a receptionist job at Jolie Salon, nightly gatherings with her three girlfriends at the Quik Zip and music clubs, and a temp boyfriend, no strings attached. Mom's #5 is the owner of Don Davis Motors whom she met when she went to buy a new car. Ironically, it was in Don's showroom that Remy met Dexter, the antithesis of her usual guy: clumsy, messy, impetuous, and persistent, but, worst of all, a musician. Despite her own rules about boys, Remy finds herself drawn to Dexter, but her feelings and trust in him crumble when his band, Truth Squad, plays "This Lullaby"-her song, emotional crutch, and the only gift from the father she never knew. Written for her by her hippie, songwriter father, Husband #1, when he disappeared from her life, the now-famous song echoes the sentiment that he-and men-will always let you down. As her mom's latest marriage dissolves in a puddle of deceit, bad cliches, and cans of Ensure, Remy caves in to her own subverted emotions. Remy's voice rings true with realistic dialogue and emotional traumas. Insightful writing, distinctive characters, and a contemporary scene where sex and music rule, compose a melody worth reading. (Fiction. YA)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Remy is marking time hanging out with her three best friends and working as a receptionist until the day she can leave for Stanford. A serial dater, she has serious issues with men. Her father, whose only contribution to raising Remy was to write a schmaltzy ballad about her, is dead. Her mother, a successful author, has a revolving door on marriage. Planning yet another of her mother's weddings does nothing for Remy's serious distrust of love. Dexter breaks every one of Remy's strict rules about dating and disrupts her life in the most disorderly way. He's gangly, he eats in her car, and above all, he's a musician. Despite her firm belief that their romance will go nowhere, Remy's world expands with Dexter in it. Sarah Dessen's characters are always finely drawn and those in This Lullaby (Viking, 2002) are no exception. Remy's bitter cynicism, the attitudes of her friends and family, and Dexter and his bandmates' slightly off-kilter world is spot-on. Ali Ahn's narration enhances the day-to-day realities of young adulthood and, at times, conveys a poignancy that is palpable. This audiobook will be popular with fans of realistic fiction and those who enjoy more-than-fluffy chick lit.—Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142501559
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/8/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 64,015
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen is one of the most popular writers for young adults. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews, and have sold more than seven million copies. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine. Visit her online at www.sarahdessen.com.

Biography

Although she was born in Illinois, YA novelist Sarah Dessen has spent most of her life in Chapel Hill, NC. Both of her parents were professors at the University of North Carolina, where Sarah studied creative writing and graduated with a degree in English.

As far back as she can remember, Dessen has always wanted to write. She remembers churning out wildly imaginative stories on an old manual typewriter her parents gave her when she was eight or nine years old. So it was only natural that after college she would forego a "real job," choosing instead to support herself by waiting tables at a local eatery while trying to publish a novel. In 1996, just three years after graduation, she sold her first book, the witty, wry coming-of-age story That Summer. A second novel, Someone Like You, followed two years later. (In 2003, these two books were loosely adapted into the movie How to Deal, starring teen sensation Mandy Moore.)

Dessen claims she never set out to be a YA writer, but somehow her memories always bring her back to high school, a time and place that resonates strongly for her. Living in her hometown where she is still in contact with many childhood friends, she finds it pretty easy to get in touch with her "inner teenager." In addition, the books she read from that time have a special, magical staying power. She explains it this way on her website:

"[W]hile I couldn't tell you complete plots of novels I read even six months ago, I do remember even the smallest descriptive details from Lois Lowry's A Summer to Die or Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. I think it was because back then books were still somewhat new to me, and when I found an author who seemed to say just what I was feeling, it really struck me and resonated. I hope that my books do that for the people who read them."
If one can judge from her growing fan base and continued presence on the bestseller lists, Dessen can safely say "mission accomplished."

Good To Know

Here are some fun facts about Sarah Dessen:

  • Most of Dessen's books are set in the fictional town of Lakeview and feature recurring locales and characters.

  • Dessen also teaches creative writing at her alma mater, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Among her confessed addictions, Dessen counts the Gap clearance rack, Starbucks mochas, multiple magazine subscriptions, and a penchant for black pants.

  • Dessen sometimes waxes nostalgic about her days as a waitress. "It was a great job for a writer, " she says. "Endless conversations to eavesdrop, tons of material, and fast money without ever taking work home."

  • In Just Listen, the character of Owen Armstrong was named for the young protagonist in John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, as well as for Lance Armstrong, one of Dessen's proclaimed crushes.

  • Concerning her "tendency to embellish," Dessen says: "I think it's just a weakness of fiction writers. Once you learn how to make a story better, it's hard not to do it all the time."

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      1. Hometown:
        Chapel Hill, NC
      1. Date of Birth:
        June 6, 1970
      2. Place of Birth:
        Evanston, Illinois
      1. Education:
        University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, degree in English.

    Read an Excerpt

    Chapter Eight

    “Don’t you give me no rotten tomato, cause all I ever wanted was your sweet potato.” Dexter stopped as the music did. Now, all we could hear was the fridge rattling and Monkey snoring. “Okay, so what else rhymes with potato?” Ted strummed his guitar, looking at the ceiling. On the couch by the refrigerator, John Miller rolled over, his red head bonking the wall.

    “Anybody?” Dexter asked.

    “Well,” Lucas said, crossing his legs, “it depends on if you want a real rhyme, or a pseudo rhyme.”

    Dexter looked at him. “Pseudo rhyme,” he repeated. “A real rhyme,” Lucas began, in what I already recognized as his eggbert voice, “is tomato. But you could easily tack an o onto another word and make a rhyme of it, even if it’s not grammatically correct. Like, say, relate-o. Or abate-o.”

    “Don’t you give me no rotten tomato,” Dexter sang, “just ’cause to your crazy shit I cannot relate-o.”

    Silence. Ted plucked out another chord, then tightened a string.

    “Needs work,” Lucas said. “But I think we’re getting somewhere.”

    “Can you all just please shut up,” John Miller moaned from the couch, his voice muffled. “I’m trying to sleep.”

    “It’s two in the afternoon, and this is the kitchen,” Ted told him. “Go someplace else or quit bitching.”

    “Boys, boys,” Dexter said.

    Ted sighed. “People, we need to focus on this. I want ‘The Potato Opus’ to be ready for that show next week.”

    “‘The Potato Opus’?” Lucas said. “Is that what it’s called now?”

    “Can you think of something better?”

    Lucas was quiet for a second. “Nope,” he said finally. “Sure can’t.”

    “Then shut the hell up.” Ted picked up the guitar. “From the top, first verse, with feeling.”

    And so it went. Another day at the yellow house, where I’d been spending a fair amount of my free time lately. Not that I liked the setting, particularly; the place was a total dump, mostly because four guys lived there and none of them had ever been introduced formally to a bottle of Lysol. There was rotting food in the fridge, something black and mildewy growing on the shower tiles, and some sort of unidentifiable rank smell coming from beneath the back deck. Only Dexter’s room was decent, and that was because I had my limits. When I found a pair of dirty underwear under a couch cushion, or had to fight the fruit flies in the kitchen that were always swarming the garbage can, I at least could take comfort in the fact that his bed was made, his CDs stacked alphabetically, and the plug-in air freshener was working its pink, rose-shaped little heart out. All of this work on my part was a small price to pay, I figured, for my sanity.

    Which, in truth, had been sorely tested lately, ever since my mother had returned from her honeymoon and set up her new marriage under our shared roof. All through the spring we’d had workmen passing through, hauling drywall and windows and tracking sawdust across the floors. They’d knocked out the wall of the old den, extending it into the backyard, and added a new master suite, complete with a new bathroom featuring a sunken tub and side-by-side sinks separated by blocks of colored glass. Crossing over the threshold into what Chris and I had named “the new wing” was like entering an entirely different house, which was pretty much my mother’s intention. It was her matched set, with a new bedroom, a new husband, and new carpet. Her life was perfect. But as was often the case, the rest of us were still adjusting.

    One problem was Don’s stuff. Being a lifelong bachelor, he had certain objects that he’d grown attached to, very little of which fit my mother’s decorating scheme for the new wing. The only thing that even remotely reflected Don’s taste in their bedroom, in fact, was a large Moroccan tapestry depicting various biblical tableaus. It was enormous and took up most of a wall, but it did match the carpet almost perfectly, and therefore constituted a compromise of taste that my mother could live with. The remainder of his belongings were exiled to the rest of the house, which meant that Chris and I had to adjust to living with Don’s decor.

    The first piece I noticed, a couple of days after their return, was a framed print by some Renaissance painter of a hugely buxom woman posing in a garden. Her fingers were big, pudgy, and white, and she was stretched across a couch, buck naked. She had huge breasts, which were hanging down off the couch, and she was eating grapes, a fistful in one hand, another about to drop into her mouth. It might have been art—a flexible term, in my opinion—but it was disgusting. Especially hanging on the wall over our kitchen table, where I had no choice but to look at it while I ate breakfast.

    “Man,” Chris said to me the first morning it was there, about two days after Don had moved in. He was eating cereal, already dressed in his Jiffy Lube uniform. “How much you think a woman like that weighed?”

    I took a bite of my muffin, trying to concentrate on the newspaper in front of me. “I have no idea,” I said.

    “At least two-fifty,” Chris decided, slurping down another spoonful. “Those breasts alone have to be five pounds. Maybe even seven.”

    “Do we have to talk about this?”

    “How can you not?” he said. “God. It’s right there. It’s like trying to ignore the sun or something.”

    And it wasn’t just the picture. It was the modern art statue that now stood in the foyer that looked, frankly, like a big penis. (Was there a theme here? I’d never pegged Don for that type, but now I was starting to wonder.) Add to that the fancy set of Calphalon pots that now hung over our kitchen island and the red leather sofa in the living room, which just screamed Single Man on the Make to me, and it was no wonder I was feeling a little out of place. But then again, this house wasn’t really mine to claim anymore. Don was now permanent—supposedly—while I was of temporary status, gone come fall. For once, I was the one with an expiration date, and I was finding I didn’t like it much.

    Which explained, in some ways, why I was over at Dexter’s so much. But there was another reason, one I wasn’t so quick to admit. Even to myself.

    For as long as I’d been dating, I’d had a mental flow chart, a schedule, of how things usually went. Relationships always started with that heady, swoonish period, where the other person is like some new invention that suddenly solves all life’s worst problems, like losing socks in the dryer or toasting bagels without burning the edges. At this phase, which usually lasts about six weeks max, the other person is perfect. But at six weeks and two days, the cracks begin to show; not real structural damage yet, but little things that niggle and nag. Like the way they always assume you’ll pay for your own movie, just because you did once, or how they use the dashboard of their car as an imaginary keyboard at long stoplights. Once, you might have thought this was cute, or endearing. Now, it annoys you, but not enough to change anything. Come week eight, though, the strain is starting to show. This person is, in fact, human, and here’s where most relationships splinter and die. Because either you can stick around and deal with these problems, or ease out gracefully, knowing that at some point in the not-too-distant future, there will emerge another perfect person, who will fix everything, at least for six weeks.

    I knew this pattern even before my first real boyfriend, because I’d seen my mother go through it several times already. With marriages, the pattern is stretched out, adjusted, like working with dog years: the six weeks becomes a year, sometimes two. But it’s the same. That was why it was always so easy to figure out how long my stepfathers would last. It all comes down to math.

    If I did the math with Dexter, on paper it was perfect. We’d come in well under the three-month mark, with me leaving for college just as the shine was wearing off. But the problem was that Dexter wasn’t cooperating. If my theories of relationships were plotted geographically, Dexter wasn’t even left of center or far out in right field. He was on another map altogether, rapidly approaching the distant corner and headed into the unknown.

    First, he was very gangly. I’d never liked gangly guys, and Dexter was clumsy, skinny, and always in motion. It was not surprising to me now that our relationship had started with him crashing into me in various ways, since I now knew he moved through the world with a series of flying elbows, banged knees, and flailing limbs. In the short time we’d been together, he’d already broken my alarm clock, crushed one of my beaded necklaces underfoot, and managed, somehow, to leave a huge scuff mark on my ceiling. I am not joking. He was always jiggling his knees, or drumming his fingers, as if revving up, just waiting for the checkered flag to drop so he could spin out at full speed. I found myself constantly reaching over and trying to quiet him, covering his knee or fingers with my hand, thinking it would silence them, when instead I would be caught up in it with him, jangling along, as if whatever current charged him was now flowing through me.

    Point two: he was a slob. His shirttail was always out, his tie usually had a stain, his hair, while curly and thick, sprung out from his head wildly in a mad-scientist sort of fashion. Also, his shoelaces were continually untied. He was all loose ends, and I hated loose ends. If I could ever have gotten him to stand still long enough, I knew I would have been unable to resist tucking, tying, smoothing, organizing, as if he were a particularly messy closet just screaming for my attention. But instead I found myself gritting my teeth, riding the wave of my natural anxiety, because this wasn’t permanent, me and him, and to think so would only hurt both of us.

    Which led to point three: he really liked me. Not in an only-until-the-end-of-the-summer way, which was safest. In fact, he never talked about the future at all, as if we had so much time, and there wasn’t a definite end point to our relationship. I, of course, wanted to make things clear from the start: that I was leaving, no attachments, the standard spiel I repeated in my head finally spoken aloud. But whenever I tried to do this, he evaded so easily that it was as if he could read my mind, see what was coming, and for once move gracefully to sidestep the issue entirely.

    Now, as work on “The Potato Song” broke up so that Ted could go to work, Dexter came over and stood in front of me, stretching his arms over his head. “Total turn-on seeing a real band at work, isn’t it?”

    “Relate-o is a lame rhyme,” I said, “pseudo or not.”

    He winced, then smiled. “It’s a work in progress,” he explained. I put down my crossword puzzle—I’d finished about half of it—and he picked it up, glancing at what I’d finished. “Impressive,” he said. “And of course, Miss Remy does her crosswords in ink. What, you don’t make mistakes?”

    “Nope.”

    “You’re here, though,” he said.

    “Okay,” I admitted, “maybe one.” He grinned again. We’d only been seeing each other for a few weeks now, but this easy give-and-take still surprised me. From that very first day in my room, I felt like we’d somehow skipped the formalities of the Beginning of a Relationship: those awkward moments when you’re not all over each other and are still feeling out the other person’s boundaries and limits. Maybe this was because we’d been circling each other for a while before he finally catapulted through my window. But if I let myself think about it much—and I didn’t—I had flashes of realizing that I’d been comfortable with him even at the very start. Clearly, he’d been comfortable with me, grabbing my hand as he had that first day. As if he knew, even then, that we’d be here now. “I bet you,” he said to me, “that I can name more states by the time that woman comes out of the dry cleaners than you can.”

    I looked at him. We were sitting outside of Joie, both of us on our lunch break, me drinking a Diet Coke, him snarfing down a sleeve of Fig Newtons. “Dexter,” I said, “it’s hot.”

    “Come on,” he said, sliding his hand over my leg. “I’ll bet you.”

    “No.”

    “Scared?”

    “Again, no.”

    He cocked his head to the side, then squeezed my knee. His foot, of course, was tapping. “Let’s go. She’s about to walk in. When the door shuts behind her, time’s on.”

    “Oh, God.” I said. “What’s the bet?”

    “Five bucks.”

    “Boring. And too easy.”

    “Ten bucks.”

    “Okay. And you have to buy dinner.”

    “Done.” We watched as the woman, who was wearing pink shorts and a T-shirt and carrying an armful of wrinkled dress shirts, pulled open the door to the cleaners. As it swung shut, I said, “Maine.”

    “North Dakota.”

    “Florida.”

    “Virginia.”

    “California.”

    “Delaware.” I was keeping track on my fingers: he’d been known to cheat but denied it with great vehemence, so I always had to have proof. Challenges, to Dexter, were like those duels in the old movies, where men in white suits smacked each other across the face with gloves, and all honor was at stake. So far, I hadn’t won them all, but I hadn’t backed down either. I was, after all, still new at this.

    Dexter’s challenges, apparently, were legendary. The first one I’d seen had been between him and John Miller. It was a couple of days after Dexter and I had gotten together, one of the first times I’d gone over to the yellow house with him. We found John Miller sitting at the kitchen table in his pajamas, eating a banana. There was a big bunch of them on the table in front of him, seemingly out of place in a kitchen where I now knew the major food groups consisted of Slurpees and beer.

    “What’s up with the bananas?” Dexter asked him, pulling out a chair and sitting down.

    John Miller, who still looked half asleep, glanced up and said, “Fruit of the Month Club. My nana gave it to me for my birthday.”

    “Potassium,” Dexter said. “You need that every day, you know.”

    John Miller yawned, as if used to this kind of stupid information. Then he went back to his banana.

    “I bet,” Dexter said suddenly, in the voice I later would come to recognize as the one that always preceded a challenge, deep and game show host–like, “that you can’t eat ten bananas.”

    John Miller finished chewing the bite in his mouth, then swallowed. “I bet,” he replied, “that you’re right.”

    “It’s a challenge,” Dexter said. Then he nudged out a chair, with a knee that was already jiggling, for me, and said, in the same low, slow voice, “Will you take it?”

    “Are you crazy?”

    “For ten bucks.”

    “I am not eating ten bananas for ten bucks,” John Miller said indignantly.

    “It’s a dollar a banana!” Dexter said. “And furthermore,” John Miller went on, tossing the now-empty peel at an overflowing garbage can by the back door, and missing, “this double-dare shit of yours is getting old, Dexter. You can’t just go around throwing down challenges whenever you feel like it.”

    “Are you passing on the challenge?”

    “Will you stop using that voice?”

    “Twenty bucks,” Dexter said. “Twenty bucks—”

    “No,” John Miller told him.

    “—and I’ll clean the bathroom.” This, clearly, changed things. John Miller looked at the bananas, then at Dexter. Then at the bananas again. “Does the one I just ate count as one?”

    “No.”

    John Miller slapped the table. “What? It’s not even to my stomach yet, for godsakes!”

    Dexter thought for a second. “Okay. We’ll let Remy call this one.”

    “What?” I said. They were both looking at me.

    “You’re an unbiased view,” Dexter explained.

    “She’s your girlfriend,” John Miller complained. “That’s not unbiased!”

    “She is not my girlfriend.” Dexter looked at me, as if this might upset me, which was evidence that he didn’t know me at all. He said, “What I mean is, we may be seeing each other”—and here he paused, as if waiting for me to chime in with something, which I didn’t, so he went on—“but you are your own person with your opinions and convictions. Correct?”

    “I’m not his girlfriend,” I told John Miller.

    “She loves me,” Dexter said to him, as an aside, and I felt my face flame. “Anyway,” he said, moving on breezily, “Remy? What do you think? Does it count or not?”

    “Well,” I said, “I think it should count somehow. Perhaps as half.”

    “Half!” Dexter looked at me as if he was just so pleased, as if he had carved me out of clay himself. “Perfect. So, if you choose to accept this challenge, you must eat nine and a half bananas.”

    John Miller thought about this for a second. Later, I would learn that money was always scarce at the yellow house, and these challenges provided some balance of cash flow from one person to another. Twenty bucks was food and beer money for at least a couple of days. And it was really only nine bananas. And a half.

    “Okay,” John Miller said. And they shook on it.

    Before the challenge could happen, witnesses had to be gathered. Ted was brought in from the back deck, along with a girl he’d been seeing, introduced to me as Scary Mary (I chose not to ask), and, after a futile search for the keyboardist, Lucas, Dexter’s dog Monkey was agreed upon as a suitable replacement. We all gathered around the table, or on the long, ugly brown couch that was next to the refrigerator, while John Miller did some deep breathing and stretching, as if preparing for a fifty-yard dash.

    “Okay,” Ted, the only one with a working watch and therefore timekeeper, said, “Go!”

    If you’ve never seen someone take on a food challenge, as I had not at that point, you might expect it to actually be exciting. Except that the challenge was not to eat nine and a half bananas quickly: it was just to eat nine and a half bananas. So by banana four or so, boredom set in, and Ted and Scary Mary went to the Waffle House, leaving me, Dexter, and Monkey to wait out the next five and a half bananas. It turned out we didn’t have to: John Miller conceded defeat in the middle of banana six, then carefully got to his feet and went to the bathroom.

    “I hope you didn’t kill him,” I told Dexter as the door shut behind him, the lock clicking.

    “No way,” he said easily, stretching back in his chair. “You should have seen him last month, when he ate fifteen eggs in a row. Then we were worried. He turned bright red.”

    “You know,” I said, “funny how it’s never you having to eat vast quantities of things.”

    “Not true. I just moved on after completing the master of all challenges back in April.”

    I hated to even ask what would earn such a title, but curiosity got the better of me. “Which was?”

    “Thirty-two ounces of Miracle Whip,” he said. “In twenty minutes flat.”

    Just the thought of this made my stomach twist. I hated mayonnaise, and any derivation thereof: egg salad, tuna salad, even deviled eggs. “That’s disgusting.”

    “I know.” He said it proudly. “I could never top it, even if I tried.”

    I had to wonder what kind of person got such satisfaction from constant competitiveness. And Dexter would make challenges about anything, whether it was in his control or not. Some recent favorites included I Bet You a Quarter the Next Car That Passes Is Either Blue or Green, Five Bucks Says I Can Make Something Edible Out of the Canned Corn, French-Fried Potato Sticks, and Mustard in the Pantry, and, of course, How Many States Can You Name While That Woman Picks Up Her Dry Cleaning?

    I, personally, was up to twenty. Dexter was at nineteen and experiencing a bit of a brain cramp.

    “California,” he said finally, casting a nervous look at the front of the cleaners, where we could see the woman talking to someone behind the counter.

    “Already said it,” I told him.

    “Wisconsin.”

    “Montana.”

    “South Carolina.”

    The door opened: it was her. “Game over,” I said. “I win.”

    “You do not!”

    I held up my fingers, where I’d been keeping track. “I win by one,” I said. “Pay up.”

    He started to reach into his pockets, sighing, then instead pulled me closer, spreading his fingers around my waist, burying his face in my neck.

    “Nope,” I said, putting my hands on his chest, “won’t work.”

    “I’ll be your slave,” he said into my ear, and I felt a chill run up my back, then cast it off just as quickly, reminding myself again that I always had a boyfriend in summer, someone that caught my eye after school was finished and usually lasted right up until the beach trip my family took each August. The only difference this time was that I was going west instead of east. And I liked being able to think about it that way, in terms of a compass, something set in stone that would remain, unchanged, long after I was gone.

    Besides, I knew already we would never work long-term. He was so imperfect already, his cracks and fissures apparent. I could only imagine what structural damage lay beneath, deep in the foundation. But still, it was hard to keep my head clear as he kissed me there, in July, with another challenge behind me. After all, I was up now, and it still seemed like we had time.

    “The question is, has he been given The Speech yet?” Jess asked.

    “No,” Chloe told her. “The question is, have you slept with him yet?”

    They all looked at me. It wasn’t rude for them to ask, of course: usually this was common knowledge—once, common assumption. But now I hesitated, which was unnerving.

    “No,” I said finally. There was a quick intake of breath—shock!—from somebody, then silence.

    “Wow,” Lissa said finally. “You like him.”

    “It’s not a big deal,” I said, not refuting this exactly, which set off another round of silence and exchanged looks. Out at the Spot, with the sun going down, I felt the trampoline bounce lightly beneath me and leaned back, spreading my fingers over the cool metal of the springs.

    “No Speech, no sex,” Jess said, summing up. “This is dangerous.”

    “Maybe he’s different,” Lissa offered, stirring her drink with one finger.

    “Nobody’s different,” Chloe told her. “Remy knows that better than any of us.”

    It says something about my absolute adherence to a plan concerning relationships that my best friends had terms, like outline headings, detailing my actions. The Speech usually came right as the heady, romantic, fun-new-boyfriend phase was boiling to full steam. It was my way of hitting the brakes, slowly downshifting, and usually involved me pulling whatever Ken was in my life at that time aside to say something like: hey, I really like you and we’re having fun, but you know, I can’t get too serious because I’m going to the beach/really going to focus on school come fall/just getting over someone and not up to anything long-term. This was the summer speech: the winter/holiday one was pretty much the same, except you inserted I’m going skiing/really going to have to rally until graduation/dealing with a lot of family crap for the last part. And usually, guys took it one of two ways. If they really liked me, as in wear-my-class-ring-love-me-always, they bolted, which was just as well. If they liked me but were willing to slow down, to see boundaries, they nodded and saved face by saying they felt the same way. And then I was free to proceed to the next step, which—and I’m not proud—usually involved sleeping with them.

    But not right away. Never right away, not anymore. I liked to have enough time invested to see a few cracks and get rid of anyone whose failings I knew I couldn’t deal with in the long term, i.e., more than the six weeks that usually encompassed the fun-new-boyfriend phase. Once, I was easy. Now, I was choosy. See? Big difference.

    And besides, something was different about Dexter. Whenever I tried to revert to my set outline, something stopped me. I could give him the talk, and he’d probably be fine with it. I could sleep with him, and he’d be fine—more than fine—with that too. But somewhere, deep in my conscious mind, something niggled me that maybe he wouldn’t, that maybe he’d think less of me, or something. I knew it was stupid.

    And besides, I’d just been busy. That was probably it, really.

    Chloe opened her bottled water, took a swig, then chased it with a sip from the tiny bottle of bourbon in her hand. “What are you doing?” she asked me, point blank.

    “I’m just having fun,” I replied, taking a swig of my Diet Zip. It seemed easy to say this, having just run through it in my head. “He’s leaving at the end of the summer too, you know.”

    “Then why haven’t you given him The Speech?” Jess asked.

    “I just,” I said, and then shook my cup, stalling. “I haven’t thought about it, to be honest.”

    They looked at one another, considering the implications of this. Lissa said, “I think he’s really nice, Remy. He’s sweet.”

    “He’s clumsy,” Jess grumbled. “He keeps stepping on my feet.”

    “Maybe,” Chloe said, as if it was just occurring to her, “you just have big feet.”

    “Maybe,” Jess replied, “you should shut up.”

    Lissa sighed, closing her eyes. “You guys. Please. We’re talking about Remy.”

    “We don’t have to talk about Remy,” I said. “We really don’t. Let’s talk about somebody else.”

    There was silence for a second: I sucked down some more of my drink, Lissa lit a cigarette. Finally Chloe said, “You know, the other night Dexter said he’d give me ten bucks if I could stand on my head for twenty minutes. What the hell does that mean?”

    They all looked at me. I said, “Just ignore him. Next?”

    “I think Adam’s seeing someone else,” Lissa said suddenly.

    “Okay,” I said. “Now, see, this is interesting.”

    Lissa ran her finger over the rim of her cup, her head down, one curl bouncing slightly with the movement. It had been about a month since Adam had dumped her, and she’d moved through her weepy stage to just kind of sad all the time, with occasional moments when I actually heard her laugh out loud, then stop, as if she’d forgotten she wasn’t supposed to be happy.

    “Who is she?” Chloe asked.

    “I don’t know. She drives a red Mazda.”

    Jess looked at me, shaking her head. I said, “Lissa, have you been driving by his house?”

    “No,” she said, and then looked up at us. We, of course, were all staring back at her, knowing she was lying. “No! But the other day there was construction on Willow and then I—”

    “Do you want him to think you’re weak?” Jess asked her. “Do you want to give him that satisfaction?”

    “How can he already be with somebody else?” Lissa asked her, and Jess just sighed, shaking her head. “I’m not even totally okay yet, and he’s with someone else? How can that be?”

    “Because he’s a jerk,” I told her.

    “Because he’s a guy,” Chloe added. “And guys don’t get attached, guys don’t ever give themselves over completely, and guys lie. That’s why they should be handled with great trepidation, not trusted, and held at arm’s length whenever possible. Right, Remy?”

    I looked at her, and there it was again: that shifting of her eyes that meant she’d seen something in me lately she didn’t recognize, and it worried her. Because if I wasn’t cold, hard Remy, then she couldn’t be the Chloe she was, either.

    “Right,” I said, and smiled at Lissa. I had to lead the way here, of course. She’d never make it out otherwise. “Absolutely.” The band wasn’t called the G Flats at all. That was just their wedding persona, the one they had been forced to take on because of an incident involving the van, some authorities in Pennsylvania, and Don’s brother Michael, who was an attorney there. Apparently playing at my mother’s wedding had been some kind of payback, but it had also seemed like the right time to relocate, as the band—whose real name was Truth Squad—did every summer.

    For the past two years, they’d worked their way across the country, always following the same process: find a town with a decent local music scene, rent a cheap apartment, and start playing the clubs. In the first week they all got day jobs, preferably at the same place, since they shared one mode of transportation. (So now, Dexter and Lucas worked at Flash Camera, while John Miller fixed lattes at Jump Java, and Ted bagged groceries at Mayor’s Market.) Although most of the guys had some college, or, in Ted’s case, a diploma, they always got easy jobs that didn’t require much overtime or thinking. Then they’d hit the local club scene, hoping to land a regular weekly gig, as they had at Bendo. Tuesday nights, which were the slowest there, were now all theirs.

    They’d only been in town for a couple of days when I’d first met Dexter at Don’s Motors: they were sleeping in the van then, in the city park, until they found the yellow house. Now it seemed they’d stick around until they were run out of town for owing money or small legal infractions (it had happened before) or just got bored. Everything was planned to be transitory: they boasted that they could pack up and be gone in an hour flat, already drawing a finger across the wrinkled map in the van’s glove box, seeking out a new destination.

    So maybe that was what kept me from giving The Speech, this idea that his life was just as impermanent at this moment as mine. I didn’t want to be like other girls that were probably in other towns, listening to Truth Squad bootlegs and pining for Dexter Jones, born in Washington, D.C., a Pisces, lead singer, thrower of challenges, permanent address unknown. His history was as murky as mine was clear, with his dog seeming to be the only family in which he had interest. I was soon to be Remy Starr, formerly of Lakeview, now of Stanford, undecided major, leaning toward economics. We were only converging for a few weeks, fleeting. No need to follow protocol.

    That night me, Chloe, Jess, and Lissa got to Bendo around nine. Truth Squad was already playing, and the crowd was thin but enthusiastic. I noted, then quickly made a point of not noting, that it was mostly made up of girls, a few of them crowded up close, next to the stage, holding their beers and swaying to the music.

    The music, in fact, was a mix of covers and originals. The covers were, as Dexter put it, “a necessary evil”—required at weddings, and useful at clubs, at least at the beginning of sets, to prevent being beaned with beer caps and cigarette butts. (This, apparently, had happened as well.) But Dexter and Ted, who had started the band during their junior year of high school, preferred their original compositions, the biggest and most ambitious of which were the potato songs.

    By the time we sat down, the band was finishing the last verse of “Gimme Three Steps” as the assembled girls clapped and whoo-whooed. Then there was a few seconds of practice chords, some conferring between Ted and Dexter, and then Dexter said, “We’re going to do an original song for you all now, an instant classic. Folks, this is ‘The Potato Song.’”

    More cheering from the girls, one of whom—a buxom redhead with broad shoulders I recognized from the perpetual lines for the ladies’ room—moved closer to the stage, so that she was practically at Dexter’s feet. He smiled down at her, politely.

    “I saw her in the produce section,” he began, “late last Saturday. It hadn’t been but seven days since she went away. . . .” Another loud whoop, from someone who was, apparently, already fond of “The Potato Song.” Good thing, I thought. There were dozens where that came from.

    “Once she’d loved my filet mignon, my carnivore inklings,” Dexter continued, “but now she was a vegan princess, living off of beans. She’d given up the cheese and bacon, sworn off Burger King, and when I wouldn’t do the same she gave me back my ring. I stood there by the romaine lettuce, feeling my heart pine”—and here he put a hand over his chest, and looked mournful, to which the crowd cheered—“wishing that this meatless beauty still would be all mine. She turned around to go to checkout, fifteen items or less. And I knew this was the last go-round, so this is what I said. . . .”

    He stopped here, letting the music build, and John Miller drummed a bit faster, the beat picking up. I could see some people in the crowd already mouthing the words.

    “Don’t you ever give me no rotten tomato, ’cause all I ever wanted was your sweet potato,” Dexter sang. “Mashed, whipped, creamed, smothered, chunked, and diced, anyway you fix it baby sure tastes nice.”

    “This is a song?” Jess asked me, but Lissa was laughing now, clapping along.

    “This is many songs,” I told her. “It’s an opus.”

    “A what?” she said, but I didn’t even repeat it, because now the song was reaching its climax, which was basically a recitation of every possible kind of vegetable. The crowd was shouting things out, and Dexter was singing hard, winding up the song: when they finished, with a crashing of cymbals, the crowd burst into loud applause. Dexter leaned into the microphone, said they’d be back in a few minutes, and then got down off the stage, grabbing a plastic cup off a speaker as he did so. I watched as the redheaded girl walked up to him, zeroing in, effectively cutting off his path as he started across the floor.

    “Ooh, Remy,” Chloe said, noticing this too, “your man has a groupie.”

    “He’s not my man,” I said, taking a sip of my beer.

    “Remy’s with the band,” Chloe told Jess, who snorted. “So much for that no-musicians rule. Next thing you know she’ll be on the bus and selling T-shirts in the parking lot, showing off her boobs to get in the stage door.”

    “At least she has boobs to show,” Jess said.

    “I have boobs,” Chloe said, pointing to her chest. “Just because they’re not weighing me down doesn’t mean they’re not substantial.”

    “Okay, B cup,” Jess said, taking a sip of her drink.

    “I have boobs!” Chloe said again, a bit too loudly—she’d already had a couple of minibottles at the Spot. “My boobs are great, goddammit. You know that? They’re fantastic! My boobs are amazing.”

    “Chloe,” I said, but of course then it was too late. Not only were two guys standing nearby now completely absorbed in checking out her chest, but Dexter was sliding in beside me, a bemused look on his face. Chloe flushed red—rare for her—while Lissa patted her sympathetically on the shoulder.

    “So it is true,” Dexter said finally. “Girls do talk about boobs when they’re in groups. I always thought so, but I never had proof.”

    “Chloe was just making a point,” Lissa explained to him.

    “Clearly,” Dexter said, and Chloe brushed a hand through her hair and turned her head, as if she was suddenly fascinated by the wall. “So anyway,” he said brightly, moving on, “‘The Potato Song’ really went over well, don’t you think?”

    “I do,” I said, moving in closer as he slid his arm around my waist. That was the thing about Dexter: he wasn’t totally touchy-feely, like Jonathan had been, but he had these signature moves that I liked. The hand around my waist, for one, but then there was this thing that made me crazy, the way he cupped his fingers around the back of my neck, putting them just so, so that his thumb touched a pulse point. It was so hard to explain, but it gave me a chill, every time, almost like he was touching my heart.

    I looked up and Chloe had her eye on me, vigilant as ever. I shook off these thoughts, quick, and finished my beer just as Ted came up.

    “Nice work on that second verse,” was the first thing he said, and not nicely, but in a sarcastic, snarky way. “You know, if you butcher the words you do the song a disservice.”

    “Butcher what words?” Dexter said.

    Ted sighed, loudly. “It’s not that she was a vegan princess, living off of beans. It’s she’s a vegan princess, living off beans.”

    Dexter just looked at him, completely nonplussed, as if he’d just given the weather report. Chloe said, “What’s the difference?”

    “The entire world is the difference!” Ted snapped. “Living off of beans is proper English, which brings with it the connotation of higher society, accepted standards, and the status quo. Living off beans, however, is reminiscent of a more slang culture, realistic, and a lower class, which is indicative of both the speaker in the song and the music that accompanies it.”

    “All this from one word?” Jess asked him.

    “One word,” Ted replied, dead serious, “can change the whole world.”

    There was a moment while we all considered this. Finally Lissa said to Chloe, loud enough for all of us to hear (she’d had a minibottle or two herself), “I bet he did really well on his SATs.”

    “Shhh,” Chloe said, just as loudly.

    “Ted,” Dexter said, “I hear what you’re saying. And I understand. Thanks for pointing out the distinction, and I won’t make the mistake again.”

    Ted just stood there, blinking. “Okay,” he said, somewhat uneasily. “Good. Well. Uh, I’m gonna go smoke.”

    “Sounds good,” Dexter said, and with that Ted walked away, cutting through the crowd toward the bar. A couple of girls standing by the door eyed him as he passed, nodding at each other. God, this band thing was sick. Some women had no shame.

    “Very impressive,” I said to Dexter.

    “I’ve had a lot of practice,” he explained. “You see, Ted is very passionate. And really, all he wants is to be heard. Hear him, nod, agree. Three steps. Easy cheesy.”

    “Easy cheesy,” I repeated, and then he slid his hand up to my neck, pressing his fingers just so, and I got that weird feeling again. This time, it wasn’t so easy to shake, and as Dexter moved closer to me, kissing my forehead, I closed my eyes and wondered how deep I’d let this get before ducking out. Maybe it wouldn’t be the whole summer. Maybe I needed to derail it sooner, to prevent a real crash in the end.

    “Paging Dexter,” a voice came from the front of the club. I looked up: it was John Miller, squinting in the house lights. “Paging Dexter. You are needed on aisle five for a price check.”

    The redheaded girl was back at the stage, right up close. She turned her head and followed John Miller’s gaze, right to us. To me. And I looked right back at her, feeling possessive suddenly of something that I wasn’t even sure I should want to claim as mine.

    “Gotta go,” Dexter said. Then he leaned into my ear and added, “Wait for me?”

    “Maybe,” I said.

    He laughed, as if this was a joke, and disappeared into the crowd. A few seconds later I watched him climb onstage, so lanky and clumsy: he tagged a speaker with one foot, sending it toppling, as he headed to the mike. One of his shoelaces, of course, was undone.

    “Oh, man,” Chloe said. She was looking right at me, shaking her head, and I told myself she was wrong, so wrong, even as she spoke. “You’re a goner.” ´?9²²±±±°° 7k+

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1453 Customer Reviews
    • Posted June 2, 2009

      more from this reviewer

      I Also Recommend:

      This Lullaby

      The book This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen is a heartfelt story about a young adult known as Remy. Remy has always had her fair share of boyfriends and step dads. She just finished high school and is ready to go to college clear across the country so she can escape her family. Remy was prepared to have a fun, free summer; but fate had a different plan for her. As she was helping her mother plan for her fifth wedding, she found a new boyfriend she was not expecting. Dexter teaches her how to love and he is the first boy she never had to give "the Speech" to.

      This is a book that girls can connect to, and they can understand how Remy feels about moving away and learning how to live life on her own. It also teaches you how you never can expect to find the perfect guy you have imagined in you mind. The perfect man does not look like a movie star or act like a gentlemen; it's a man that makes you happy when you are sad and dries your tears when you cry. Dexter is not like Remy's thoughts of a perfect man he is everything she did not want, but in the end he is everything she does.

      Sarah Dessen has written many books similar to This Lullaby. Sarah has written The Truth about Forever, and many other books in the Young Adult genre. She writes books that teenaged girls can understand and relate to. She also puts everyday things into situations that girls can relate to. Mrs. Dessen has been awarded many awards for her books. As fair back as Sarah can remember she has been writing. Now she is a professor at the University of North Carolina, where she teaches creative writing. She also lives in North Carolina with her loving husband.

      Sarah Dessen is a well known writer when it comes to young adults. She really captors the fascination with Remy's love life, and life in general; also with how Remy responds to things. This Lullaby is a book that almost every teenage girl will love.

      41 out of 43 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted November 29, 2008

      I Also Recommend:

      i really liked this book

      i liked this book because it's realistic. It's not one of those lovey dovy kind of books where prince charming comes and sweeps you off your feet and you immediatly fall in love. I think this is a book girls can relate too. i read this book in a couple of hours, it was that good. I really liked all the characters too. this book is funny and romantic. What more can you ask for?

      20 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted August 18, 2011

      I Also Recommend:

      loved it

      Fantastic Great read. I enjoyed every minute reading this.

      14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted November 26, 2008

      This Lullaby

      Sarah Desson's This Lullaby is all about believing in love. It's a story about an eighteen year old girl named Remy who doesn't believe in love and doesn't think it exists. The novel opens with Remy's mother getting married to her fifth husband, which explains her lack of belief in love. Even though she has been in multiple relationships, she's never actually been in love. Remy dates boys and then dumps them before she gets emotionally attached.<BR/>But one day at her step father's car dealership Remy runs into a guy named Dexter. She wants nothing to do with him but he is extremely determined to get to know Remy. Eventually the two get together, will the two find love or will she dump him before she gets attached?<BR/>This book would have to be my favorite by Sarah Desson. She is such an amazing author that gets into all her characters. They are very developed and unique. I love all her books because they are very relatable. Everything her characters go through, I went through or I'm currently going throught them. It's a must read for all teen!

      13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted November 5, 2010

      I absolutely loved this book!

      This was an awesome book! I absolutely loved Dexter! He seems like such a clutzy person but so sweet and funny. ANd i love the way Remy ust completely denies Dexter at first but as she begins to see him she starts to like him even more. This is probably one of my favorite romance book novels! (besides the truth about forever and along for the ride both by Sarah Dessen!)

      8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted July 25, 2009

      What is there not to love about about any Sarah Dessen book?

      This Lullaby is definitely one of my favorite books of all time. I have read it several times and I am never disappointed with Sarah Dessen. She has a great understanding of teens and the troubles of growing up. Remy is a girl who is reluctant to fall in one because of her unstable parent figures. Dexter is a charming boy with a band and Remy wants nothing to do with her despite Dexter's best efforts. One of my favorite parts in this book is probably the band members and all their shenanigans. The eating contests never fail, i laugh every time. This book, and really all of Sarah's books are so relatable to every person. If you have not read all her books I urge you to go read them. I am positive that they will not disappoint.

      6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted March 14, 2012

      This Lullaby, by Sarah Dessen is a really good book, it was so g

      This Lullaby, by Sarah Dessen is a really good book, it was so good I finished reading it in 12 hours!! This book is a book about a girl named Remy whose dad left her mom before she was even born. When he found out he had a daughter he wrote her a lullaby, and he is very famous for it. He died before he could even meet her and tell her he loves her. Now she doesn&rsquo;t trust any guy in a long relationship, or a guy who is a musician like her dad, Will that change when she meets a boy named Dexter, a musician and a guy who is not up to her standards? Read this book to find out.

      3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted April 16, 2009

      more from this reviewer

      I Also Recommend:

      Not My Favorite...

      Out of all the books i've read by Sarah Dessen this is my least favorite...I don't know why...I mean I love this book but I don't know...

      I think its cuz the ends leves you wanting to know what was going to happen after the story...if you read the book you would know what i'm talking about...

      It's about a girl who doesn't belive in love...who then meets a boy...

      All in all I liked it...i'd recommend it to my friends...GO READ IT!!!

      3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted May 5, 2010

      more from this reviewer

      I Also Recommend:

      Good book, but...

      It was a tad boring. I mean the characters, like the characters in most of Sarah Dessen's books, were lively. They were unique and all different and quirky. But Remy's character was a little annoying for me at times, and sometimes the story could get quite predictable. There was a point where I started reading another book because this one was getting dull. You just knew in the end they were going to end up together, no matter what. It seemed like a pointless read, I'd give it a six out of ten.

      2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted June 1, 2009

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      Loved It!!

      This book by Sarah Dessen was really good. It taught a great lesson about finding love and incorporated it into real family situations. It captured how life really is. The characters were likeable and very believable. I recommend this book to people looking for guidance in what love really is or for those who just enjoy a good read.

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted April 8, 2014

      Anonymous

      This book is wonderful, i love the dramatic turns and twists throughout the book. The comedy in this book makes it a funny book but also it has serious parts to it that definitly make it a funny yet serious book. I would reccomend this book to pre teens and teens. Read this book i definitly recomend this book.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 13, 2013

      Remey

      This book i think was a great read. Remey is a girl that i think doesnt know for sure how to deal with certain thing and i think this can relate to a lot of girls lives... and personally i just love it

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 27, 2012

      ???

      Is this book good? I just finished reading dreamland by sarah dessen and I absolutly loved it :')

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 12, 2012

      Best of Sarah Dessen

      This Lullaby has always been my favorite from Sarah. I love Remy and how she isn't the typical lead female character, and Dexter is so lovable in his own way. The characterization and emotions are realistic and relatable and the story keeps you hooked from beginning to end.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted April 11, 2012

      OMG!!!

      I loved this book. It was funny, exciting, heartfelt, and sad. I would read it again!

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted April 2, 2012

      So adorable!!!!

      I fell in love with Dexter!!!!:) Reminds me of my best friend!!!!!<3

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 7, 2012

      Stargazer

      Remy is a girl who doesnt belive in love. She has had her fair share of boyfriends and her mom has had plenty of husbands. She meets Dexter and her beflief in love is still the same untill after the breakup. She relizes that two people dont have to be perfect together or be exactly their type......their can be some differences

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted September 22, 2010

      more from this reviewer

      Fast Read

      I really enjoyed this book!

      1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted June 9, 2010

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      My fav book by sarah dessen

      Well I love that it's about 2 people that can relate to each other but are complete opposites. But you know what they say opposites attract. This is obviously a love story because almost all stories are. You can disagree but name one book that didn't have a couple in love. Or one night flings or something like that. When Dexter and Remy meet there's an instant connection between them which is not only cute but well magical I guess you can say. I won't tell you anymore but if you realize you want to know more READ THE BOOK I'm 100% sure you'll love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know I did

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted July 25, 2009

      more from this reviewer

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      one of my favorites

      this lullaby was one of my favorite books that ive read. it was very realistic and easy to read. i absolutely loved all the characters! it had my attention throughout the entire book. never a dull moment. must read! sarah dessen is truly a great author.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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