This is only the second time I was not feeling a Dessen book, and man this book had me rage screaming while hiking with my friend this weekend. At least I made her laugh when I was recounting some of the crap this book is full of. We have slut shaming, a boy that ignores what the heroine asks, ie (tries to force feed her cake at one point), underage drinking to the point I checked to make sure none of these fools was over the age of 21), no understanding of relationships, emotions, and oh can I say again, the slut-shaming?
What really shocks me is that this book came out after "Dreamland" which was so good and really got into teen physical abuse. I don't know what this book was trying to showcase. That assholes are people too? I don't know.
"This Lullaby" follows Remy. Remy is in the midst of dumping her boyfriend and trying to organize her mother's fifth wedding. The way that Dessen rights Remy you think she was a hard talking 20 something year old. But nope, she's 18 in this book. She and her friends have just graduated high school and Remy starts at Stanford in August. So she wants to get her mother married and be off with no worries about leaving anyone behind. Of course that all changes when she meets no boundaries at all Dexter. Dexter decides after seeing Remy at a car dealership that she's a challenge and he is going to wear her down so she will date him.
There is nothing at all charming about Dexter. For most of this book I found him insufferable. And Remy is just a straight up asshole towards him, her mother, her brother, her friends, and even the guys she dates. But I am supposed to someone get that Dexter found Remy and let her see that it's okay to be in love. Man I wish this book had been different.
Dexter is a musician in his 20s and he and his friends travel around doing odd jobs while trying to make it. I didn't see the charm in them and their whole deal. Heck, I was waiting for the moment I was supposed to care about any of them. All of the secondary characters in this one were sketched so thin it was unreal. As much as Remy talks about her friends, they felt like they were barely in this book.
Remy has rules about getting involved with a guy. Keep things distant, don't fall in love cause love isn't real, and just dump with no regrets. I definitely see why she was that way, but I think that Dessen tried to handwave away too many things that are revealed about Remy. And I hate that Remy and her friends considered her a slut for sleeping with so many guys. And oh cause she was hot, it's kind of understood that is just the way things happen? I don't know. The whole book was so odd and off-putting. I really just had it when Remy and her friends try to convince her she's in love with Dexter and that's just cause she never sleeps with him.
I was really happy to see the end of this book.