This Lullaby & Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

29918251Published: May 27th, 2002 by: Speak 

Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Format: ebook Source: Library

My Rating: 3 Stars 3STAR

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When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn’t mess around. After all, she’s learned all there is to know from her mother, who’s currently working on husband number five. But there’s something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy’s rules. He certainly doesn’t seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can’t seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy’s starting to understand what those love songs are all about?


My Thoughts

I can totally see why a lot of Dessen fans love this book. I, however, wasn’t that thrilled with it. My lack of enthusiasm comes from not liking Remy. Like, at all. And then there’s Dexter. I’m not a cynic, but he is just too darn cheery and forward for me. He reminds me a lot of Theo from The Moon and More. I wanted to love this, but there was way too much playing hard-to-get from Remy. She is not one to be falling in love, if her mother is to go by. Dexter comes in and is relentless. That’s really all there is to it.

The Lullaby aspect comes from her absent, musician father – who wrote her a song. She’s really messed up when it comes to opening up to love because of her parents. Her mom is on hubby number 5, so you can understand her hesitance. Which is all that I understood from this story. Everything else was pretty much boring work. Remy just isn’t a Dessen protagonist that I love. Clearly I’m on my own here, but you may totally love this book. Everyone else does. Recommended.



30068315Published: September 1st, 2000 by: Speak

Genres: YA, Contemporary, Abuse, Realistic Fiction

Format: ebook Source: Library

My Rating: 4 Stars four-star-rating-black-md

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Wake up, Caitlin

Ever since she started going out with Rogerson Biscoe, Caitlin seems to have fallen into a semiconscious dreamland where nothing is quite real. Rogerson is different from anyone Caitlin has ever known. He’s magnetic. He’s compelling. He’s dangerous. Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else–her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lackluster life. But what happens when being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him?


My Thoughts

Show of hands, who remembers Rogerson from Lock & Key? He was just the looser sitting around at Perkin’s Day at the time. I should have known he’d have his own story. Listen up, this book is for all parents/guardians to give to their teen daughters, and advise them that whatever is in this book, is WHAT NOT TO DO. There is lots of abuse, and even though the abuser gets abused too, it is no excuse. He, of all people knows how it feels to get hit for no reason. OMG, this story almost caused apoplexy. I loved it because it is not what the title suggests. Dreamland is for Caitlin and her runaway sister, Cass. The fallout behind Cass causes Caitlin to want to break free and do what she wants. Yet, we have another parent invested too much in the absent child, and not enough in the present one. Caitlin meets Rogerson and she starts abusing drugs and alcohol, and then that first slap comes. Then the punches. And Caitlin can’t walk away or tell anyone. She fears making him angry. She wants her mom to “SEE” her. Her best friend notices the most changes in her, but Caitlin refuses to bend. It. Is. Disturbing. 

I love that Dessen wrote a book that centers around a teen in an abusive relationship. Remember, this is what not to do. I could say Caitlin pissed me off, but she was just a lost girl and I don’t do victim blaming. Hell, there are grown women who can’t get out of abusive relationships, and Caitlin is only 16. Caitlin’s emotions were very realistic, and I was very much scared for her. If you are able to tackle hard subjects like abuse – both drugs/alcohol & physical – then you may want to brave this book. Another Dessen favorite for my contemporary YA shelf. Recommended!


Also by this author: Saint Anything | Lock and Key | What Happened To Goodbye | The Truth About Forever | Keeping the Moon | Along for the Ride | The Moon and More


22 thoughts on “This Lullaby & Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

  1. So it turns out that my amazon order messed up and instead of getting Just Listen and This Lullaby in the end I got Just Listen and another YA book by another author >.> But I’m just going to leave things the way they are and read Just Listen. You’ve got me in the mood for trying Dessen books again! I’m glad Dreamland could be a good read for you 😀


  2. This Lullaby was my least favorite book by SD and it was all because of Remy, too. I didn’t care for her one bit! Dreamland doesn’t sound like anything I’d like either. I don’t like books with alcohol & substance abuse, and self-destructive behavior. Wonderful reviews, Lekeisha! 🙂


  3. Great reviews! I am seriously loving all your Dessen ♥

    Dreamland sounds really good — definitely adding to my TBR


  4. She has so many books I can’t keep them straight but I don’t think I read either of these yet. I love that you are reading and reviewing so many of her books though. I have lots of them on my shelves to read still.


  5. I really need to read Dessen soon! I even met her at a book signing and have a signed copy of Saint Anything somewhere around here begging to be read. My daughter actually has quite a few of her books so I may need to grab one off of her shelf soon. Great reviews!


  6. This Lullaby was my favorite by Dessen, so I’m sad that it’s not one you loved. I wonder how I’d feel about her books now though. I was very new to YA when I read her books.
    I haven’t read Dreamland, but wow that relationship does sound messed up. I like that she tackled an abusive relationship too. I’ll have to add it to my TBR.
    Great reviews!


    • I think if Remy had been a little more open up front, I probably would have enjoyed it more. Dreamland will most likely make you very angry and scream at someone, but I really love the way Dessen fleshed out Caitlin’s character. There were moments when I didn’t even think it would end well.


  7. When I was younger Sarah Dessen was apart of the group of authors I’d frequent (along with Meg Cabot, Susane Colasanti, Lauren Barnholdt, Sarah Ockler, Laura Ruby etc.). I had to have read all of her older books, but interestingly enough I never got Dreamland. Although Just Listen will always be my favorite Sarah Dessen novel, I have to admit Dreamland sounds like a novel I should visit (even though I don’t read this kind of YA often anymore) soon. Your review is great!


  8. She doesn’t seem to write to formula. These are two very different stories for sure.
    I tend to get impatient with the ‘cold’ heroines that put up walls like your first one, but I can feel sorry for those like your second one that are so vulnerable and confused that bad situations are tough to get out


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