I picked up This Lullaby desperately needing to immerse myself back into the Young Adult genre. Sarah Dessen, though sticking to a rather predictable formula, nevertheless manages to stun audiences every time, using her words and characters to weave together the best aspects of the Young Adult Contemporary genre. With a Dessen novel, I can always expect a realistic protagonist, one whose flaws are even more obvious than her strengths; a swoon-worthy love interest who never "heals" the heroine, but merely helps her reach the stage where she can "heal" herself; strong female friendships with meaningful conversations; and complex familial ties. In all these aspects, This Lullaby did not disappoint in the least.
The characters in Sarah Dessen’s This Lullaby are fabulous! Remy’s sarcasm. Dexter’s lovable incompetence. And about a thousand hilarious details (from her stepfather’s home décor to the thousand hazards of a Zip Coke). The entire story was a blast! I kept having flashbacks to one of my favorite contemporary novels of all time, Life Without Friends by Ellen Emmerson White. If you enjoy either one, I highly recommend the other.
In the , there is a rich collection of traditional lullabies, known as "tharaattu Pattu". One of the most famous is "", written and composed by poet lyricist Iravi Varman Thampi who is widely known as . This lullaby was written for the queen of to sing to her son young prince , who later became the king and a famous musician (composed many in a commonly known as Sankarabharanam).
There were plenty of surprises within the story, and even a few within the main plot, though I have to say that it is just a straight up romance novel for teens. Dessen also sprinkles in some surprising characters and seems to give every relationship the attention it needs to seem real. The relationship between the band is especially good. They bicker like brothers, and each one of them seemed to have their own unique quirk which never took away from the story. The idea of the Lullaby is clever. “This Lullaby” is a song that was written for Remy by her father the day that she was born. She never met her father and he died of a heart attack when she was young (don’t worry this is found out within the first couple pages). The lullaby, though Remy claims to hate it, actually works to sooth her and eventually works in favor of her accepting love.
"Spi, Janíčku, spi" ("Sleep, Johny, sleep") – This playful lullaby was collected in by (1804–1868), a priest and an activist of Czech national revival. He collected songs in Moravia and as well as in Slavic villages in . This lullaby uses a specific name of the child, Janíček, a familiar form of the very common male name Jan. Nonsense is employed here, as the boy is promised not only a green and a red apple but also a blue one if he falls asleep.
I do hope her other stories live up to how good This Lullaby is.
"Ukolébavka" ("Lullaby") – This lullaby was published in 1633 in The Informatorium of the School of Infancy by (1592–1670). The book is likely to be the first treatise on the development and educating infants and children up to six in the family. Comenius stressed among other things the necessity of sensory and emotional stimuli at an early age. Thus, he included for mothers and nurses the Czech text and the score of the originally German lullaby by 16th century preacher Mathesius.
"Halí, dítě" ("Hullee, baby") – This lullaby was collected by (1837–1906), pedagogue and ethnographer who collected Moravian songs. The second line says the carer will leave after the child falls asleep, but in the third line we learn that only to the garden in the valley to pick raspberries.
Nose in a Book: Review: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
"Are You Sleeping?" (Frère Jacques)
Performed by: The Wiggles
Source: Heavenly Harpist
Are you sleeping, are you sleeping? Brother John, Brother John? Morning bells are ringing, Morning bells are ringing, Ding Ding Dong, Ding Ding Dong.
In This Lullaby, the voice is that of Remy Starr, who at the age of 18 has already given up on love as an absolute,… I guess with a mother who’s at her 5th marriage and a father she has never seen, most 18-year-olds would be as skeptic about love as she is. The lullaby of the title is the only thing Remy has left of her dead father: a hit single all those years ago, the type of song you hear covered (badly) at weddings, or which you hear on the radio and feel slightly nostalgic about. In the summer between the end of high school and the beginning of a new life at Stanford, Remy meets Dexter, the messy musician who will shake things up for her. The question of this in-between time is whether Dexter will just be another guy for Remy, someone who she can turn away the moment things might get serious, or whether the girl who hates people smoking or eating in her car, will buy plastic ware for a boy.
This Lullaby - Sarah Dessen | medicine for the soul | Pinterest
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"
Performed by Judy Garland
Source: AZ Lyrics
Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high, There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby. Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.
Someday I'll wish upon a star, And wake up where the clouds are far, Behind me. Where troubles melt like lemon drops, Away above the chimney tops, That's where you'll find me.
Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly, Birds fly over the rainbow. Why then, oh, why can't I?
If happy little bluebirds fly, Beyond the rainbow, why, oh, why can't I?