Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Posted by Angie
Some people love her, some people hate her. After having read three of her books in row, I guess that I kind of fall in the middle. Will I eagerly await her newest book with fangirl adoration? Probably not, but if I came across one of her books on sale I'd probably pick it up, especially if I had heard good things about it. So, without further ado, here are my reviews for Dreamland, The truth about Forever, and This Lullaby.
This Lullaby. Remy is a girl with a past - she knows the rules, she knows how long relationships are supposed to last, and most importantly she knows how to break things off before they get too "intense". She's learned it all from her five-time divorcee mother. Then Remy meets Dexter. He's not like any of her past boyfriends - messy, disorganized, clumsy, and a musician like her deadbeat father. But when breaking up with him breaks her heart, she discovers that maybe she doesn't know all the rules after all.
Reader's review: My favorite of these three books was undoubtedly Dreamland. I felt like I could connect to Caitlin's character, heck I imagined that if I had been in her situation as a teen, I easily could have fallen into the same trap. The tension building up into the last scene with Rogerson was incredible. Dreamland made me cry at the end, but then I cry easily with books. Still it was the best of the three.
The Truth About Forever gave me much the same feeling, I could relate to the main character and her reaction to her father's death was very believable. I loved the characters in this book - Kristy was unique - I wanted her as a best friend - and Wes was just...*sigh* We should all get to have a Wes at some point in our lives. Overall, a very nice story with memorable characters.
This Lullaby was definitely my least favorite, and it's probably because I had a hard time relating to the MC who despite being incredibly smart spent much of her time hanging out in bars and had lots of experience. I know that some teens do hang out in bars, and drink a lot, and have that sort of a past, but I personally just had a hard time relating to it. It felt like not just Remy but all her friends, behaved as if they were 20 instead of 18 - I'm not sure how to explain this except to say that it just "felt" that way. The one thing I did like about TL was the ending where Remy comes to understand her mother better. I won't say anything more about that, just that it was a nice, tidy closure to that story arc that was really well done.
The Truth About Forever 4.
This Lullaby 3.
Writer's review: One thing I've come to find about Sarah Dessen is her reliability. All of her books begin very slow and build up gradually. If I hadn't heard such good things about her books, I probably would have put them all down - they were that slow and there's a lot of backstory given in all of them in the first few chapters. But, as I said, once you get past that then the stories really do shine. All of Dessen's characters felt unique; all had their own little quirks - like the way Caitlin's mother collected dolls or the way Delia from TTAF kept saying 'please God, I'm begging you' (I really loved Delia). And aside from Wes, the love interests didn't have the stereotypical 'good looking, hot guy' thing going for them. The writing in all three books was really beautiful and there were some moments of introspection where I was really in awe. The only place where this bothered me was in This Lullaby because it seemed to occur at the end of every chapter, and the book itself just wasn't serious enough to warrant that extent of deep thinking. Since all of the books fit the same mold, I'm giving all of them the same writing score of 4.
Labels: Book reviews ·