Saturday, November 13, 2010

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

I was excited to read this book after it pulled #10 on Persnickety Snark's Top 100 YA Novels earlier this year. 

It was our YA Book Club selection last month, so I dutifully read it.  However, if it was not required reading, there's a good chance I would not have read past page 100.  Remy is our main character, and the girl likes to cuss, drink (illegally), have premarital sex, and use the Lord's Name in vain.  I knew that Remy changed in the novel, and we're supposed to see an improved version of her by the end, so I kept reading.

She did have some positive changes; I'll give her that.  In fact, my problem is less with Remy and more with Sarah Dessen.

Another blogger wrote that she "regularly recommends Dessen's novels to her middle school students."  Here is the response I left her:

"My hesitation for recommending Dessen to middle schoolers is her inclusion of under-age drinking/partying (in many of her books) and drug-use (in 'Lock and Key'). At least the drug-use is cast in a negative light, but the underage drinking is written about in a way that shows it to be a normal activity for teens. I personally feel that Dessen is condoning the behavior, and may even be encouraging or promoting it as well."

Now that I've read 'This Lullaby' I stand behind that comment even more.