This lullaby

Sarah dessen

Genre: Novel

Setting: The fictional town of Lakeview; early 2000s

Character List: Remy Starr, Dexter Jones, Chris Starr, Barbara Starr, Jennifer Anne Baker, Don Davis, Jess, Lissa, Chloe, John Miller, Ted, Lucas, "Perfect" Paul, and Patty.

Protagonist: Remy

Antagonists: Remy, Barbara (Remy's mom)

Characterization: Remy: The protagonist of the novel, but also an antagonist because of her ongoing internal conflict with love and compassion. Throughout most of the novel, she is resistant about falling in love, but Dexter is able to change her attitude completely when she realizes they truly do love eachother. She is newly graduated from High School and attending Stanford University in the fall. Her father left before her mother knew she was pregnant with her. She has a negative opinion about love in general, because every experience she has with love has ended in failure, including her mother's numerous marriages. Her past included drinking heavily and sleeping around, but claims to have changed her senior year of high school (before the novel begins). Her attitude towards life is cynical, and cold.

Dexter: Lead singer of the band Truth Squad. He meets Remy at his uncle's (Remy's soon-to-be step-father's) car dealership where he literally bumps into her. He claims to feel a connection between them instantly. After several failed attempts and rejections, he finally manages to get Remy to agree to date him. Dexter is obsessed with posing "challenges" for himself and others, including making another band member eat 10 bananas in one sitting. He is a kindhearted, funny, talented, and incredibly clumsy person.

Barbara: This is Remy's mother. She is also a famous author. Barbara is a second antagonist, because her numerous failed marriages have made Remy believe that love doesn't exist and gave her a completely negative outlook about love. But Barbara herself, believes that love is a beautiful thing, and still has complete faith in it, even after her several failed marriages.

Chris: Chris is Remy's brother. He was a juvenile delinquent until he met and fell in love with his girlfriend, Jennifer Anne. He works at the local Jiffy Lube, and breeds lizards in his free time. His character doesn't develop much through the novel, except he and Jennifer Anne get engaged near the end.

Jennifer Anne: Chris' girlfriend, and at the end, fiancee. She is described as blonde and petite, but also highly uptight and annoying in Remy's opinion. She is seen as a perfectionist, and is the only character to refer to Chris as "Christopher," which Remy hates as well.

Don: Remy's 5th stepfather. Barbara claims that "this marriage is different," and that it will be permanent. Remy and Chris both highly dislike his bachelor-type habits, such as graphic portraits and statues placed around the house. Don also ends up having an affair with his receptionist after his marriage to Barbara.

Jess: She is Remy's oldest and closest friend, although Remy is sure to not let them become too close. She is a lot like Remy, in that they are both very emotionless, and seem to be more comfortable in situations where they are alone. But, as where Remy still attempts to date, Jess avoids dating at all costs.

Paul: He is Remy's new boyfriend after she and Dexter break up. Their relationship began as a blind date, but Remy deemed him "perfect" almost immediately. She soon realizes that Paul is not as perfect as she thought, and this is how she realizes she is truly in love with Dexter.

Symbolism: The song that Remy's father wrote for her the day she was born, entitled "This Lullaby" - Remy feels like this song symbolizes her entire life, since she tends to hear it at many critical moments in her life. The song also symbolizes the absence of her father.

Allusions: There are a few allusions to characters present in other Sarah Dessen novels, such as, Scarlett, the manager of Jump Java in This Lullaby, along with Just Listen, and Someone Like You.

Imagery: The way Remy describes the small details of everything in her life, makes the novel so much more realistic. For instance, the way she describes how Jennifer Anne meticulously cleans her house, especially her dishes.

Flashbacks: When Remy is dropped off at Bendo, a local nightclub, and begins to look back on the first High School party she went to, and the way it changed her. She describes how she was pressured into an uncomfortable situation, and let an older guy take advantage of her. This only worsened her opinion about love, and began her phase of partying and sleeping around.

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