Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
Released: May 11th 2004
Details: 250 pages, paperback
Series: No
Disclosure: Bought on
Summary (goodreads):
Strange, sleepy Rogerson, with his long brown dreads and brilliant green eyes, had seemed to Caitlin to be an open door. With him she could be anybody, not just the second-rate shadow of her older sister, Cass. But now she is drowning in the vacuum Cass left behind when she turned her back on her family's expectations by running off with a boyfriend. Caitlin wanders in a dream land of drugs and a nightmare of Rogerson's sudden fists, lost in her search for herself.
Why do so many girls allow themselves to get into abusive relationships--and what keeps them there? In this riveting novel, Sarah Dessen searches for understanding and answers. Caught in a trap that is baited with love and need, Caitlin must frantically manage her every action to avoid being hit by the hands that once seemed so gentle. All around her are women who care--best friends, mother, sister, mentor--but shame keeps her from confiding in any of them, especially Cass, her brilliant older sister, whose own flight from home had seemed to point the way.

Caitlin wakes up on the morning of her birthday to find that her older sister Cass has ran away from home. And from there, things go downhill. Caitlin doesn't know what to do with herself, she witnesses her parents falling apart and her mom doing crazy thing after crazy thing to hide the hurt. Caitlin herself tries not to fall into the mold of her older sister and tries to do things Cass wouldn't do... like join cheerleading. Her mom starts treating Caitlin the way she treated Cass, always involved in her activies, always invovled in every single move of her life. Then she meets Rogerson who people have "heard" about. She doesn't care about the rumors, just the way he makes her feel.

I was attracted to this book because of the fact that it delt with abusive relationships, which is something I am extremely interested in. The book doesn't start off that way, of course. It tells you about Caitlin and her family's struggles everyday, how she tries to cope with the loss of her sister in her life and about her relationship with Rogerson that doesn't really make any sense. The abuse comes out of nowhere, but I guess that's much like real life. And of course, after that first strike, the ones after it come much easier. Caitlin starts staying away from her friends, making up lies, covering herself with clothes that don't show any skin and hiding brusises. In a story like this, you end up frustrated with the character, wondering why they don't just leave. Especially when they're well aware that the relationship they're in is wrong. But you can't help but feel bad for Caitlin, with all she's going through.

I want to say I liked this book, but I guess I just expected a little more from it. Either way, it's a book well worth reading.


  1. Sarah Dessen is an awesome realistic fiction writer. Great review!

  2. Really awesome review! I read this awhile ago and I remember liking it. (:

    Oh and congrats on hitting 100 followers!!

  3. Hey Marie! I gave you an award on my site! Check it out. click here

  4. I recently just bought a lot of Sarah Dessen books, Dreamland among them, cant't wait to start :D