Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

Published: May 11th, 2011
Publisher: Puffin
Rating: YA 14+
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed from School Library
Part of: Sarah Dessen Week

Wake up, Caitlin 

Ever since she started going out with Rogerson Biscoe, Caitlin seems to have fallen into a semiconscious dreamland where nothing is quite real. Rogerson is different from anyone Caitlin has ever known. He's magnetic. He's compelling. He's dangerous. Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else-her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lackluster life. But what happens when being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him?

Note: Includes spoilers and a little bit of ranting.

Sarah Dessen never ceases to surprise me. Dreamland has been the most emotional Sarah Dessen book I've read so far. Caitlin, the main character has such amazing description, we get to know her so well. Her emotions play of between doing what's right and wrong. Dessen's work for this book is compelling, heartbreaking and instantly-grabbing, and looks at very realistic issues going on everyday: Drug Abuse and Relationship Violence.
I have to say this, because it's so true. I HATED Rogerson from the moment he was introduced. He's very different from other Dessen boys. Not very attractive or appealing to me I must say. Ughh. I can't believe I actually felt sorry for that creep. I still shudder when I think about him. I actually wanted to stop reading, but I felt so sorry for Caitlin and I HAD to find out what happens in the end!

It was an interesting opening to the story. It jumps right into action when Caitlin's sister, Cass goes missing on her birthday. I really love how nothing in this book is ever quite boring, ever chapter has some sort of event or deep emotion which never makes this book dull! The only thing though was that we never really got to find out more about Caitlin's friend Rina, which usually, the besties in Dessen books are quite involved in the plot. She is, but not majorly, but that's one of the things which makes this book different (in a good way) from the others. 
I find the whole drug thing pretty overused in this book. I mean, WHY does she have to take it? It seriously doesn't make any sense...or does it? I mean I get it, she has a whole load of worries in her life, her sister's runaway, her mom's desolate and trying to fill up the Cass-less life with something else, but I think that taking drugs?? So not the solution. But it does show the aftermath and all that, so lessons are to be learned :)

Violence in Realtionships is another. Why can't she just TELL? I mean, seriously I wouldn't even want to be with a guy like that, even if he does try to make it up to me. I seriously wanted to slap her into her senses. Yell in her face. ANYTHING to wake her up from "Dreamland".
I love how the book is titled as "Dreamland" has such different meanings in this book. Her mom has a thing where she says when they're going to bed, "see you in Dreamland". Dreamland could also be the fact that Caitlin feels not really there when she's with Rogerson. It could be that everything real is actually slipping away and she doesn't know what going to happen, everything takes course of a dream. Pretty interesting in what you can take from a title right?
Another thing. When I was reading this book, the Beatles song (actually...the Bono version from Across the Universe [movie]) of "I am the Walrus" ran through my head over and over again. It's that whole psychedelic thing with drug abuse and the perception of reality not really intact. Just something I wanted to mention

Overall, Dreamland was emotionally depressing (in a good way) so if you're looking for something with more depth or feeling, this is THE book for you. Intense and hopeful, it'll keep you engrossed in the book from beginning to end.

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  1. Great look at teen relationship problems/situations. New look at what victims of domestic violence need to remember and to do, the girl in this book shys away and avoids help all because she thinks she has no one to turn to. It reminds readers that you always need to be there for somebody and know that there is always someone to go to.

  2. great riview,,i never hear about sarah dessen books before, but putting it in my TBR,,,


  3. Sarah Dessen is one of my favourite authors of YA contemporary and I like how she explores different problems that teenagers face. I have read a few YA novels dealing with relationship abuse and I think this one is told the most realistically. I do feel, however, the same as you regarding her leaving the relationship, but people always say it's harder said than done when you are in that situation. Anyway, great review!


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