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Sarah Dessen
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  57,199 ratings  ·  3,292 reviews
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 Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else--her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lack
Published February 1st 2002 by Turtleback Books (first published September 1st 2000)
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Jul 14, 2014 Cara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sarah Dessen fans
Recommended to Cara by: Ash
Is there another word for heartbreaking? One that really can sum up feeling totally drained, broken, but at the same time hopeful? If the word does exist, that's this book in a nutshell.

While reading this I literally cringed and would slap the book shut, but a couple seconds later I would open it again to see what happens to a girl named Caitlin. She never feels like she measures up to her sister Cass, and in turn that leads her to trouble. And that trouble is named Rogerson (this is random but
There is something to be said for authors that refuse to write the "Hollywood ending." They believe in their stories enough to write characters that need more than a big screen smooch to resolve their conflicts. Instead, these authors take the chance of writing an extended resolution, arguing, I imagine, that it takes time to resolve the problems people have. I would argue that novels that have a strong sense of resolution, something more than the sum of its tied-up-loose-ends, make a more endur ...more
Aug 19, 2007 Sookie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ages 16+
Dreamland is about a girl named Caitlin. The books starts with her older sister, Cassandra, running away-which leaves Caitlin's family situation in chaos, and also leaves Caitlin to fill her "perfect" sister's place. She joins the cheerleading squad and starts to date a jock-the whole prep girl routine. But that abruptly ends when she meets a bad-boy named Rogerson.

This book was amazingly written-just like Sarah Dessen's other book (that I've read) This Lullaby.
But it's so different. Dreamland i
Pre-read: Yeah, I'm re-reading this book for this year because apparently I'm on a Sarah Dessen kick from my library. I'm really looking forward to it.

Post-read: Dude, I'm still shaking even after I've turned the final page. Much of "Dreamland" hit spot on with respect to the feelings of isolation that Caitlyn felt with things going on with her family and friend circles, and the abuse she suffered just catapulted that strife into the stratosphere.

I really appreciated the chance to re-read this.
TW: physical and emotional abuse.

Definitely feel like my heart was ripped out of my chest. Definitely was not prepared?! I knew it was going to be darker, but WOWZA. Very well written and so heartbreaking. I don't know how else to review it or to add on to that. Just... Brace yourself, and don't be afraid to give yourself a break and eat some pizza and watch something funny/uplifting while you're reading this one. It's an important one, though. Definitely. I'm glad that there are authors out th
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Like Caitlin, my emotions are all out of whack. If I’m not careful, I may even resort to sucking my thumb, screaming at random times and intervals, rolling around on the grass, flopping on my bed, or sticking my feet up in the air and playing dead. It’s really hard to say what I might do, and if I tried to pin it down, my response would be filled with conjecture, and I prefer to deal in facts.

The fact is I hated this novel. Hated it with a passion, because it discussed abuse, and I prefer to loo
*This review (and more) can also be found on my blog: The Humble Watermelon*

What makes Sarah Dessen's books so special is the fact that you feel like you can actually relate to the characters. Also, the plots are almost always the same, complete with a girl, a boy, and some romance, and the main character always has some kind of emotionally damaging problem they have to deal with, but it never seems repetitive.

Dreamland was haunting. It was disturbing. Not words you usually associate with Desse
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm on my post-final YA fiction binge and working my way through the roommate's Sarah Dessen books. This one was, in my opinion, sadly lacking. Dessen gets into the head of an abused girlfriend very well, and the slow slide into an abusive relationship is believable. However, we never find out why her boyfriend was abusing her, leaving him to be a one-dimensional 'bad boy' and the circumstances around their relationship remained shallow. I don't have much patience for people who are too weak to ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Dec 21, 2012 Christina (A Reader of Fictions) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers sick of sweetie pie bad boys
Whoa. This was different. I've read two Dessen books prior to this one, Just Listen and This Lullaby. I very much enjoyed both of them, and, based on my experiences with them, I cataloged Sarah Dessen's fiction as intermediate contemporaries, balancing dark issues with optimism and sweet romance. Thus, I found the fact that they repackaged all of her books to look like shiny, happy summer reads odd. Well, it's odder still, since Dreamland is dark all the way through, depressing almost in its ent ...more
Before this book, I'd only read one other book by Sarah Dessen--Lock and Key. And while it was a pretty decent read, I wasn't sure what the whole fuss over Sarah Dessen was about. And now I totes do!

I didn't really know much about the novel before reading it...besides for it involving dating abuse. And I kind of love 'issue' novels, so this one sounded right up my alley. And it was!

The story starts off with the the MC Caitlin's sister Cass running away on her (Caitlin's) sixteenth birthday. Cass
I actually enjoyed this book a great deal. It's a bit heavier in theme than most of Dessen's work, which I enjoyed, as it fit her tone well. But I wish she would stop writing cautionary tale-type fare; it's unfair to the target readers. Time and time again Dessen's stories don't stand on their own but instead as lessons to young girls to be good, that "bad boys" lead to trouble, that drinking leads to bad decision-making, that sex is not without its punishments, that generally boys know best.

I l
This is the first Dessen book that actually really enjoyed. I have read Just Listen and Lock and Key and while I liked them I thought the plot tended to drag a lot. While with Dreamland I found it interesting and entertaining from start to finish.

There is no doubt that Dessen has beautiful prose. Some times a little too wordy for my liking but definitely thoughtful and gorgeous writing.

The characters were well developed and likeable. I even had a bit of a crush on bad boy Rogerson at the beginn
Susane Colasanti
This is probably my favorite Sarah Dessen book!
Cienne Olaes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kit Kat
Although I enjoyed reading a lot of Sarah Dessen's books, most of them are completely alike just with different characters and different scenarios.
Most of her books start like this:

1) Girl has family problem. (Divorce, death of a loved one, moving to a new place etc.)

2) Girl goes to party/school and meets boy.

3) Girl and boy "feel" a connection.

4) Girl and boy have fight.

5) Girl and boy break up.

6) Girl and boy miss each other.

7) Girl and boy make up.

The reason why I like this book way more t
This book started slow for me, but I definitely got more into it as the story went on. The author does a good job of pulling the reader into Caitlin's plight; I cared what happened next.

That said, I had trouble with the way the abusive relationship was portrayed. I've done a lot of volunteer work in this area and abuse tends to happen in a "cycle"... the abuse occurs, then the abuser apologizes/says he'll never do it again/loves on the victim big time/etc. It goes from absolute terror to absolut
Apr 08, 2009 Thomas rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Thomas by: Sarah Dessen fans
"Dreamland" is the first novel I've read from Sarah Dessen, and I had high expectations of it due to all the hype my friends go on and on about from her books. I was not dissapointed. This book is about sixteen year old Caitlin, the B-honor roll bronze medal award getter. It starts out that on her birthday her older, more perfect sister Cassandra runs away to live with her boyfriend. She quickly tries to fill the void her sister has created for her but instead falls right into it. She starts exh ...more
And this was a perfect reminder why calling Sarah Dessen a romance author pisses me off. This is NOT a romance by any stretch of that word.

What an intense, disturbing, painful look at dating abuse. This is a story about feeling powerless and weak, about how you function and operate when staying in the abusive relationship seems safer than getting out.

Wow. Wow. Wow. This is a gut punch.
Mar 07, 2010 Dee rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Recommended to Dee by: Asia A.
THAT'S IT! I am sick of Sarah Dessen and her so-called "incredible" writing.

This book was about a 16-year-old girl named Caitlin. Her sister has just ran away from home, and her boyfriend Rogerson has taken a liking to beating her.

Why are Sarah Dessen's characters SO STUPID? I wanted to smack this chick. HOW STUPID CAN ONE GET? Caitlin stays with her abusive boyfriend because it "feels right". Caitlin starts smoking and doing drugs because it "feels right". Caitlin breaks her committment to th
After Caitlin's 18-year old sister Cassandra ran away with her boyfriend Adam on her 16th birthday, everything went chaos in the O'Koren family. Her mother Margaret keeps looking out for the phone in case it's Cass, have been constantly watching the Lamont Whipper Show, in hopes of her appearing, and kept buying dolls to fill out a new hobby. Before leaving, Cass gave her a gift, a dream journal.

Caitlin feels overshadowed by her "perfect" sister, since Cass gets the much attention, the one who's
Sixteen-year-old Caitlin had a terrible birthday; her older sister Cass ran away to New York that morning to be with her boyfriend, giving up her future at Yale and leaving only a note behind for her family. Since then, Caitlin has been struggling to sustain life as the girl left behind, missing Cass, but resenting the need to take her place at school and at home. Rebelling, she takes up with mysterious, dangerous Rogerson Biscoe, who helps her forget her problems...until he becomes a bigger pro ...more
I cannot find a single good thing to say about this. That's how bad it was.
This is by far my least favorite Sarah Dessen book. She talks about a very serious theme that must be portrayed and discussed, specially by YA books. However, she took the easy way out and the main character's voice falls flat and the whole situation is so badly written and annoying that I was counting the pages until it was over.
Actual Rating: 4.7

This book made me cry. I intend to talk about the book as a whole in my review which is hard to do without posting spoilers so if you haven't read this yet and plan to, don't read this.

Anyways.. Wow.. I was not expecting that. I have been on a Sarah Dessen binge recently and I find that I like some and hate others. I am not one to read the synopsis of a book before reading it as I think it often gives too much away. I was not expecting this relationship to take such
Dreamland was not bad but I honestly can't say it was all that good either. I think Sarah Dessen can be quite hit and miss and this was a miss for me.

The whole first half was just so slow. Dessen's books are usually slow at the start so I didn't take much notice of it at first but it just kept dragging on and there wasn't much compelling me to read on. Caitlin just wasn't a likable character. She was just selfish, rude and annoying.

There was a shift in mood about halfway when Rogerson started
Joy Joy
Nov 04, 2011 Joy Joy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those with wayward relationship
Shelves: 2011
"Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." --Eleanor Roosevelt

This was one of those books that I would start off easily. And also, one of those books that I would cringe and shut their covers because of too much tension and unbearable anxiety. Some of those books, they were left unfinished. I couldn't just go on because they were too hard to read. -But, all books have souls-. They would speak to you and nag you to finish them and find out about the characters and their bu
Dreamland is a book I’ve had sitting on myself for a very long time. Tough topics scare me on occasion and it can be difficult for me to pick up a book I know is going to be an emotional and raw read.

Sarah Dessen mentioned many things at the beginning of Dreamland especially that brought me back to my childhood. Things Caitlyn did with her sister and certain other nostalgic things. The situations that made me reminisce are what got me reading through the first half of the book. I knew from the
Dreamland was a book a had to read for school, and I was okay with that. I was reading another book at the same time, and Sarah Dessen books are always pretty easy to read (not to put down her writing, I think her books are lovely, they're just always quick reads). I sat down with this book, and took the afternoon just to sit in the living room, drink diet coke, and read. I finished by five, and cried exactly three times. The book is written on such a personal level, and I could relate so well t ...more
The book Dreamland by Sarah Dessen is in 1st person and narrated by the protagonist, Caitlin. The book is about how Caitlin’s older sister Cassandra runs away from home on Caitlin’s sixteenth birthday and to relieve Caitlin’s stress at home and school she begins a relationship with a boy named Rogerson. Rogerson in Caitlin’s words is a mysterious, brilliant, and dangerous boy. But what ends up happening is she finds out he’s very abusive and he physically and mentally hurts her. Caitlin has no ...more
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“If you didn't love him, this never would have happened. But you did. And accepting that love and everything that followed it is part of letting it go.” 669 likes
“I was worn out, broken: He had taken almost everything. But he'd been all I'd had, all this time. And when the police led him away, I pulled out of the hands of all these loved one, sobbing, screaming, everything hurting, to try and make him stay.” 387 likes
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