Margaret's Reviews > Dreamland

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
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's review
Aug 29, 10

liked it
bookshelves: children-s-and-ya-fiction, authors-cd
Read in August, 2010, read count: 2

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 problem.

I figured that eventually there would probably be a Dessen which didn't quite work for me, and this is it. I think it's mostly that usually I identify strongly with her protagonists; here, I found Caitlin annoyingly passive -- she doesn't really rescue herself, although she does eventually find the strength to help herself recover. Also, I didn't really believe that her family and friends wouldn't have clued in sooner to what was happening to her. I did appreciate that the book is just as much about Caitlin's relationship with her family and friends as about her abusive relationship with Rogerson, and Dessen does a fine job making the absent Cass a strong character, but the book just didn't quite hang together for me.
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