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Sarah Dessen
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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  66,246 Ratings  ·  3,851 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 Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else--her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lack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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Sep 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it liked it  ·  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
enqi ✨ (high lady of the night court)
Wake up, Caitlin, Mr Lensing had said. But what he didn't understand was that this dreamland was preferable, walking through this life half-sleeping, everything at arm's length or farther away.

I understood those mermaids. I didn't care if they sang to me. All I wanted was to block out all the human voices as they called my name again and again, pulling me upward into light, to drown.

Dreamland was my first Sarah Dessen book, and for some reason I'd always thought she wrote light-hearted, fu
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.
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
“See you in dreamland”

Your might find it really hard to believe that I just rated a Sarah Dessen book 2 out of 5 stars. But I didn't really enjoy this book, it was something that I wasn't expecting. I thought this was a book that was fluffy and filled with happiness.


It isn't fluffy and it isn't filled with happiness. It made me feel uncomfortable and it made me feel so depressed. I mean, it was a good book, but this book wasn't meant for me. It dealt with violence and abuse and I had a
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 07, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Catherine ♡
This is probably one of the more memorable Sarah Dessen books. It's definitely the one that's the most different, and it touches upon the issue of emotional abuse and violence in a way that is realistic, yet heartbreaking.

It was definitely sometimes frustrating, especially if you don't agree with the main character's actions, but overall, it was a good read.
So this was a short book to get through (only 260 pages) but it left a big impact. I thought at first that things moved a bit slow, but once you get to the meat of the story, you won't be able to put this down at all. You are going to just be shocked and dismayed at the things that are going on with the main character (Caitlin) throughout this book.

"Dreamland" opens on Caitlin's birthday when she and her parents realize that her older sister Cassandra has ran away to be with a guy she fell in lo
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  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
Jen Ryland
Hadn't read this before.

Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-read
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
Oct 09, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  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
May 23, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
The hair! The freak-fracking hair! I did not need a reminder twice every friggin' chapter that love-interest boy has dreadlocks. Thanks though.

Relationships are essentially a power struggle, a game of manipulations. From important life-altering decisions, to which radio station to listen to. You must decide whether to fight or conform. There are many underlying factors in this novel that make me want to venture as far as saying "it's pretty deep," but I'm almost positive that it's because my twe
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
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!
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.
Cienne Olaes
Mar 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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
Jay G
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel:

3.5 Stars

One morning, Caitlin wakes up to her older sister, Cass, missing. She's always been in her sister's perfect shadow and although she misses her, she is glad she can find her own path now. When Caitlin meets Rogerson, her whole life is turned upside down. He's everything she's ever wanted in a boyfriend.... until he's not.

I think this is the first Sarah Dessen book I thoroughly
Sep 08, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Uyen Cao
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As with all of Sarah Dessen's work, this contemporary novel is easy to digest and deals with the trials and tribulations of teenage-hood. It also explores darker themes like abuse, but is otherwise a very quick read. While I would like to say that it stunned me, I also have to admit that this book is my least favourite from Dessen's collection so far.

Dreamland is a story about Caitlin, a girl who fades into the background when her sister is nearby. She struggles with finding her own identity and
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why did rogerson hit her? 57 417 Oct 06, 2017 02:06PM  
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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.” 746 likes
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