Steph Su's Reviews > Dreamland

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
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Feb 08, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: own, favorites-2

This book should definitely be required reading for health classes teaching about dating abuse. With her signature spot-on teenage voice, Sarah Dessen once again crafts a masterpiece. Her novels are not merely novels; they are works of art that I hope will last forever.

Caitlin’s perfect older sister, Cass, ran away from home on Caitlin’s sixteenth birthday. Brilliant, proactive, and beautiful, Cass was everywhere in high school. On the soccer field, leading her team to state victories. On the high honor roll. On the Homecoming Court. On TV to lead student protests. Caitlin is used to playing second fiddle to Cass, and maybe now that Cass has run away, she will be able to be noticed by her parents.

But Caitlin’s mom is still obsessed over Cass’ running away. To have something of her own, Caitlin joins the cheerleading squad at the insistence of her best friend Rina. Then she meets Rogerson. He isn’t like the other bland football players that all the cheerleaders date. Rogerson is sexy, dangerous, and secretive…and best of all, he is all Caitlin’s.

Caitlin’s relationship with Rogerson seems like the perfect way for her to break away from Cass’ shadow. However, she never anticipates all of the harm that Rogerson does to her, emotionally and physically. Can she not escape this abusive relationship because she is weaker than her sister?

While not everyone has gone through an abusive relationship, Sarah Dessen describes Caitlin’s thoughts and fears so genuinely that readers will feel as if they ARE Caitlin themselves. They will feel all of Caitlin’s pain and confusion, wrapped up in a world so well written that it’s easy to forget you’re reading a book.
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