Cara's Reviews > Dreamland

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
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it was amazing
bookshelves: realistic-fiction
Recommended to Cara by: Ash
Recommended for: Sarah Dessen fans

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 I HATED the way he dressed). He's different and wild, and she feels like she can gain that from him. Things seem to be ok at first, but you see hints of things that just don't seem right.... (I don't want to give away what happens because it isn't mentioned in the cover blurb) I literally wanted to shake Caitlin sometimes. She herself knows that she is on a destructive path, but feels like she can't do anything to get out of it. Though that isn't true, you always have a choice.

This book is so raw . I understood why Caitlin thought they way she did, even if it was wrong. It really opened my eyes to the situation she was in. Be warned that there is a lot of drug use. Rogerson is a dealer, so it was inevitable. Dessen does a good job of showing the negative effects of drugs without being preachy, or on the other hand being mistaken as a "stoner" book. Sometimes to heal you have to go through pain, and drugs cheat you of that opportunity. Sarah Dessen is the queen of showing how all the little choices we make add up to what path we are lead to. She does this in all her books, but it's emphasized in this one especially. As always her symbolism is perfect, and as all you fans know she really does know her stuff.

If you are looking for something happy this isn't it, but it's worth the read. Dessen's style shines and does an excellent job of telling Caitlin's story, which I know will hit home for some teenage girls. It's the best book on the subject I have read. If you liked this one read Breathing Underwater, which shows this situation from the other side. Like I said heartbreaking, but in the way we need it to be.
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Quotes Cara Liked

Sarah Dessen
“It's so easy to get caught up in what people expect of you. Sometimes, you can just lose yourself.”
Sarah Dessen, Dreamland

Reading Progress

September 4, 2009 – Shelved
September 4, 2009 –
page 1
September 5, 2009 –
page 70
Started Reading
September 7, 2009 –
page 256
September 7, 2009 – Shelved as: realistic-fiction
September 7, 2009 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)

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Haley Oh, that one's probably her saddest. Just warning you. I remember liking it, though.

message 2: by Cara (last edited Sep 08, 2009 03:23PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara Yeah I heard that and that's why I had been putting it off. I've read every single one of her books except this one, and I really want to say I've read them all. Hopefully it won't bring me down too much. Thanks for the warning though.

Haley For some reason I related to this heroine the most...except for maybe Haley(hahahaha) form Someone Like You.

Cara I can get that. Caitlin is some way is like every girl. That's what made this book so good, because it showed this really could happen to anyone.
Funny about Haley:) I guess Dessen knows how to name them.

Jessica Haha, i hated the way Rogerson dressed too.

Cara Ha! I knew I couldn't be the only one.

Shaina I loved Rogerson I feel like he's misunderstood and like the teacher said "driven but guided in the wrong direction" I loved everything about Rogerson when he wasn't abusive or intoxicated. I've read this book at least 100 times I loved it!

Cara I'm glad you loved it Shaina. I love this book too:) I can't say I felt the same way about Rogerson. It's hard to excuse people for being a abusive, though I do understand that some people do lose their way and if there is a way we can help them we should. But being good some of the time doesn't excuse them from being awful, and I think it's important to remember that. I believe this is why some people stay in an abusive relationship because it's not always bad but when it is it's horrible. Anyways that was long winded! Thanks for your comment Shaina:)

lily:) I love your review! I'll be sure to watch out for the drug thing, but the books sounds amazing!

message 10: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara Thanks Lily:D

Thomas Cara I'm so happy to see your reviews on my homepage again, even if this one is an older one. Great review by the way, I didn't view it when you originally posted it. :)

message 12: by Cara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cara Thanks Thomas! I wonder why it even showed up on the updates. I guess I found a mistake and fixed it, or something... These days my brain is scattered. I hope once winter break hits I can get some reviews up. Hopefully anyways:D

message 13: by Steven (new)

Steven lol ur silly i like how u said u would shut the book and reopen it im like that on some books too XP

Lauren Grace lololololol

Bambi Quim Good review. I followed the link to your recommended read, and found it slightly interesting that the girl in that story is called Caitlin too! I know it's just a coincidence, but it's an interesting coincidence. :)

message 16: by Vanissa (new)

Vanissa This book has to be on of the saddest of all the books that she written. I did like Rogerson when he wasn't abusive and high. I feel like he's just misunderstood, given that his father was abusive to him.

Bambi Quim Vanissa wrote: "This book has to be on of the saddest of all the books that she written. I did like Rogerson when he wasn't abusive and high. I feel like he's just misunderstood, given that his father was abusive ..."

Well, he can't be "just" misunderstood, because he is being physically and emotionally abusive to others, but it is understandable that he is acting the way that he is. People who are abused as children tend to be abusive, in turn, because that is what they know. We learn how to be adults from our parents. Regardless, the way that Rogerson treats Caitlin is unacceptable and not okay. But the way that Rogerson is treated by his father is also unacceptable and not okay. I think we would all like to believe that Rogerson receives help that gives him the tools to escape the abusive cycle in which he was caught, and lives a happy and fulfilled life with another person after this novel ended.

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