Dreamland

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3.3
 
4.9 (36)
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Dreamland
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 01, 2000
ISBN
0670891223
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"Wake up, Caitlin." My English teacher wasn't the only person who'd noticed.
"Caitlin!" the dance coach barked as I flubbed another cartwheel.
"Caitlin?" Rina, my best friend, asked. "Hello?"
And finally, the one voice to which I snapped to attention, every time.
"Caitlin," Rogerson said, and I listened so hard, trying to tell just by the cadence what might happen when we were alone.

What they don't understand is that Caitlin can't afford to leave this dreamland, this half-sleeping state where everything and everyone can be kept at arm's length. Because then she'd have to face the ugly truth about her relationship with Rogerson: magnetic, fascinating--and very dangerous--Rogerson. What is it about Rogerson Biscoe...and why can't she leave him? In her most challenging novel yet, acclaimed author Sarah Dessen guides readers through the harrowing netherworld of a young woman's shattered dreams to her profound awakening.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Incredibly Dark and Gritty
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What I Loved:
As in The Sky Is Everwhere by Jandy Nelson, we begin with a girl living in the shadow of her perfect older sister. In this case, however, the older sister isn't dead, merely gone, run away to who knows where. Caitlin has always used her sister as a bit of an excuse not to excel or be special, knowing she could not measure up, and, without Cass around, Caitlin doesn't have any clue who to be.

In the absence of Cass, Caitlin's overprotective mother switches her focus to the remaining daughter. When Cass makes the cheerleading team, having been pressed to audition by her steamrolling best friend, Rina, her mother gets involved the same way she always did for Rina. Nothing cheers Caitlin, though. She both misses Cass and relishes the idea that now maybe she will shine for a change, but has no idea how to do that. The reader can feel Caitlin's lack of direction and disconnection from the world.

In her continuing search to be her own person and do things Cass never did, Caitlin begins dating a bad boy. Now, you know all those popular books these days about heroines dating bad boys with hearts of gold, who make their girlfriends into better people? This is NOT one of those. Rogerson Biscoe most definitely is a bad boy. He deals drugs, bosses Caitlin around, and completely monopolizes her life. Dessen shows the attraction such a boy possesses, while also conveying a definite message. The portrayal of their relationship is realistic and utterly horrifying. Rather than helping her become her own person, Rogerson lets her live for him instead; Caitlin remains a shell of a person.

What Left Me Wanting More:
Much as I love Dessen's writing, I do not feel this is one of her best novels. For one thing, I think the messages might have gone down better with a little bit more breadth of emotion. Pretty much the only feelings I got from this were sadness and hopelessness. Dark fiction works best with some other emotions juxtaposed to really set off the tragedy of the situation and to make everything feel more real.

Also, I had a really hard time accepting that her family, her neighbors, and Rina all failed to notice her downward spiral. The girl was stoned all of the time, constantly at the beck and call of her boyfriend, lost weight, and was doing perpetually worse in class, among other things. Her mother may have been busy trying to get Cass back, but I think she would still have noticed something. Rina seemed mostly to forget about Caitlin for much of the novel. These reactions just did not seem true to the characters.

The Final Verdict:
Sarah Dessen's Dreamland is an unrelentingly dark story of a girl struggling to find her own identity. If you are tired of all of the romanticized bad boys, this story will appease.
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36 reviews

 
(26)
 
(9)
3 stars
 
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(0)
 
(1)
Overall rating 
 
4.9
Plot 
 
4.6  (36)
Characters 
 
5.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
5.0  (1)
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Love!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Abuse in an YA novel is not something I usually read about. But because Sarah Dessen was writing about it, I figured I would not be reading it eventually. Because I love all of her books!
Rogerson's a dick, for real. I hated him. But his character just goes to show you what NOT to turn to when coping with life's problems. There are better ways, believe me. And Caitlin finds that through photography.
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You Will Simply Be Captivated Into Dreamland
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Selena Peterson

     Sarah Dessen's remarkable Dreamland will have you reading until you turn the very last page. Dessen starts off by having a beautiful, wonderful, talented girl, being taken for a loop as her sister disappears on her sixteenth birthday. She starts to cope when she meets the mysterious and alluring Rogerson. It turns out that she might be better of without him than with. But how long will it take Caitlin to realize that?
     This is story is simply compelling and will have you flipping the pages feverishly until you reach the end. She shows the pain of one girl and how the turn of events aren't very beneficial to her. It is painfully honest as she describes the reality of abusive boyfriends. It's truly amazing.

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You Will Simply Be Captivated Into Dreamland
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Selena Peterson

     Sarah Dessen's remarkable Dreamland will have you reading until you turn the very last page. Dessen starts off by having a beautiful, wonderful, talented girl, being taken for a loop as her sister disappears on her sixteenth birthday. She starts to cope when she meets the mysterious and alluring Rogerson. It turns out that she might be better of without him than with. But how long will it take Caitlin to realize that?
     This is story is simply compelling and will have you flipping the pages feverishly until you reach the end. She shows the pain of one girl and how the turn of events aren't very beneficial to her. It is painfully honest as she describes the reality of abusive boyfriends. It's truly amazing.

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Good, but not my fav!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Julie

*Spoilers*

I liked this book, though it wasn't my favorite. It started out sadly with Caitlin's sister running away. The story was just in the life of an average teenage girl at the beginning, who was a little depressed. Soon, Cailtin became a cheerleader and found some dark, alluring guy she couldn't stay away from. Rogerson. He was mysterious and exciting, he added 'fun' into Caitlin's life. Everything was perfect, except for the occasional drugs and all. Caitlin was slowly getting over her sister leaving. Then... Rogerson hit her. This started happened more and more everday, but Caitlin kept it a secret; she loved him. The story is a good, but sad book. The cover is eye-candy, first of all and second of all, I liked the plot. It was simple and normal, which I could relate to... kinda. This was a good read and I finished it in two short days. I would recommend it to anyone! It was a good read!
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Great Book from Great Author
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Katherine

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen is a moving novel. It is about a teenage girl, Caitlan, who meets a mysterious guy named Rogerson. Of course, she's attracted to him right away. They start dating and she thinks things are going perfect. But then, out of nowhere, he hits her. Then, over time, it keep happening. It gets to the point that she's terrified of making him unhappy and she does anything he tells her to do.
Meanwhile, her older sister, Cass,  ran away from home. She seemed like the perfect daughter. She was homecoming queen, a great athlete, really smart, and beautiful. Caitlan and Cass were extremely close, so she's surprised to not know why her sister left home to be with her boyfriend in New York.

Read this great novel to see what Caitlan has to go through to feel like her old self again. This book will really touch you as it did for me. You will not be disappointed.


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What a book!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Nikki

The book was so good that i could not put it down! The book made me want to cry and throw things at the same time! Wow, what a book!!!! I think that i can relate to how the mother feels and what she thinks of the actions of her daughter.
     Here is a brief summary: Cassie is 18 years old. She was always the one who was better than her younger sister Caitlin. Cassie picks out her college and everything! Then one day, Cassie goes missing. The family is torn. Then Caitlin decides that she needs to be better than her sister. She starts getting involved in activities and even meets someone new. But Cassie is in a whole lot more trouble than she think she is. The story of an abusive relationship.


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a set example
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by cintia

rogerson seemed like such a cool person at first and i can totally understand why caitlin fell for him. this novel is so realistic because it hppens to sooo many young girls and this incourages them to stand up for themselves. it all transitions so smoothly .
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A Dream You Don't Want To Be In
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Lea

Dreamland is a heartbreaking novel about Caitlin. At first, I thought it would be about Cass, her sister who ran away in the beginning. In a way, it is.

While Caitlin is trying to fill the gap in her family's life, she meets Rogerson. Sexy, dread-locked, Rogerson Biscoe. At first, their relationship is beautiful, if a little unhealthy (potheads, not appealing). But then things change, and Rogerson steadily beats Caitlin, worse and worse everytime. But where does the love end and the pain begin?

It hurt me to watch Caitlin suffer, for the sake of love. She became my best friend because I could relate to her in the beginning. Dessen does a wonderful job of showing Caitlins steady downward spiral, even her written "voice" changes. Frantic, worried about what-would-rogerson-think. It's a novel that will break your heart, make you cry, and change your life.
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heart broken
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by mockock

when i read this book, i cried for most of the book. it was sad and i usually dont read sad books, but this one i could not pass me by. i wanted to go in the book and hit Rogerson!... caitlin didnt mean to fall in love with him and and he did things to her i dont wanna discuss because you need to read the book to find out. it was a heart breaking book that made me cry and i dont cry that much...read this book..NOW
with lots of love,,
Rogerson hater!


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Couldn't put it down.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Kelsey

Rogerson, with his green eyes and brown dreads, pulls Caitlin into his charm and she falls for it. Everything starts out going perfectly for both of them, until one night when he punched her; she thought it was nothing until it kept happening. Lost in his world, Catilin gets lost in what he does and pushes her family away. In this book of an abusive relationship, Caitlin goes through the struggle to keep it from showing, until she can't take it. This book really shows what happens to these type of relationships, and it's recommended for eighth and up.

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