Thursday, August 19, 2010


DreamlandDreamland by Sarah Dessen

AR Reading Level: 5.8
On the library stacks: YA Fiction
Awards: ALA Notable/Best Books; Young Reader's Choice Award/Nominee; State Award; Booklist Editors' Choice
Appropriate for: Grades 9+

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I grabbed this book off my bookshelf because I thought Sarah Dessen would be perfect for my week-long vacation at the beach. What I did not know, is that this is not the typical Sarah Dessen fare. This one deals with physical abuse and drug addiction.

Caitlin is a junior in high school who feels like she is the also-ran in her home. Her 'perfect' sister Cass up and vanished right before she was due to start school at Yale. With her parent's attention focused elsewhere, Caitlin loses herself in activities completely opposite of anything her sister would have done. She becomes a cheerleader and starts dating a notorious bad boy named Rogerson Biscoe from a neighboring school. As things go from bad to worse for Caitlin, she loses a hold on herself and the reality of what is happening to her.

I appreciate Dessen for having the guts to write a book like this. It's a book that might actually help some girls out there. While Caitlin was certainly a victim, I do wish she had been a little more accountable at the end for the poor choices that led her towards her downward spiral. I also wished that we could have seen a little more of how Rogerson was able to keep such a hold on Caitlin. He just seemed like pure evil to me, so it was hard to understand why Caitlin would stay with him. Still, reading this was kind of like watching a train wreck and I had a hard time putting down, especially at the end.

Also reviewed by: Book Addiction ~ Open Mind, Insert Book ~ Melissa's Bookshelf ~ Reviews of Young Adult Literature ~ Your link here?

Book 74 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge, Book 33 of 50 for the RYOB Challenge, Book 35 of 50 for the YA Reading Challenge

Source: BookMooch


bermudaonion said...

This does sound like a book that certain teens will be able to relate to. As difficult as books like that are to read, I'm glad they're out there for those kids who do need them.

StephTheBookworm said...

I love Desssen, but this book is definitely different from her others. I started reading it several times a few years back but never finished it. I plan on reading it all someday... always had to return it to the library before I could finish lol.

Veens said...

I love Dessen because she deals some or the other issue in her books. They are also good, light reads.
i would definitely give this one a try!