Dreamland – Sarah Dessen



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 Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else–her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lackluster life. But what happens when being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him?


This book was a lot harder to digest than anything else by Sarah Dessen. I found myself crying for Caitlin many times. Sarah Dessen’s depiction of Caitlin’s drug use was particularly raw and poignant. She recently revealed that she had a drug problem in high school, and the darkness depicted in Dreamland shines a light into her experiences there.

Caitlin’s downward spiral was captured beautifully. I’ve never been able to fully understand how people wind up in situations like hers (from drug use to abuse), much less sympathize with them — until now. It was such a gradual process that sped up to scary proportions. All of a sudden, I was sitting there flabbergasted at how much Caitlin’s situation had escalated (yet it remained realistic all the same).

I found Dreamland very difficult to get through at first. I’ve read every other Sarah Dessen book a while ago, but found Dreamland a little harder to pick up. It started slow, and I found it hard to grasp that Cass could leave her family the way she did. Considering how upset her parents were, I would have thought they would have even driven or flown to the studio where Cass worked in order to get her back. I realize we live in a different world now than the one in the story — I felt that a lot of Caitlin’s timeliness issues could have easily been explained through text whenever she was unable to reach Rogerson by phone. Speaking of that, I find it hard to believe that Rogerson would wait for Caitlin for over an hour, and not pick up a phone call from her during that same period.

Still, Dreamland is laden with issues that were written in such a raw manner. It opened my eyes to a world I never submerged myself in, so I’m grateful for the book’s ability for me to sympathize with similar problems. This book is required reading for anyone who wants to feel the same way.

Related Reading

  • Lock and Key – Sarah Dessen
  • Looking for Alaska – John Green
  • The Piper’s Son – Melina Marchetta
  • Flat-Out Love – Jessica Park

Rating; 5/5


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