Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, young adult
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 Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else–her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lackluster life.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?
Source: School library
How I Found Out About It: Goodreads
I have to say that Sarah Dessen is a bit of a ho-hum author for me. I have read a few of her books now, and they all seem to blend together with nothing to really distinguish each individual story from one another. I enjoy her books while reading them, but the second I close one of them, the memory of it flees from my mind.
Dreamland was no exception to this. Again, it was a good read, but it just wasn’t unique. In a couple months, I will remember reading it, sure- but I’ll have no reason to remember anything special about it.
To briefly summarize, this story follows a high schooler named Caitlin. She has recently started dating a guy named Rogerson, and ever since they started together, she has been acting completely different, as if nothing is real. This gets to the point where Rogerson and any thoughts of him soon become too dangerous to bare, and not just because she is immensely drawn to him.
I found Caitlin to be both slightly bland as well as slightly unlikeable. She was always upset about something, which I couldn’t stand! There was almost never a page I read that showcased a happy Caitlin, but instead I was faced with a complaining, whiny Caitlin.
If you think that Caitlin seems bad enough, then Rogerson is way worse. He was quite abusive and threatening to her, and I didn’t like how the two meshed. Honestly, the only reason why I think Caitlin kept on forgiving him for his misdoings was because she was intimidated by him!
I promise that I will get to the positives of this book after this point, but the story was also unrealistic at times. For example, at the beginning of the book, Caitlin’s sister Cass suddenly disappeared and ended up on a TV show?! How and why did this happen? Dessen just needed to give us more background information about everything, that’s all.
There is always light at the end of the tunnel, and in this case, that beam of light was the morals that this book entailed. Dreamland is a novel that will remind its readers that nobody is perfect, and that we should be as forgiving as possible since everyone makes mistakes sometimes. We just have to live and learn from them.
Overall, Dreamland amused me at times, but for the most part, it bored me. I disliked the characters, but the plot moved fast and the morals were quite pleasant. If you don’t often read contemporaries, then this book would be a great introduction to the genre for you, but if you do, then this story deserves a pass. Nothing about it is new to avid contemporary readers, and you won’t be missing out on much.