Book Review: Dreamland by Sarah Dessen


Caitlin’s sister is perfect in every way. Athletic, kind, intelligent, outgoing, involved. She’s headed to Yale with scholarships under her belt, and everything always goes right for Cass. Until she leaves. Now, Caitlin is stuck wading through high school no longer in her sister’s great shadow, but in her tainted one. Until she meets Rogerson. She goes from striving to be the best to being with Rogerson. All the time. But after a while of constant togetherness, being with him becomes harder than being without him. And Caitlin is stuck with no where to run.

It’s Sarah Dessen, so you know it’s good. It’s Sarah Dessen, so you know it’s a good beach read. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s actually talk about the book.

First of all, Caitlin’s sister runs away at 18. And they pretty much know where she is. And they know she’s happy. So what’s the big deal? Yeah, you wouldn’t want your sister/ daughter to just up and leave, but her mother desperately waits for calls and tries to contact her and tries to get glimpses of her to the point where it’s just like let her go. She’s happy and safe. Calm down. So I thought it was over dramatic for the whole family to be ripped to shreds because of that one thing. Caitlin needs to brush herself off because her sister was about to go to college anyway.

That’s kind of a nit-picky plot opinion, but that was honestly my biggest problem with the book.

The book is about a serious topic, but overall, it’s not a serious book. It’s a simple contemporary novel written in first person about the troubles of high school along with some more intense problems. **SPOILER ALERT** You’ve probably already figured this out, but her boyfriend starts beating her. The reader goes along with her through the journey of love, then of confusion, then depression as she struggles to keep her head above water. The reader learns why girls continue to stay with guys who beat them, but Dessen also illustrates her fear and anxiety that goes along with it. She allowed the reader to really get inside Caitlin’s head and feel all the confusion she felt. **END SPOILER**

Like I said, it’s a good book perfect for the beach, and it never gets boring, but it’s never super exciting either. I would recommend it as a light read, but it isn’t one of my favorites by Dessen.

3.5 Stars



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