Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

“It’s so easy to get caught up in what people expect of you. Sometimes, you can just lose yourself.”


Synopsis from GoodreadsLove can be a very dangerous thing. After her sister left, Caitlin felt lost. Then she met Rogerson. When she’s with him, nothing seems real. But what happens when being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him?

Feelings: Sarah Dessen writes a great love story. This book was very different from her previous writing style and topics. I was really intrigued by the idea of this abusive, negative relationship and how the victim would rise above, better and stronger. I feel like this book missed the mark somewhere.

Issues: This book highlights a seriously messed up relationship. I had a problem with the two of them from the beginning, starting with them meeting and then her hopping in a car with him. You JUST met him and now he’s driving you across town? She’s a teenager. I felt like their whole thing just got started a little too quickly. Now, I understand that was part of the conflict, I just feel like it could have been approached a little differently.

The whole Cass thing felt really disjointed. She was a common thread from the beginning to the end, yet she really wasn’t that important to me. She didn’t affect change or inspire Caitlin…she was just kind of (not) there. I was really expecting her to come home in the end to support her sister, but she didn’t. She did on the last page as like a “oh hey”, but that whole runaway issue wasn’t ever wrapped up.

Characters: I really felt for Caitlin. My heart hurt when Rogerson hurt her and as she studied her bruises, hiding them away. I noticed as she changed throughout the book and those closest to her didn’t see. I felt for her, but I couldn’t understand her. Maybe that’s because I’ve never personally experienced what she was battling. I appreciated that some other guy didn’t come along and rescue Caitlin in the end. She had to heal herself. I think that’s really empowering for anyone reading this book who identifies with her struggles.

Rogerson is an enigma and yet, he’s part of the cycle of abuse. I wished there’d been some closure for him, because he started out as a victim, too. At least starting the path to healing for him would have added to the ending.

Final thoughts: Maybe the disconnect I felt was because I got so frustrated with Rogerson and Caitlin and Cass and absolutely everyone in this story. It was really difficult to be the one person that sees all, as the reader, and watch people miss obvious signs of a problem.


Goodreads rating: 3.9/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.5/5

My rating: 3/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn


2 thoughts on “Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

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