Sunday, January 11, 2009


Author: Sarah Dessen

Copyright: 2000

Number of pages: 256

Rating: 9 out of 10

Why I Picked This Up: In the library I almost always look for Sarah Dessen books to read and I did not get to read this one yet.

Cass has always been the perfect one in her family. Cass always had perfect grades. Cass always won all the awards. Cass got accepted into Yale. But this story is not about Cass. It's about Caitlin, her younger sister, who has lived in her shadow her entire life. It all started when Cass ran away on Caitlin's sixteenth birthday. Caitlin's mother and father were devastated, but despite their begging, Cass refused to come back home. All of a sudden Cass became the center of attention when she made the cheerleading team. Her mother completely focuses on her (something new), but Caitlin just feels like a replacement of Cass. One day, Caitlin meets Rogerson. Rogerson has got a past but Caitlin thinks he's funny, charismatic, and intelligent, and most importantly he makes Caitlin feel like her own person, not just like Cass's little sister. Caitlin thinks she's in love, but what happens when there relationship takes a perilous turn?

I loved this book. The story was compelling, the minor characters were unique and it felt realistic even if the plot seemed exaggerated. This is definitely one of Sarah Dessen's darker books. I don't want to give away too much, (you'll have to read it yourself) but I can say that Dreamland involves drugs, sex and violence, so it is important to understand that this book may be a little bit mature for twelve and younger. One con would be that sometimes you just want to tell Caitlin "Stand up for yourself! Stop being so weak!" Nevertheless, what made this book so great was that we got to see the story of a person who was overlooked in life and that love isn't always so perfect.

Quote from book:

"My sister wasn't a seer or a prophet, at least not at eighteen. What she was, was a student body president two years running, star right wing of the girls soccer team (State Champs her juniour and senior year), and Homecoming Queen. She volenteered chopping vegatables at the homless shelter for soup night every Thursday, had been skydiving twice, and was famous in our high school for staging a sit-in to protest the firing of a popular English teacher for assigning "questionable reading matieral"-Toni Morrison's Beloved. She made the local news for that one, speaking clearly and angrily to a local reporter, her eyes blazing, with half the school cheering behind her. My father, in his recliner, just sat there and grinned."

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