Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen
197 pages

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 Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else--her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lackluster life.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?

Reading Sarah Dessen is like visiting distant relatives that you'll only see every Christmas, but they are your favorite relatives because they are sweet and nice. It doesn't feel awkward at all to visit them because even if they are distant, they feel so familiar. 

Dreamland is one of those kind book that feels so sweet and nice. It depicts the life and the struggle of a teenager who tried to face her problem by herself. Dessen's books mostly taught us that it is okay to make mistake, that you can learn something from your mistake. Dreamland is a book that teaches so, even if the character's mistake is actually avoidable. 

That's what makes me "hate" Dreamland. The characters are really hate-able, even if they portray the real teenagers these days (or 16 years ago as this book is released in 2000). But, what kind of normal teenager who will keep hiding and loving her abusive boyfriend? I just don't get it. Even if Caitlyn, the main character, finally learns something from her mistake, but the damage is done. Her problem is not inevitable. It is something that you can avoid from happening. 

But, if that happens, I guess we won't get this book after all. 

Fortunately, just like typical Dessen's ending, it doesn't leave sour taste at all. Instead, Dreamland is ended with a heartwarming finish, that makes me warm, and that is what I like the most about her books.

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