Reviews

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

rachelmfcoles's review against another edition

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4.0

Good read, but not my kind of book.

kdepuy's review against another edition

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5.0

Amazing.

catymart83's review against another edition

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4.0

I really enjoyed "Dreamland," a novel which follows the life of a teenaged girl named Caitlin after her sister Cassandra has run away which leaves her parents distraught. In trying to cope with their older daughter's disappearance the parents (especially the mother) take turns either ignoring Caitlin or trying to force her to take Caitlin's place. This leaves Caitlin with a loss of identity and in trying to create one she falls in with a boy called Rogerson Biscoe who is at turns mysterious, captivating and violent. Soon, Caitlin must decide if she'll let other people define her or if she'll finally stand up for herself and try to figure out who she is. I've read many of Sarah Dessen's other novels and this is by far the best one (and coincidentally "Dreamland" is also Dessen's first novel). While I've enjoyed Dessen's other novels, I've always found them a bit cold and lacking in emotion. While at first "Dreamland" seems to be following in its predecessors' place, it soon becomes clear that it's in another league entirely. The second half of "Dreamland" positively vibrates with feeling and emotion. This amazing novel explores an issue that commonly affects teenagers but without seeming like an after-school special.

thebookhaze's review against another edition

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4.0

I liked this book simply because it wasn't a happy-ever-after with the boy thing, but it was a hopeful-for-a-better-future after the not-so-happy relationship with the boy.

I'm already a fan of Sarah Dessen, I enjoy her writing, and her stories and the way her characters all seem so real and relatable. This was a different story, but no less involving. It still tells a story about real people in real situations.

It was heartbreaking and scary, because you wonder if it could ever happen to you or someone you know. We all read about abuse and we think that it could never happen to us because we're smarter than that, we'd leave him, but the fact is most of the time it happens gradually, and you keep making excuses for them. And if it happens to someone you love, you'd wonder why you couldn't see it, and how on earth you can help them if you do see it, especially if they don't want you to help.

It makes me really think, "what if?".

laurasreadsss's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

i can't say this is an honest review because it triggered me heavily. I had to skip 60ish pages & just read the end. 

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dogayye15's review against another edition

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dark emotional reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5


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quietweather's review against another edition

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4.0

A heart wrenching view into the life of Caitlin, a 16 year old who always grew up in her elder sister's shadow. Always, until the summer before her junior year when her sister Cass decides to run away, leaving Caitlin to fill in her role and hold everyone together.

This book is about an abusive relationship. Specifically, how a relationship that at one point felt like everything one could need, becomes exactly the opposite. We see Caitlin come to know Rogerson, an enigmatic transient who gives Caitlin the identity she so very much craves. Through him she feels whole and unique, finally a person unattached to her sister's history.

Unfortunately, this all comes at a price.

Sarah Dessen expertly delves us deep into a love so painful that we can't help but want to grasp our loved ones, grateful that Caitlin's plight does not stray beyond the pages of this book.

aanuoluwa's review against another edition

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dark emotional reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75


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songsaboutghosts's review against another edition

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2.0

Not Dessen's best. I was just endlessly frustrated with Caitlin and the bad decisions she was making, and no one else for noticing. They didn't even notice basic things, like smelling cannabis on her after she effectively hotboxed in a car just before entering the house. It just didn't feel as real to me as her other books, and I didn't find the characters as relatable.

shanwill210's review

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dark emotional sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75