Rogerson starts hitting Catlin all the time because he gets mad at what she says, but then he says sorry and that he loves her. None of the characters are likable except for Boo, her mother's friend who lives next door and she barely plays a part in the story. Reasons why I hate Caitlin: 1. The suitable age range is 13+. After the first time Rogerson hit her, he only continued to do it repeatedly as the story went on. Catlin thinks many times in the book that she would like to tell someone about Rogerson hitting her, but she keeps it all to herself because she is afraid. Now, she has to find herself in the absence of Cass.
She really pulled it off this time. Much as I love Dessen's writing, I do not feel this is one of her best novels. Also, the plots are almost always the same, complete with a girl, a boy, and some romance, and the main character always has some kind of emotionally damaging problem they have to deal with, but it never seems repetitive. Which must suck ass and I have no idea how parents or siblings do that. This is a story about feeling powerless and weak, about how you function and operate when staying in the abusive relationship seems safer than getting out.
Matthew was interesting and I wish we got to read more about him. I would have loved to know more about Caitlin taking the first steps to heal herself both mentally and emotionally, and how she rebuilt her relationships with the people closest to her, instead of a few lines scribbled in the last few chapters. As in The Sky Is Everwhere by Jandy Nelson, we begin with a girl living in the shadow of her perfect older sister. Caitlin now has to try and fill the gaping hole Cass left behind, but it's almost impossible when she faces her withdrawn, upset mother and her lackluster father. How did you manage to crush me like this? I wish we got to read more about Cass and Adam. Be warned that there is a lot of drug use.
Had I liked either of the main characters, I might have even rated this novel higher. It's that kind of relationship that draws you, drowns you in with a brutal force, and never let's you out of its grasp. This leaves a hole in Caitlin where a boy named Rogerson Biscoe his name even sounds douchey steps in. Rogerson During the rising action there's one point where Caitlin meets this boy named Rogerson Biscoe. I wanted to scoop up this fictional character and hug her. Two thumbs up for me! It turns out that Caitlin hates cheerleading, but she remains on the squad because of her mother, who sees Caitlin as Cass' replacement.
I'll admit that I was impressed to see all of this in a novel marketed to young adults. There are so many people in this world who have been abused. I wish all teenage girls would read a book like this and learn the signs of someone who does not have their best interests at heart. This is my favorite Sarah Dessen book. Yet every time I came back to read this book, I didn't feel very distant from it or confused, because the plot just sucked me right in, like the last time I read the book was not a week ago, but a day ago. The resolution of Dreamland takes up 32 pages of a 250 page novel, which I suspect some readers will find a little long. I understood why Caitlin thought they way she did, even if it was wrong.
But when Rogerson- the boy from the wrong side of the tracks- begins to physically hurt Caitlin, things begin to spiral out of control. Caitlin just sucked, and Rogerson was a half-fleshed-out villain. She is so confused and doesn't know what to do with herself. She meets roger son at a party and soon starts dating him, even though he's a bad seed. I expect not to like the protagonist of a Dessen novel but I really hated Caitlin. Silly little thing darn near immediately falls head over tits with Rogerson, everyone knows Goodreads hates insta-love. Also, the fact that the characters for other books are referenced in the story is really fascinating.
I decided, sure, why not? That said, I had trouble with the way the abusive relationship was portrayed. You just don't always know how to listen. But he and Caitlin seem to understand one another. When Cass makes the cheerleading team, having been pressed to audition by her steamrolling best friend, Rina, her mother gets involved the same way she always did for Rina. The author does a good job of pulling the reader into Caitlin's plight; I cared what happened next.
But in the end she was talking about swimming and reaching the surface. A kind of love that is barely worthy of the name. I don't know how to explain the feelings that I went through, but I hated the feels that I went through. Sometimes, the story was so slow-paced and I would continue reading, waiting for a good part. Because you read about Caitlin's justifications, her fear, her starting to realize after a while that even when she's perfect that Rogeron really just wants a reason to hit her. No, hate is probably too strong a word.
Her boyfriends becomes abusive, and is abused by his father. One day Caitlin's friend convinces her to go out for the day with her. It's a horrific story-one of those that you can olny read through splayed hands and eyes half-squinted. That is until Rogerson hits her the first time. Her parents and her neighbors, Boo and Stewart, panic and call the police right away.
It seemed like a story that, unfortunately, any high school girl could tell and in turn, it had me thinking a lot about abuse. I didn't care if they sang to me. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen Wake up, CaitlinEver since she started going out with Rogerson Biscoe, Caitlin seems to have fallen into a semiconscious dreamland where nothing is quite real. Why didn't she still leave him when she could? A neighbor calls the police and he is arrested. I recommend this book to those who have already read a Sarah Dessen book and want to read a dark novel by her.