Sunday, 23 December 2012

"Dreamland" by Sarah Dessen

Rogerson Biscoe, with his green eyes and dark curly hair, is absolutely seductive. Before long, sixteen-year-old Caitlin finds herself under his spell. And when he starts to abuse her, she finds she's in too deep to get herself out...

Dreamland is one of the most intense novels I've ever read. It follows the story of high school junior Caitlin, and what happens after her sister Cass runs away from home. She gets into an abusive relationship with Rogerson Biscoe, a drug-dealer who makes Caitlin feel things she's never felt before. Along the way, she develops a talent for and love of photography, gets kicked off the cheerleading squad, and makes a new friend in Corinna, who I thought was a very interesting character. Dreamland is not an easy novel to read; it's painful and raw. At times I thought Caitlin's experience was too private, and that perhaps I shouldn't be reading it. It was like reading someone's diary, and it made me feel at times uncomfortable and enthralled, both at the same time. It clearly shows what can happen to teenage girls who can quickly find themselves in dangerous, all-consuming relationships, and is a stark contrast to the perfect romances of YA novels. This is an unforgettable read that I think a lot of teenagers need to experience.

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