I’m still going strong with my Sarah Dessen reads! This month continues with Dreamland. While this book wasn’t able to capture me the way previous ones were, it was a decent read and hasn’t hindered my excitement for my next book from the author!
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 11th, 2004
Angie’s Review – 3 Stars – C
I’m going to keep this review short and (semi-)sweet, because to be honest, I think this might be a case of “it’s not you; it’s me” with this book, and I’d hate to discourage anyone from reading Dreamland. When I put my list of Sarah Dessen reads together for what I wanted to read over the year, I chose based first on what my library had in audio, and then based on which of the remaining ones sounded most up my alley. If I had chosen them based strictly on what I was interested in, I’m not sure I would have chosen this one. Part of the problem for me was that this book had the misfortune of being read on the heels of The Truth About Forever, which is my favorite read from the author so far. And while that book wasn’t super-upbeat, there was a hopefulness to it, as there is with most of the Sarah Dessen books I’ve read. But this one, in terms of hopefulness, is closest to Saint Anything. But even then, this one is much grimmer.
As with all Sarah Dessen books, this one had a wonderful cast of supporting characters. My favorites were Caitlin’s hippy neighbors who loved Caitlin and her sister to pieces. I also liked her friend Rina. It felt like it was the two of them against the world sometimes, which is why I think it was so easy for Rogerson to isolate Caitlin from the rest of her life. But I had a hard time understanding Caitlin’s attraction to Rogerson in the first place. They didn’t have that much in common, and he wasn’t that nice to her from the very beginning. To be honest, I don’t feel like a lot happened in this book. It felt slow to me, and then there were two things I had issues with.
While I do think this is a nice cautionary tale for young women, I’m not sold on the way everything that happened. But I do think, at the very least, Dreamland be a good jumping off point for a parent/child conversation regarding abuse.
Note about audio: I flip-flopped back and forth between the audio and print for this one. I liked the narrator and thought she did a great job with the story.
This is my tentative reading order for my year reading Sarah Dessen. If there’s a book you think should be added to the list or one that is so spectacular it should be moved up, feel free to let me know in the comments below!
1. Just Listen – March 2016
2. Lock and Key – April 2016
3. Saint Anything – May 2016
4. The Truth About Forever – June 2016
5. Dreamland – July 2016
6. Someone Like You – August 2016
7. This Lullaby – September 2016
8. Along for the Ride – October 2016
9. That Summer – November 2016
10. The Moon and More – December 2016
11. Keeping the Moon – January 2017
12. What Happened to Goodbye – February 2017
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