Dreamland written by Sarah Dessen is a book about a young woman named Caitlin. Caitlin was a normal girl in high school, living with her parents and her older sister Cass. Cass is the very opposite of Caitlin. Cass is outgoing, popular, a cheerleader, and was recently accepted into Yale. But on the morning of Caitlin’s sixteenth birthday, her and her parents wake up to find Cass’s letter telling that she ran away to New York to be with her boyfriend. Everybody’s about to change but Caitlin most of all. With everybody in a panic to find Cass, Caitlin just stays to herself knowing that Cass always knows what she is doing.
After about 3 weeks everything calmed down. Caitlin tries to find something to keep her mind off of things. So her and her best friend Rina tried out for cheerleading and made the team. Her mom was more exited about it than she was. Her mom was at every practice and game cheering Caitlin on. Although Caitlin didn’t cheerleading at all, she was just happy her mom was happy. With her being a cheerleader now she hung out with the other cheerleaders and the football players. She was expected to be perfect and to date a football player. But that just wasn’t her. Then one night at a party she meets Rodgerson.
She falls in love with him right away. With his mysterious side and dreamy green eyes he was perfect to her. She soon found out that he sells drugs and smokes cigarettes. But she loves being around him and being with him. She started smoking too and doing drugs with him. Everything was going perfect; her parents really liked him. One night Rodgerson was showing Caitlin around his house when he was supposed to be meeting with his father. When his father stormed through the room Caitlin hid behind the door and watched Rodgerson’s dad yell at him and he suddenly hit him right across the face.
Rodgerson fell to his feet while his dad kept yelling and finally left, slamming the door behind him. Caitlin, stunned, slowly walked over to Rodgeron on the floor and just hugged him trying to be there for him. After that night they never talked what happened. Caitlin never brought it up, only because she was afraid of what she may find out. They just acted like nothing had happened. Even when she noticed new bruises on his body knowing where they had come from. One day she was let out from school late and Rodgerson had been waiting for over 45 minutes for her.
She new he would be upset because he hated to wait. She was nervous as she got into his car so she immediately tried to explain what had happened when he told her to shut up and hit her right across the cheek. She couldn’t move, not just because of the excruciating pain but because she was so surprised. She just sat back in the seat and they drove in silence. Before she got down to get in her house he apologized not looking her in the eye and she just nodded slowly. When she got inside she told her parents that she had slipped outside on the black ice.
They believed her. After what happened they never talked about it again. She just ignored it and thought he wouldn’t do it again. Then he hit her again, and then again. He would hit her almost every time he would get upset. She didn’t know what to do so she just covered the bruises with bagging clothes and if someone saw she would just make an excuse. Her grades were failing, she quit cheerleading, and was doing more drugs. She was always in a daze, in a dreamland. It was the first day April, the annual party at Caitlin’s house.
While everyone was busy making food and setting up, Caitlin decided to stay in bed all day since she didn’t have to meet Roderson until later. Then Rina came, they hadn’t talked in months. She woke Caitlin up with a bathing suit and suntan lotion in hand. She told Caitlin they where going to the lake. She didn’t give her any option. Especially when everyone was telling her to go too. Caitlin was so nervous that she would have Rodgerson waiting on her. She tried to tell Rina, but she didn’t listen. So she tried to call Rodgerson but he wouldn’t answer.
When she finally made it home, she saw his car. She ran to his car and got inside and immediately told him what happened. He slapped her and punched her so hard the door opened and she fell out of the car onto the grass. She couldn’t get up the pain was too much. He started to yell at her to get up, but she couldn’t. She could here the party behind her, she was praying someone would just come out to find them. The neighbor across the street saw it all and called the police and her mother. She could feel her mother come up behind her crying and screaming.
She could here commotion and sirens getting closer and closer. All she could remember was Rodgerson being handcuffed and taken away. Finally awaken from her dreamland, Caitlin is taken to a rehabilitation center for care. They did not press charges on Rodgerson. Rodgerson had to do community service and goes to jail frequently. After several months of her rehabilitation, she went home to her family and friends. She had no more bruises or pain. She was back to herself, she was happy. But what made her most happy was seeing her sister Cass comes out behind everyone and gives her a hug.
Overall, I did really like this book. It taught me lessons and I hope it teaches other girls the lessons too. One example is how to always tell someone if your hurting or something is happening in your relationships. I did get a little bored while reading some parts because it was on going and over detailed. That is the only thing I did not enjoy about it. But this book was a very good one, and I would recommend it all girls. To first see how some people could hurt you when you least expected and to always have someone to talk to and not hide from it.