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Contributor(s): Dessen, Sarah
ISBN: 0670891223     ISBN-13: 9780670891221
Publisher: Viking Childrens Books
    OUR PRICE: $17.81  
Product Type: Hardcover - Other Formats
Published: October 2000
Annotation: After her older sister runs away, 16-year-old Caitlin decides she needs to make a major change in her own life and begins an abusive relationship with a boy who is mysterious, brilliant and dangerous.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Dating violence; Fiction.
Interpersonal relations; Fiction.
Identity; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 99044102
Lexile Measure: 920
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 5.50" W x 1.25" (0.90 lbs) 250 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 41467
Reading Level: 5.8   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 12.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q23954
Reading Level: 7.1   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 17.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
Something is terribly wrong with Caitlin, but she can't seem to snap out of it. What nobody understands is that Caitlin can't afford to leave the dreamland she's in, a half-sleeping state where everything and everyone can be kept at arm's length. Because then she'd have to face the ugly truth about her relationship with Rogerson: magnetic, fascinating -- and very dangerous -- Rogerson. What is it about Rogerson Bisco...and why can't Caitlin leave him?

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2001 Spring)
Caitlin has grown up in her sister's shadow, and when Cass runs away, Caitlin is left less sure of her own identity than ever. Dessen crafts a believable portrait of a teenage girl, whose life is less something she participates in than something that washes over her. Despite the book's heavy symbolism and shortcuts with characterization, readers will find themselves being pulled in by Caitlin's story. Copyright 2001 Horn Book Guide Reviews

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2000 #5)
When you've grown up hidden in your sibling's shadow, what do you do when she's suddenly not there? Caitlin's older sister Cass is all set to head off for her first year at Yale, or so her family thinks, when she runs away with her boyfriend, leaving Caitlin less sure of her own identity than ever. "I'd always counted on Cass to lead me. She was out there somewhere, but she'd taken her own route, and for once I couldn't follow." Sarah Dessen crafts an affecting and believable portrait of a teenage girl drifting into a kind of dreamland, where life is less something she participates in than something that washes over her. Under pressure from her best friend, Caitlin becomes a cheerleader ("it was like being Barbie"), the one extracurricular activity Cass had never tried. But when Caitlin makes a decision to buck the rah-rah image by dating seductive, dreadlocked Rogerson rather than a bland jock, she winds up surrendering herself to an abusive relationship. Dessen tends to take shortcuts with characterization. Another cheerleader remarks how Rogerson "looks like a drug dealer," and, what do you know, he is a drug dealer, his violent side superficially explained in a quick scene showing his father hitting him while Caitlin covertly watches. It would be nice if Rogerson and the rest of the supporting cast were a little more nuanced; if Caitlin's mother weren't such a stereotypical soccer mom; if the hippie family friends next door weren't so into tofu and massage. The book is pretty heavy on the symbolism, too. Even so, you can't help being pulled in by Caitlin's story, wincing as the bruises spread and hoping that this is a nightmare from which she will soon wake. c.m.h. Copyright 2000 Horn Book Reviews

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2000 September #1)
Caitlin O'Koren has always had to follow in the footsteps of her perfect older sister, Cassandra (homecoming queen, soccer star, student body president, soup kitchen volunteer). When Cassandra runs away from home, Caitlin finds herself trying to fill the gap Cass's absence creates. Shortly after, when she meets mysterious Rogerson Biscoe (a bad boy of the type Dessen hinted at in Someone Like You), Caitlin sees a way to forge a path for herself, away from Cass's shadow and the expectations weighing on her. Rogerson seems vaguely ominous, but Caitlin is taken by surprise when he first gets violent with her. Unwilling to give up the freedom she thinks her relationship gives her, she withdraws from her friends, starts failing in school and drifts into confusion. Her parents, the stereotypically meddling mom and stiff, emotionally distant father, and her close neighbors, two touchy-feely ex-hippies, are so caught up in their own concerns, and particularly in Cassandra's disappearance, that they fail to notice the difference in Caitlin (including what seems to be alarming physical evidence), pushing the limits of plausibility. For all these shortcuts, however, the characterizations have an unmistakable depth; readers may grow impatient with Caitlin and the obliviousness of her nearest and dearest, but they will believe she is real. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2000 September)
Gr 9 Up-Cass, activist, athlete, and academic success, runs away to work on a TV talk show with her boyfriend. Sixteen-year-old Caitlin, always overshadowed by her older sister, feels ever more invisible as her parents single-mindedly seek to locate and bring Cass home. Caitlin's best friend convinces her to try outfor cheerleading. She makes the squad and discovers that her mother begins to live vicariously through her activities, just as she had done with Cass. Then, Caitlin meets Rogerson Biscoe and falls in love with him. He's not like the jocks at Caitlin's public high school; he's rich, attractive, enigmatic, and wild. She smokes dope supplied by Rogerson, a small-time dealer, and their physical relationship is consummated. Anger drives him, and he controls Caitlin with fear and pain. Shocked and physically hurt, she lies to her parents. Rogerson's beatings escalate, and Caitlin is shattered psychologically as well as physically. Powerfully written and not soon forgotten, Dreamland is the secret story of many contemporary teen relationships. Caitlin's dependency on Rogerson is a realistic and finely drawn portrait of a young woman without a strong sense of self-esteem. Characters are well developed; even Cass comes through as a complete person. The high-school milieu is accurately depicted as is a family's reaction to an unpredictable crisis. Compelling reading with contemporary teen appeal.-Gail Richmond, San Diego Unified Schools, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.