#Julamorous, Book, Reviews


DreamlandDreamland by Sarah Dessen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just recently this month finished this book that Danielle gave me as a present. It is different than any other Sarah Dessen book that I have read before and I have only read a few dark books in the past. This was truly a great book and I highly recommend reading it for yourself, but don’t expect the usual Dessen plot. It has a wicked twist to it that will leave you wanting more of this dark style. The next book that I will be reviewing is the second book in the Peachville High Demons series, since I have already finished that one as well. Elixir is not that far behind!


I promise to be brutally honest with my opinion, but it should not be taken as fact. Any reader should read it for themselves, before they decide if this book has any merit or not. Do not judge this book biased solely on my opinion. If you do, you might miss out on a great read. You never know. It could happen. My review may contain spoilers, but I really strive to be spoiler-free. I was given this book as a present from my best friend. This book was not suggested to me by the author. I have no affiliation with the author or his/her publisher.

Main Character(s):
Caitlin is such a strong character even at her weakest points. She was inspiring to me. How she could piece back up a life broken to create a new one for herself was simply amazing. She is the best main character that Sarah Dessen has ever created so far. I love how she is this smart, sweet, funny girl that reduces herself next to nothing, thinking that she deserved it. That she wanted to be invisible, when all she wanted was to feel special and different from her sister. She didn’t want to be in her sister’s shadow anymore and she fell in love with the wrong guy.
5 out of 5 stars

Evil Antagonist(s):
Honestly? Her boyfriend seems like an evil character to me. Yeah, Rogerson is sweet and knows everything, but he is also a sick, sadist jerk of a guy. He sells drugs and beats women. She should have run away from him at the first sign of abuse, but he was so gentle and apologetic after. He knew just how to push her buttons to make her stay and be in “dreamland”. He was very realistic and it seems to be that this is most reflective of how abusive relationships really are. It’s not as easy as everyone thinks to leave an abuser. They make you love them and feel like you cannot leave. He made her feel like she couldn’t be without him like she only existed with him around.
5 out of 5 stars

Minor Character(s):
Gotta love the best friend character. Rina is so funny and I love her attitude. She has so much boy drama that it is really funny. She doesn’t know though. I think that if she wasn’t so wrapped up into herself, she would have realized that something was wrong with her best friend. I mean, how could you not know that something was wrong? I always know when something is wrong. It’s like you see your best friend and you just know. So, I honestly do not believe that that part of the friendship was believable. Sorry. I get that Rina makes life interesting for Caitlin, but if Rina was this self-centered in real life, they wouldn’t be friends by now.
4 out of 5 stars

The Plot:
I thought that this would be your usual Sarah Dessen novel. Girl has problem. Girl meets boy with a problem/past of his own. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy breaks girl’s heart. Girl and Boy get back together after a misunderstanding and happily ever after. I like how she broke her own mold here and gave her readers something different. I’ve been craving for something different from Sarah Dessen for a while and this book really hit the mark. I understand that this isn’t a new book of hers, but I just got given this book and I am so glad that I was. It shows that Sarah Dessen can do more. I wish, every few novels, she will continue to put out books that have a unique plot and not the predictable one. There is more than just the plot that makes a Sarah Dessen story unique and hers.
5 out of 5 stars

The Setting:
I am really enjoying the descriptions in this novel. It seems like she did more describing in this book, probably because there seems to just be more places to describe. I like that this book goes to a lot of different places and we got a lot of visuals. I like to immerse myself into whatever novel I am reading and some books make that really hard when they only put detail into the outfits. Dessen does so much more and makes the place really come alive for me. It makes me excited to reading again like I used to.
5 out of 5 stars

The Dialogue:
Dessen always keeps the dialogue fresh with each and every book that she writes. She creates the dialogue based on the character. If the character is childlike and uneducated, she doesn’t make him/her sound like an adult. I like that the character’s voice is unique to that character only. I don’t like cookie cutter characters that all seem alike except have different names and look different. Even the adults all of their own unique way of talking. This book has been a really refreshing read.
5 out of 5 stars

Engaging Surprises:
There were quite a few surprises in this book that you really never see coming. You never saw the abuse that would happen and get worse as the book went on. You never saw a particular character leaving right up and never saying a word. You never thought that such a strong female character would put up with such abuse, but you never see a lot of things coming in real life until they are upon you. I really like how this novel imitates life in that way. This book was a really emotional story for me and one that I could relate to, even though I was rarely hit. It’s the emotional abuse that I really connected with and Dessen presented it as a reality, not a fantasy.
5 out of 5 stars

The emotion was mounting, when the Climax came around and everything fell like glass shattering to the pavement. I couldn’t believe what this whole book has been building up to, but I shouldn’t have been surprised. Every abusive relationship has its final explosion, where everything comes to a head and its either life or death. I never thought that Sarah Dessen would ever write about a topic like this and that she would execute it so flawlessly like she had always been writing things like this. I want more.
5 out of 5 stars

Emotional Response:
I cried many times, when reading this book. I just could relate to the character so well that I felt her pain and her confusion. I know what feels like to want to belong somewhere with someone, but sometimes, that person isn’t always how they portray themselves to be. Sometimes, the person you have loved forever somehow turned into a cold stranger that you no longer know. It’s hard to let go of someone who made you love them and then hurt you, whether it is physical or just emotional. Sometimes the deepest scars are the ones that you can’t see.
5 out of 5 stars

The ending wasn’t all that surprising, but it was a bit predictable in a way. It still wrapped up into a pretty little bow instead of a bit of a mess that I would have wanted it to end like. I don’t understand why Dessen has to have a happy ending. She could have left it at Caitlin recovering and growing stronger, instead she had to say how her sister was jealous of her and her freedom and how she had the better life with no expectations. The ending could have been better in my opinion. Since the novel was a mess of emotions, I expected it to end in a mess.
3 out of 5 stars

The Writing:
Sarah Dessen’s writing is something special. I have always loved her writing style and this book is no different. I actually think that I love it even more in this book, since she takes a whole different plot approach. Does she have grammar issues here and there, yes, but what book doesn’t? Editors cannot catch everything you know and some mistakes are due to the printers. Her writing has always interested me and it will continue to do so.
4 out of 5 stars

The Artwork:
The cover isn’t anything is write how about at all. You get the turmoil that the main character is in by the cover, but not much else. To be honest, if this book wasn’t bought for me, I might not have bought it based on the cover alone. I like appealing covers and this one just did not appeal to me and doesn’t really go with the whole story either.
2 out of 5 stars

I don’t really think that this was chick lit like her usual genre. It is a bit darker more like a troubled romance with a growing up element to it. I still think that this is suitable for mature teenagers and adults alike. I really enjoyed this new twist to Sarah Dessen’s usual chick lit offerings.
5 out of 5 stars

I think that the title “Dreamland” is very suiting, since the title is mentioned is the book itself and the main character has a dream journal that she uses as a journal to her sister. Not many titles seem to actually connect to the book and I like that this one does on so many different levels.
5 out of 5 stars

Overall, I give this novel a shocking 4.5 out of 5. So, I could go either way on this one. I could make it a 4 or a 5, but I think that it deserves a 5 star rating, even with its minor imperfections. Hey! Nobody’s perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I haven’t enjoyed a novel like this in a long time. I don’t give out many 5 stars, so you know this novel has to be good.

With Love,


View all my reviews


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