Tuesday, December 11, 2012


sarah dessen
penguin group
published 2000

Ever since she started going out with Rogerson Biscoe, Caitlin seems to have fallen into a semiconscious dreamland where nothing is quite real.  Rogerson is different from anyone Caitlin has ever known.  He's magnetic.  He's compelling.  He's dangerous.  Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else - her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lackluster life.  But what happens when being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him?

There are some books that you read that you can hardly get through because it hurts so much to read the words printed there so permanently.  You hold your breath and try to get through it like you would something physically painful, but necessary.  You truly want to stop reading because you cannot stand stand to see where it's going, but you can't stop for fear of never knowing where it ends.  Books that tear out your throat and leave you with tears brimming in your eyes.  Tears that never spill, but are there for the entirety of the ordeal.

You either feel like this because you know what it feels like to be there or because you can't imagine what it feels like to be there, but it's so scary that you have a visceral reaction to reading the experience.  You touch the pages, fingering each word hoping for .... comfort.

Those books are neither pleasant or fulfilling.  They leave you raw and unsure if you want more or if you're just glad it's over.  Those books break you into a thousand tiny little pieces and your remain too exhausted to pick those pieces back up.  Your skin crawls, you feel nauseous and your heartbeat remains irregular for the duration.

You cannot ever say that you 'liked' those books.  You don't recommend them because they're a good fireplace or beach read.  You simultaneously want to forget you ever read them and relive every word of every page.

But you do recommend them.  You do love them.  Someone told your story or narrated your fears.  The writing is poetic and insightful.  There is beauty in the ugliness and it shines so brightly that you can't ever forget.  They fill a hole in you that you had always looked to fill and spoke words you never could articulate on your own.

This is how Dreamland is.

I won't go into any detail.  I won't spoil the book for anyone, but I will leave you with only my favorite line in the book which can only be your favorite line if you read the book.

"And when I was finally ready to take a picture of a face, it was hers I chose, sitting on the green grass on a blanket where we'd just finished a picnic of grapes and chocolate chips."

No comments:

Post a Comment

leave me some love. or hate. don't mind either, but if you leave the hate be prepared. i bite back.

Disqus for know-it-not-so-much