Dreamland (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about a novel written by Sarah Dessen. For other uses, see Dreamland.
Author Sarah Dessen
Cover artist James Connelly
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young adult
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication date
September 1, 2000
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 250

978-0-14-240175-0 (Paperback)

0-670-89122-3 (Hardback)
OCLC 55857711

Dreamland (2000) is a teen novel by the American author Sarah Dessen.

Plot Summary[edit]

The book is split into three parts.

Part I: Cass[edit]

Caitlin O'Koren has just realized that on her 16th birthday, her 18 year old sister, Cass, has run away. Everybody completely forgets about Caitlin's birthday. Her parents are broken-hearted, since Cass was supposed to attend Yale two weeks later.

Everyone searches for Cass, but she soon makes a call saying she is with Adam, her boyfriend. Her father is furious, saying he had better expectations of her. Later on, Caitlin's friend, Rina, asks her to join the cheer leading squad, but Caitlin keeps refusing. Caitlin gives in and makes the squad, much to Boo's dismay. Caitlin's mother is very excited. Caitlin says that it's probably best to take her mind off Cass' departure.

It turns out that Caitlin hates cheerleading, but she remains on the squad because of her mother, who sees Caitlin as Cass' replacement. On her 1st game at half-time, Caitlin goes to the top of the pyramid. While on top, she hears someone calling Cass's name. So, while thinking of Cassandra, Caitlin reaches up to find the scar from the shovel incident. She feels it, then falls to the ground, and someone from the bottom of the pyramid, runs out from under everyone to catch her. Luckily, the worst injury out of the pile of cheerleaders is a broken nose.

Later on, Caitlin meets a boy named Rogerson Biscoe at the car wash, who is a drug dealer. They meet again at a party and she ditches Mike Evans to leave with him . They make out in the car, and later become a couple after Caitlin witnesses Rogerson being abused by his father.

Part II: Rogerson[edit]

Caitlin and Rogerson's relationship becomes more physical. Rogerson introduces Caitlin to drugs and a woman in her mid-twenties named Corinna. They become best friends and begin to smoke pot.

Caitlin begins to forget school which causes her to not attend classes and fail every class possible. Rogerson helps her with this, claiming that "he knows everything."

Caitlin soon begins to be abused by Rogerson when she does not tell Rogerson where she is, and when she is seen talking to other boys. Caitlin begins writing in the gift that she received from Cass, a dream journal. Caitlin begins to see Cass in a TV show that Cass's boyfriend works on. Caitlin's mom engages in the show, not caring about what's happening but finally seeing her daughter again.

On Christmas Eve, Catilin finally agrees to sleep with Rogerson. She says later in the book that whenever they have sex it is the only time she feels safe.

One day, Caitlin's friend, Rina, decides to take her out for some fun. They go to Rina's step fathers' lake house, but Caitlin was terrified because she knew that Rogerson was waiting outside of her house. She tried calling him, but he never picked up the phone.

Caitlin walks away and heads home. She sees Rogerson parked in front of her house. She gets into his car and Rogerson becomes angry with her and begins to abuse her, until she is pushed out of the car. He continues to abuse her until Caitlin's mother shoves Rogerson away from her and calls for help. One of the neighbors calls the police, and Rogerson is arrested.

Part III: Me[edit]

Caitlin joins the Evergreen Rest Care Facility after Rogerson is arrested. She comes in because of drug addiction, and after all Rogerson did to her, she still loved Rogerson. She starts counseling and begins a slow improvement.

Caitlin gets a letter from her friend, Corinna, saying that she left her longtime boyfriend, Dave, and is in Arizona living her life, trying to forget her past. She says she hopes to see Caitlin again soon. She also gets a letter from her sister, Cass, saying that she did not want to go to Yale. She was having a tough time and wasn't happy with her parents' plans for college, which explains her sudden departure.

Rina tells Caitlin that she ran into Rogerson at the Quick Zip and he briefly passed by her not saying a word or looking her in the eye. Caitlin realizes that she must prepare herself for the next time she sees Rogerson.

At the end of the book, Caitlin is released but before she goes she takes a picture of the new her, and compares it to the old picture she once ripped but has put back together. Her family has a welcome home party with a special guest, Cass.


  • Caitlin O'Koren - Caitlin is sixteen years old. Her older sister, Cass, ran away the morning of her sixteenth birthday. Her best friend is Rina. Rina made her try out for the cheer leading squad, which Caitlin hates. Throughout the story, she starts to smoke marijuana, becoming addicted, and later uses it as a way to escape the pain of her abusive relationship with her boyfriend, Rogerson. At the end of the book, Caitlin goes to a rehab clinic for her drug addiction and Rogerson's abuse towards her.
  • Rogerson Biscoe - Rogerson has curls that look like dreadlocks and is described as very attractive and charming. Rogerson is a drug dealer who is abused by his father. He is from a wealthy family and lives in the pool house behind his parents' house. He begins dating Caitlin and supposedly falls in love with her. He only says that he loves her after the first time he hits her. He hits her when she does something "wrong" like talking to another guy, or being late to meet him. He begins to hit her harder and more often as their relationship progresses but he refrains from hitting her where it was visible to avoid suspicion. After waiting for Caitlin to come home at her house one evening, Rogerson beats Caitlin badly to where she is knocked out of the car (the doors were originally closed) but it seen by local neighbors who call the police, being sent to jail for assault.
  • Cassandra "Cass" O'Koren - Cassandra is Caitlin's older sister that ran away from home on Caitlin's birthday to be with her boyfriend, Adam, instead of going to Yale. Cass was very involved at school and has overshadowed Caitlin on terms of accomplishment. Caitlin is at a complete loss when her sister suddenly disappears. She works on a TV show that her boyfriend breaks up fights on called The Lamont Whipper Show, which is much like Jerry Springer. The show dealt with different people's situations and relationships to each other.
  • Rina Swain - Rina is Caitlin's best friend. She is said to have strawberry blonde curls. She is a cheerleader like Caitlin and is hated by many girls because she is very pretty and has lots of boyfriends. Her mother is very unsuccessful in marriages. Caitlin says that Rina's mother only marries men for money, not out of love.
  • Mike Evans - A guy Caitlin was supposed to become a couple with but ditched him to leave with Rogerson on the night of the party. He is on the football team and is friends with Rina and her boyfriend, Bill
  • Corinna - Corrina is Caitlin's new friend. She lives in a small farm house with her boyfriend, Dave. She attended the same high school as Caitlin and Cass, but was disowned by her parents after running off to live a life similar to Cass's – away from the pressure to be perfect, away from smothering parents. Corinna dreams of getting away to California. She also smokes pot and has jingly-jangly bangles which is her trademark throughout the novel.
  • Boo Connell - Basically known as a hippie, she is a next-door neighbor and cares about Cass and Caitlin. She is their mother's best friend and was there for her when Cass first ran away.
  • Margaret O'Koren - Cass and Caitlin's mother. After Cass runs away, she is extremely disappointed and depressed. Once Caitlin joins the cheer leading squad, she gets so wrapped up in being a part of her life. She watches The Lamont Whipper Show to see Cass.
  • Stuart Connell- Boo's wife. Ran away with Boo when they were 18.
  • Dave - Corinna's boyfriend who can't hold a job, and spent bill money on drugs. Corinna finally left him after not being able to pay those bills.

Allusions to Other Books[edit]

  • Rogerson is Marshall's roommate in Lock and Key who Ruby mentions was charged with assault.
  • Boo Connell is mentioned in Just Listen. Owen's mother and his sister are said to be taking mother-daughter classes run by her.