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by Sarah Dessen

reviewed by Kelly Milner Halls

While domestic violence is not a subject new to most Americans, domestic violence that targets teenage girls may be. Dreamland, Sarah Dessen's gripping novel for readers 12 and up (14 and up might be more appropriate), bravely tackles that disturbing topic.

Caitlin's world is turned upside down the morning of her 16th birthday. When her older sister Cassandra abandoned her dreams of an Ivy league education in favor of romance in Manhattan, she endangered Caitlin's future as well. It was tough enough to step out of perfection's shadow. ŹNow that perfection was in trouble, Caitlin wondered if she'd ever really be seen.

Enter the dark and dangerous Rogerson Biscoe -- a troubled boy who offers Caitlin the love and attention she craves, but with a terrifying, abusive new twist. A powerful story of human need and, ultimately, survival.

Dessen reminds us, young boys who grow up with abuse also grow up to be teenagers. Deep seeded violent behaviors sometimes make them abusive dates and boyfriends, long before they victimize brides.

Click here to buy: Dreamland at