I’ve never been much a of a reader. But this school year, my senior year, I have decided that I want to become a reader. So I have created a challenge for myself to read and finish at least one book each month aside from books assigned for school. For the month of August, I chose an easy and somewhat short read: Dreamland by Sarah Dessen.
When I picked up Dreamland in the Unquiet Library, I wasn’t sure if I would even like it. But I checked it out anyway and I am glad that I did. For those of you who haven’t read this novel, you should. It is a story about a girl named Caitlyn who desperately tries to fill the void of her missing older sister that ran away. Caitlyn wanted to step out of her sister Cass’ shadow and become her own person and do things that Cass would never do. In the process, Caitlyn plunged into a life that wasn’t ever meant to be hers. She turned into someone that she never wanted to be. By the end of the story, she comes to terms with the things that happened to her and discovers her true self. If you haven’t read this book, stop reading now, and go check it out of the school library.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I found myself feeling every emotion that Caitlyn felt. When Rogerson came and swept her off her feet, I felt just as happy as she did. But then when she started getting into the drugs and bad lifestyle of her new boyfriend, I knew that something very bad was going to happen. The first time Rogerson hit her, I was shocked. I was just as surprised and speechless as Caitlyn was. And toward the end of the novel, after Rogerson had been arrested and Caitlyn sent to the rehabilitation center, I, too, missed Rogerson just as Caitlyn did. And I know it is crazy because he was such a monster. It isn’t that I like him or what he did to her; it’s that there was a certain absent feeling behind Caitlyn’s words. It opened my eyes to why so many girls put up with what their boyfriends do to them. I used to have zero tolerance or sympathy for girls who put up with abusive relationships and said they still “love” the person. But through Caitlyn, a fictional character who portrays so many real young women, I can see that it is still possible to love someone who treats you like dirt. It doesn’t make it right. It just makes it harder to stand up for yourself.
I would consider the month of August a success. Not only did I start and finish the book that I chose, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, too. I am looking forward to September. I think I am starting to like this whole reading thing.