Title: Dreamland
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Speak (Penguin)
Genre: General Fiction
Release Date: 2000

This is a well written treatment of a delicate subject - it's a story that needs to be told to a generation that didn't grow up with after school specials.  Covered inside are a lot of teenage problems, some more technically serious than others, and I can't find fault with the way it's done.  My problem with it all, I suppose, is that I did grow up with after school specials.

I don't mean to trivialize the subject or anyone who's been victimized on any level.  And by all means, it was a decent book.  It's simply that I've read it before by various and myriad authors, not to mention seen it on TV and in the occasional movie.  In this particular case, there's very little redeeming about the main character; there's nothing with which I can empathize, though maybe that's part of the point.  It's not just the ones that seem like the 'type' who fall into these behaviors and have to come out of them.

In short, I didn't love or hate this book.  It didn't stand out, and I'll probably forget about it completely in a couple days.  It made me think of any number of books by Lurlene McDaniel (without the potentially mortal illness), Nicholas Sparks or Jodi Picoult, and will blend into the same background noise quite nicely.  I've been told by more than one person, though, that this was their least favorite Sarah Dessen book, so I may go back and give another a try when the vague discontent this one left me with has dissipated.

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