by Sarah Dessen
Originally published on September 1, 2000
by Penguin Speak
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else--her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lackluster life.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?Source: library
My take: I'd actually never read this Sarah Dessen before. Probably because I use her books as escape reading and this seemed like a darker book than I wanted to read. Yes, it's darker and less romantic than the rest of her books, but I thought its portrayal of an abusive relationship was gripping.
Caitlin's family is in turmoil after her perfect, Yale-bound older sister Cassie runs away from home. While Caitlin's parents focus on trying to find their older daughter and bring her back, Caitlin flounders. Her friend Rina convinces her to join the cheerleading squad. And she meets a guy named Rogerson. At first he seems like just what he needs -- a rebellious private school student who's the exact opposite of the perfection that Cassie ran away from.
I'm not an expert on domestic violence or the psychology of abusive relationships, but I thought the way that the book portrayed Caitlin's slow descent into the nightmare of abuse felt real to me. Rogerson begins to isolate Caitlin from her friends and family, to blame her for his violence and anger. And I was happy that the book took the time to show what happens to Caitlin after she leaves the relationship and seeks counseling.
This post is not officially part of #ReadaDessen, but be sure to enter to win the Penguin contest for a full set of Dessen books here!