I am currently working my way through my undergraduate degree in Conflict Resolution and Psychology, with the intention of doing some crisis counselling. Helping people is what I am passionate about, and helping someone who really doesn't have any where else to go, or anyone else to turn to is something that has pulled at my heart for a long time now. Victims of abuse, sexual assault, addiction, people who need marriage or grief counselling, doesn't matter their age, those are the kinds of people I want to be there for.
I recently read Sarah Dessen's novel Dreamland, and it really pulled at my desire to reach out to people, to listen and to hear.
This was not like a lot of her other novels (well the one other that I have read).
Dreamland was about a 16 year old girl who tries to find herself after her 18 year old sister runs away. She does find herself, but not in a good way. Caitlin thinks she's found everything she's ever wanted when she first meets Rogerson. He's older and more mature and slightly edgy. Which is exactly what newly independent Caitlin wants. But things go terribly wrong the first time Rogerson hits her.
The first time Rogerson hit Caitlin I knew that is was going to happen, but it still had me bawling my eyes out. My heart was broken, I felt like I could feel everything that this 16 year old was going through, and I wanted to scream at everything that she was losing. This poor girl. Her parents were caught up in the uncharacteristic behaviour or her older sister and and didn't notice Caitlin's free fall into a pretty messed up situation. The girl makes some pretty lousy choices throughout the book.
This story was amazing, truly. It dealt with some pretty heavy material but it had some humour to lighten things up without taking away from the severity of the situation.
The one thing that I wish it had however was some kind of disclaimer, or an announcement about what teens could do when faced with similar circumstances.