August 28, 2014

The Vault of Dreamers - Caragh M. O'Brien

The Vault of Dreamers book cover
The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks Macmillan!) || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]

The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success: every moment of the students' lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students' schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What's worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

The Vault of Dreamers possesses a very important quality: a strong premise. The Forge School is a well-known school for the arts, where students agree to have their lives filmed for public consumption. Rosie Sinclair is a first year student who thwarts the routines forced upon students, and discovers that there's something more happening in this place - something that could prove to be life-threatening. 

Doesn't that sound like a haunting premise? And, truth be told, I was completely sucked in from the start. Not only did I have the side stories of day to day life as a student at this school, but I also had to keep up with Rosie's discoveries and subsequent actions. I constantly felt like I was shadowing Rosie for a good two thirds of The Vault of Dreamers, eager to discover what truth really lay beneath the surface here. However, the way things wrap up in the last third left me unsettled and troubled, and it certainly affected how I felt about the novel overall. Add to that the fact that I just didn't feel particularly strongly about any of the characters (and their relationships with one another), and it really changed the trajectory this novel had been following for me.

The bottom line is: I found myself curious enough to finish read The Vault of Dreamers in one day. It's got an interesting premise with a mystery attached that will have you curious to see what the truth really is. But because the characters felt flat, and because I felt so conflicted by the end, this novel wound up being merely an okay read.

Best dream? Worst nightmare?

Let's be real here: It's very, very rare that I actually remember what I dream about the night before. So I'm going to tell you about a dream I had a few weeks ago! I mentioned it on Twitter, but I dreamt that Jamie & I were teaming up to conquer this scavenger hunt. The first obstacle we started at featured author Rick Riordan and involved a lot of math. We finished it easily, then made our way to the next one, which had more to do with physics! I woke up before we could finish the scavenger hunt, but I just felt like we were going to rock it, which was really fun.

As for worst nightmares, well, the dreams that really terrify me these days are the ones where I fall off the edge of a cliff. I literally jerk away from those, panicking because I feel like I'm getting no purchase and falling off some incredible height. I've also dreamt of getting stabbed before, which is scary as heck.


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