Review: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

December 10, 2014 4 stars, Book Review 24 ★★★★

Review: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’BrienThe Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien
Series: The Vault of Dreamers #1
Published by Roaring Brook on September 16, 2014
Genres: Science fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.

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.


I don’t usually write reviews, so bear with me if this review comes off as a bit lame. I’ll try my best not to shame the fabulous and quirky Pabkins. 🙂

Don’t close your eyes.
Don’t fall asleep.
Your dreams are not your own.

Caragh M. O’Brien could very well have been writing about me when I was 15 with The Vault of Dreamers. 

From the start I felt this kinship with 15 year old Rosie Sinclair, an awkward artsy girl who dreamed of making films. When she was surprisingly accepted into the famous, Forge School of Arts, she thought this was her chance. The Forge school isn’t just an awesome school for talented artsy types, it’s also a TV show, the Forge Show, where every minute of your day is broadcast. Every. Waking. Minute. First year students are whittled down from 100 candidates to the final 50 students based on their “blip ranking”. Think popularity here. The more viewers that follow your personal broadcast feed, the higher the blip rank. Ah yes, popularity, that evil little demon that dominates so many adolescent lives is alive and well here. With some advice she unwittingly takes from a kitchen boy, Linus, a dash of drama and a little smooching in the rain, Rosie makes the cut.

The students at Forge are expected to take a sleeping pill every night and get a whopping 12 hours of shut eye. Supposedly this helps get those creative juices flowing, but does it really? Rosie, a girl after my own nonconformist rule breaking heart, decides not to take her pill one night, even though this is grounds for explosion. She uncovers a mystery and a world that only exists at night, when the cameras aren’t rolling. Of course she undertakes a mission to figure out just what the heck is going on, even if it might cost her everything she ever dreamed of.

The world that O’Brien created is realistic and could very well be the further we’re moving toward, reality television is everywhere these days. Even though this book is YA it isn’t overly saturated with adolescent kissy-face romance, the focus definitely isn’t centered around young love. It’s a Sci Fi mystery? Yeah, that’s my take at least. I thought there was an original concept introduced about the dream mining and seeding. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this is expanded on in the sequel, if there is a sequel, which I would totally read. The characters were relatatable and believable, even for older readers such as myself. Though I am perhaps a juvenile myself. Hey, I’m an artist, I make dolls, enough said.

This book was a great read and fantastically written. It had me rooting for the rule breaking underdog. The ending was definitely a bit unexpected and had me flipping the last page saying….nooooo, and so I’ll have to wait until, hopefully the next installment to see what Rosie Sinclair has managed to get herself into, or out of. I shan’t spoil it for you, you’ll have to read it for yourself to see what I mean.

Richelle (Dollusions)

I stray from the norm and dance to the music in my head. I'm a dreamer, a realist, a cynic, and a romantic. So, I'm a many faceted dilemma. I ❤️ART!! (& Tabitha's sister)

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24 Responses to “Review: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien”

    • Richelle

      Thanks Tammy! I’m a reader, not really a reviewer but I feel a little more confident now, Pabkins may get more content from me in the future 😉 She is such a task master, so I’m sure I’ll be reviewing more!

  1. Anya

    That ending totally screwed with my brain! What happens next??? But yeah, I’d agree that it fits into sci-fi mystery quite well. The cameras everywhere definitely felt futuristic and creepy D:. I was never super artsy growing up, only wished I was, ha, so it was interesting to read about a teen who was actually really talented 😀
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    • Richelle

      Right!! I felt just a wee bit jipped, as often happens when you come to the end of book and you want to know, have to know what happens next. I don’t think I would have like the idea of being constantly filmed when I was 15, the 35 year old me though has no issues though. lol. I am quite confidant in my insanity, dollusions, I dare say. hehe
      Richelle recently posted…Art it Up! (35) – Olaf from Disney’s FrozenMy Profile

  2. Natasha

    Can’t wait to read this one; I’ve been wanting to for a while now! Great review btw!!!!

  3. Molly Mortensen

    I’d been curious about this book. Don’t worry, there’s really no wrong way to write a review, you did fine. Sounds like high school popularity is even more important for these kids. Yikes! I like the mystery element too. There’s no set age for mature. Nice review! (Also I love your dolls!)
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014My Profile

    • Richelle

      Thanks Molly! I was feeling the pressure about writing the review though. I love my sister, Pabkins reviews and my husband writes book reviews that I dare say, could be published in the New York Times! I think I did alright though 😉 Oh, and my dolly girls said they love ya right back!
      Richelle recently posted…Art it Up! (35) – Olaf from Disney’s FrozenMy Profile