Series: The Vault of Dreamers #1
Published by Roaring Brook on September 16, 2014
Genres: Science fiction, Young Adult
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*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.
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- Review: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien - December 10, 2014