Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M O'Brien

Genre:  YA Science Fiction
Expected publication date:  September 16, 2014

Description (taken from Caragh M O'Brien's website:
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’ schedules include twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year film 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. What’s worse, 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.

This book takes reality tv to a whole new level with the Forge Show.  The most popular show around follows students in an arts school.  And based on how many viewers each student has determines their blip ranking.  After the first ten days, 50 of the 100 students are cut based on their rankings.  For Rosie, an education outside of the Forge school isn't possible.  So she must do everything in her power to make others watch her and raise her ranking before the cut happens.  But as she increases her popularity, she begins to notice that not everything is as it seems.

Rosie hasn't seen nighttime for the past few evenings due to a mandatory sleeping pill that forces all students to sleep for twelve hours.  So what starts as a night of skipping the pill just to see the night, Rosie sees what happens after hours.  And it's very peculiar.  Some students are reacting badly to the sleeping pill and have iv's in them.  Rosie notices the tell-tale signs of her own needle pricks.  And as she enlists one of the kitchen help to help her figure things out, she realizes her story has become even more far-fetched than before.  And as much as she wants to save people and out the Forge school for what it is, she's not sure people will believe her without proof.

I feel like this book had different parts to the story that were absolutely amazing.  But when pieced together, I see no correlation between it all and can't follow it well.  First, what does a reality school have to do with dreaming at night?  I know the book explains that the art students have the best imaginations and the cameras keep them working their hardest.  But still, I couldn't make the transition from the cameras to the sinister plot.  And then the boy, err love interest.  He sent off so many mixed messages that I questioned why he even bothered helping Rosie in the first place unless he was working for the evil ones --none of which does the book explain well.  And then when the sinister happenings began to unravel, Rosie had the "I can conquer anything and make the world believe me" attitude.  Honestly Rosie?  You're one girl against an evil madman whose been at it a lot longer than you.  (And I've had to delete this sentence multiple times due to plot spoilers, so I'll say this: my attitude of Rosie seems highly negative from this review.  That's not the case; I actually enjoyed Rosie a whole lot.  But I question a lot of her actions towards the end of the book; it seemed like her personality changed completely making her do things she wouldn't normally have done at the beginning.)

My head just didn't want to follow this story from the beginning.  But the mystery kept me going, and I was crossing my fingers that it would get better.  But I'm just left feeling confused about this book...

Thanks goes to Around the World ARC Tours for providing me a review copy.

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