The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien
Release: September 16, 2014
Source: ARC provided by publisher
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.
Rosie Sinclair has managed to make it into the prestigious Forge School for the Arts. It's not just any school, though. Forge School televises the lives of their daily students, and enforces a strict sleeping schedule from 6 pm to 6 am. When Rosie stops taking her sleeping pill, she discovers that sinister things are happening at night. And she's torn between keeping her mouth shut and staying in the program, or speaking out an risking ridicule and expulsion.
It's an intriguing premise, no doubt. A mix between a mystery, a boarding school book, and a bit fantastical elements. I say fantastical, only because I don't believe it could ever happen in real life. I found it hard to image that this is OUR world, and that science could explain what was happening at night. It just doesn't make sense to me, and maybe that's partly why I didn't love this book.
I enjoyed the read, and I kept eagerly turning pages, but I wasn't FULLY invested. I kept reading, because O'Brien does managed to perfectly pace the mystery of Forge school. And I have to hand it to O'Brien for coming up with such a unique concept. Forge school was probably the most interesting "character" of the book. The school took a life of its own.
Unfortunately, I never connected to to the main character, Rosie. There's a particular moment, when Rosie is caught, that I wanted to scream at her to not be stupid. Her actions frustrated me, and I kept wondering what her authorities saw in her. Why she was so special? The romance also felt like insta-love, placed in the book just because it's a YA book and it needs romance. I just didn't believe it, and I didn't feel that connection between them.
I really wanted to love this book, because my friend raved about it. It certainly had a promising beginning. Soon, though, the cracks begin to show themselves and I can't ignore the issues I had with The Vault of Dreamers. Would I continue on with the series? Maybe. The book left off on a cliff-hanger. My curiosity may lead me to pick up the sequel, but it's not a priority.