Thank you to NetGalley and Roaring Book Press/Macmillian Children’s Publishing Group for the ARC of The Vault of Dreamers! This book is due out September 16. I will not be divulging any spoilers! 🙂
I really enjoyed this book. It is a dystopian, which I have been loving lately! It has elements of shock, romance, and fear all bundled into one. Basically, there is this exclusive arts school called The Forge School. The school is filmed and broadcast for the whole country to watch, with the option of focusing on certain students to give them more “blip ratings.” First year students have to go through a cut of 50 students, with the losers going back home. Most of the students come from lives that they don’t really want to return to. Rosie, the MC, lives in a boxcar with her mom, good-for-nothing stepdad, and little sister. She gets in trouble at school, which is actually a school/prison, and gets on the fast track to the penitentiary, with no options for college. Luckily for her, she is able to get her blip ratings up and has the opportunity to stay at The Forge School. But Rosie begins to realize not everything is as it seems. Students go to bed every night at 6 by way of a forced sleeping pill, on the terms that the sleeping enhancing their creativity. But once Rosie skips her pill she starts seeing weird things happening to her peers while they’re sleeping. At some points in the book I also began to question Rosie’s sanity. I began to think she was schizophrenic! O’Brien did an excellent job with making me feel right there at the school, or watching on the surface like on the show. I did have some issues with the book though. While it was captivating and the premise was very interesting, it fell short of 5 stars for me because I didn’t know when or where it was taking place until like more than halfway through! I like to have the tone set at the beginning. I could tell it was futuristic, but the specifics weren’t mentioned until much later on in the novel. Also, while it was set in the future, I felt like there were still things that dated the time period to now. They had normal cell phones and computers, for example. I figured you could have like, an implant in your arm for all that technology…or something more advanced…IMHO. Lastly, the ending was completely rushed and a HUGE cliffhanger….there better be a sequel! 🙂 I definitely recommend you check this novel out if you enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, or dystopian.