The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
☆ ☆ ☆
2 stars? 5 stars? I'M ALL OVER THE MAP HERE GUYS.
No spoilers and colorful language abound! I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Rosie Sinclair is many things, a teen, an aspiring artist, a film maker, an observer, but most of all a dreamer. When her application is accepted at the Forge School of the Arts, the most prestigious art school in the country that happens to be a wildly successful reality show she jumps on the chance to change her life. She runs from a future in a dead end town, a railcar as a home and cycle of mediocrity, but does she have what it takes to make it? The school has some odd requirements, one of them is that the students sleep 12 hours a night with the aid of a sleeping pill to help ensure and enhance their creativity. They are also filmed 12 hours a day, where viewers can watch their favorite students feeds, and the students have potential to make millions before they graduate through banner ads. It all adds up to some pretty confused self-views and a hell of a lot of stress but the potential to change their entire life.
This book is told in first person, which I don't always love but enjoyed in this context, sort of. Rosie seems a little disconnected from herself and that comes across in the writing and the feel of her voice, in short she doesn't sound fifteen. Although I enjoyed the fact that she didn't sound young, but she also didn't sound much like anyone really, there was a noticeable element missing, giving the impression of her being very withdrawn from the plot even as the main character, an objectivity I wasn't expecting. The silver lining here is that in first person, the reader gets enraptured in the mystery of it all and we get to take the journey with her.
There is no info dumping here and often many things go unexplained, left only to assume it somehow all fits into the scheme of things. Although I typically really appreciate the lack of info dumping, there was a little too much left to assumptions that it got frustrating. There was too much emphasis on certain aspects of the story, to later being entirely forgotten and unaddressed. The readers perspective is very limited to Rosie's knowledge and curiosity, which both makes and takes away from the book as a whole. The world itself is ominous and leaves much to the imagination with small tidbits to clue you in on the state of things.
Overall I really loved going through this book via Rosie, never really knowing what is real and what is happening. Fast paced and curious it was a fun ride!
Psst. THAT ENDING!
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