The Vault of Dreamers
What worked: There's a scary twist in this YA meets UnReal. The students are privileged and talented. During the day their every move is recorded life but at night? That's where something else is happening.
Rosie is from a poorer area and staying at the school means she has a way out of a dead-end future. Her struggles to stay and to find out what's really going on follow her throughout this story. I liked how she tried to 'fit' in with the school but can't silence the curiosity that won't leave.
The beginning of this novel sets up the world of Forge School and the televised background. Everything is recorded for TV viewers. They rate each student. This was fascinating but I felt the novel didn't really start moving until Rosie and Linus try to figure out what's going on. Linus is a worker at Forge School with his own secrets. These secrets do have something to do with the school.
Linus and her relationship is more of the forbidden type especially as he's only a staff kitchen worker. He plays on her desire to up her blimp scores by kissing and meeting up with her. I know I was confused on what his real intentions might be.
Then there is brainy Burnham who's parents are the inventors of the sleeping pill the student's take every night. Rosie and his relationship is hot and cold. I admit, I wanted to see more of them together.
The whole premise of a school that mines dreams of students without their knowledge is sinister and gives this dystopia novel more of a horror feel. The psychological horror is reveal at the climax of the story.
The one thing I did want was more action and reveals to come sooner in the novel. The backstory of other characters including ones that didn't make the cut to stay? I felt those parts slowed down an otherwise very intriguing story.
Intriguing dystopian YA meets Reality TV with sinister undertones. What is real and what is a dream? How far would you go to follow a dream? I can't wait to find out Rosie and Linus's fate in the sequel!
2. World where dreams are mined
The love interest in this book is boring. I mean, it all started with some random kiss and they just started liking each other? There's a lack of passion so instead of making it a believable relationship, I just sort of roll my eyes at every scene they have together. It's dull, so why should I care?
Around 200 pages, I'm still unsure of the whole thing. I don't feel the suspense I believe I should be experiencing. There's only a simple curiosity as to what is happening at night and while that's enough to keep me looking for the answer, it would be the complete opposite for others.
The fact that she's still all over this love interest after a betrayal is absolutely astounding. Honestly, I can't get behind it. To me, it's unrealistic. My ass would have told them off and walked away long before anything else happened.
Overall, the premise was really interesting. For most of the book, I didn't feel the suspense or excitement I believe I should have been feeling. It felt like there was no real danger until near the end. It didn't have me staring hardcore at the pages as I read like I hoped it would do. The ending was not satisfying at all… instead of answering any questions I had, it left me with more and while I know there are books that follow, I would prefer to have SOME answers before it ends. While the book as a whole was bland, the gist of it is intriguing and enough so to warrant me coming back to read the next book. We'll see how it plays out then.
2. Reality show art school is pretty cool.