|The Vault of Dreamers|
by Caragh M. O'Brien
"From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.
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."
I'm pretty torn about this book. There were some aspects I loved, some that confused me, and some I just didn't like. The part I loved was the Forge School/reality TV show. Being a little bit of a reality TV lover myself, I was intrigued by the idea of a reality show in a boarding school for the arts. Very cool concept!. The thought of always being filmed, during every waking moment, is a little daunting, but our main character signs up to do it so she can have a better life. It is fascinating to see her character go through all the peaks and valleys of life constantly on the screen, and being ranked at the same time by viewers. This book could have been amazing if the author had just stayed on that track. Unfortunately, it veers off into a weird territory - a combination of science fiction and paranormal - that kind of lost me. And I have NO idea what was happening at the end. However, it was a fun book to read and it will be interesting to see what happens from here.
Areas of concern:
15 year old girl keeps sneaking out at night.
A handful of bad language.
Some teenage kissing.
An abusive stepfather at the very beginning.
Drug use on teenagers so they will sleep.
Booklist - Grades 8+
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 12+