Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters Review by Anna-Kate

Publisher: Amulet Books
Publish Date: October 14th 2014 
Page Amount: 368 Pages
Price: $17.95 Hardback
ISBN: 1419712160 (ISBN13: 9781419712166)

"Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout." (Goodreads Summary)

The amazing thing about The Cure for Dreaming is that Cat Winters manages to immerse you so completely into the world she is weaving around you that you don’t even realize that you have just read 80 pages in thirty minutes. The novel, though wildly inventive, never had me questioning the world around it at all.

It was astounding how easily I could relate to Olivia. Olivia was far from the perfect daughter: in 1920, she was a woman’s rights suffragist who attended rallies in secret and got egged by men and women opposed to her standings on the social issue. Her father lost work because of her, so he decided to hire the mysterious French hypnotist to help cure her impossible dreams, but came upon a curse (or is it a gift instead?) where she saw people for who they truly were, therefore introducing a world of terrible truths she might not want to know. As Olivia avoided vampire-esque humans, I felt happiness with her. I felt every disappointment with her. Her character was so human.

And the romance. First of all, how can you go wrong with a sweetheart semi-French hypnotist *swoon*. Henri Reverie was mysterious and slightly pitiful; he demonstrated that men too could be suffrage crusaders. Without him, the men in the novel could have appeared rather one dimensional: all of them horrible and cruel. Henri added the necessary complexity in the book to push it over the edge.

The only reason this book does not have five stars (regardless of being one of my favorite books) is that I felt it needed an extra seventy five pages to go deeper in everything. I wanted to learn more about Olivia seeing the world the way it was more; what did all of the people who were occasionally fading mean? If the author could have explored more types of people other than monsters and friends then an added level of interest would have been developed and pulled readers in even more. Cat Winters could have also gone a little more in depth with the issue of women’s rights. While it was covered very well for Olivia in a personal way, I wished to see more women’s lives dedicated to the cause, more fight, and more outrage at what the state was oppressing.

Needless to say, this book deserves every piece of praise it gets. Run, don’t walk, to your bookstores to get this one.

Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5 Stars

Review written by co-blogger Anna-Kate

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad I read your review! I got curious about this book and I'm glad to know that it got good feedback.


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