Monday, October 20, 2014

[Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters]

"The Cure for Dreaming"
Author: Cat Winters
Series: None
Pages: 368
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Date Published: October 14th, 2014
Publisher: Amulet Books
Format Read: Hardcover provided by publisher for honest review


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.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To The Cure For Dreaming,

I'm just going to say, I love you. You're the best kind of Historical Fiction. The kind that blends reality and fiction together in a way that seems seamless. You terrified me with some brutal metal pictures, of both the paranormal kind and the reality of what women used to and still can go through. You tell a story of woman's rights in a way that makes me really pay attention. I also love that your drenched in Dracula lore, it gives the story an extra punch. You're the best.

-The White Unicorn

Do you love Historical Fiction? Do you love vampire lore? Do you dig woman's rights? Do you like magic? If you answered yes to all or any of these questions, then The Cure for Dreaming is the book for you. Seriously, go read it right now.

It's no secret that I fell in love with Cat Winter's first book, In the Shadow of Blackbirds and that I was awaiting her Sophomore novel while twiddling my thumbs in anticipation. The wait was worth it and Winter's has provided us with yet another atmospheric, haunting and surprising novel. She has a way with words that makes you feel everything that her characters feel. Instead of feeling like a bystander, you fell like you're a fly on the wall, living in the world that's been printed in words on the page. There was a dream that Olivia has that almost made me gag and not many books make me feel the emotions of the characters in such a tangible way.

Let's talk about Olivia. She's a firecracker and a fighter and a girl who refuses to accept the world as it is. She believes that women are smart and independent and that they should have a voice. Her mother ran off on her and her father years ago and Olivia sees that she's an independent woman. Her father, on the other hand thinks that women should be silent and do only what they are told by the men of the household. Winter's writes about the suffragette movement and the treatment of women in such a way that you feel for Olivia and every girl in this book. Once Olivia is able to see what the world is really like, her world becomes even more terrifying that it first was. I loved that no matter how scary things got for her that she never gave up and she never backed down. Girls like her, even though she's fictional, are the reason that we as women get to live life the way we do and I love that Winter's chose to write about this topic and that she chose Olivia to helm her book.

The added story arc of hypnotism and magic is a wonderful one. It keeps things interesting, while still driving the point home. This book is about woman's rights, but it's also about relationships and learning who you are and who you can be. Henri is a huge part of Olivia's journey. He's alluring, but he's not always the hero. I liked this about him. His reasons are good ones, but when he hypnotizes Olivia, you can't help but feel a little off put by him. I couldn't get a clear read on him in the first half of the book and I found myself doubting him as the book went along, but  I couldn't help being a fan as well. 

The romance between the two is there, but it's light. I'm glad that it exists, but I also love what direction Winter's takes it in. She never let's Olivia fall into depending souly on a male, which makes the main point of this novel hit home even more. Sure you'll swoon, but I think we can all agree that everything works out how it's supposed to. (If you haven't read this book, I'm sorry that I'm not sorry that I'm being vague. Guess you'll just have to read it for yourself to know what I'm talking about)

Winter's also heavily weaves literature into her story. Which fits her Oregon setting. Olivia is obsessed with Dracula and writing and all of this comes into play. It all has it's place in the story, because nothing that Olivia's father does to her to keep her docile works out the way he has planned.

Seriously, just stop whatever you're doing and read this book. It's important and on top of that it's brilliant and what more could you want from a novel?

     5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this NOW!


Giselle said...

YES!! I'm so happy you love dit too and I was hoping you'd love it as much as I did since I know you loved her first book very much, too! She's just a fantastic author and this one simply cemented my love for her! I loved the atmosphere and the characters are all so wonderfully crafted and realistic! And the horror in this one was awesome, too! The description of the vampires and monsters! WHooo! And yes I love how she could put so much into a book that was ultimately about women's rights and really make a super compelling story of it all! Awesome review, hun!

Nicole said...

I kind of can't believe I haven't read this one yet but life happens *sigh* it is definitely high on my list and I will get to it soon. I know I will love it, if her first novel is any indication. And I love that it is so layered, so much more than a poignant story about women's rights. And I'm curious about vampiric lore and magic that is in it!