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Title: The Vault of Dreamers
Author: Caragh M. O’Brien
Rating: 5/5

Fame starts young, and The Forge School is aware of that. Being filmed through every moment of your waking day, with a few exceptions for privacy, would seem invasive to some, but for Rosie Sinclair, it is the chance of a lifetime to get away from her poverty-ridden small town. Being naturally gifted in filming, Rosie is picked to participate in the school, and its attached Forge Show, diffused through the country. The adolescents are ranked by popularity and by the amount of viewers tuned into their own feed, and the more influential your viewers, the most money you graduate with.

It’s a chance of a lifetime, a dream, and yet Rosie chooses to skip the sleeping pill they enforce on students every night, and her experience slowly dwindles into a one of a kind nightmare in which she has nowhere to hide.

Okay, so you can all laugh at me — I grabbed this book off Netgalley as an accident. My touchpad clicked on “request” as I was scrolling past it, and there it was on my activity list. It took me a while to start the book because of that, and I didn’t even go grab the sequel, that was also on Netgalley.

Mistake.

This book was a treat!

I expected to dislike Rosie, but I began to cheer for her so hard. I expected to find the plot overdone, but it was fresh and it kept me guessing until the end (and I’m still guessing; thank God the sequel is out). I expected to groan at the immediate romance between Rosie and Linus, and the apparent love triangle slowly forming, but I didn’t. I couldn’t pick sides, and I was perfectly happy with letting this book take me on an adventure. I fell in love with the characters, one at a time, and I let the plot twists take me by surprise.

Trust me — there are twists and turns to this book that you’ll never see coming. The ending doesn’t answer any questions, but I’m sure the next book will do so. It’s really an innovative plot, to the point that I will most likely check out the author’s other series someday.

I think, though, that my favourite part was how flawlessly balanced this book is. I throw that word out a lot in other reviews because that’s what makes a book excellent to me. I love when the focus is on various themes, and when there isn’t one that overpowers the others. The contrast between Rosie on camera in the daytime and Rosie at night was well done; she wasn’t becoming a brand new character each time, but you could still see the shifts in her personality. She’s a very well-written character!

Also, I got a nice “older” Nancy Drew vibe out of this book, too, so that helped a lot.

I would like to thank Roaring Brook Press for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I would highly recommend this book, and I’ll most likely post a review after reading the second installment in this series!

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