Book Talk: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

Book Talk: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’BrienThe Vault of Dreamers by Caragh O'Brien
Published by Roaring Brook Press on September 16, 2014
Genres: YA Science Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: For Review

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”


Rosie’s whole life has been photography and when she gets the chance to attend the prestigious Forge School there’s no way she’ll turn that down — even if that means being part of the Big Brother-esque reality show based on the school called The Forge Show. Part of the curriculum is that the students sleep for 12 hours to enhance their creativity by way of a sleeping pill. Rosie, feeling overwhelmed by the reality show and the fact she’s at the bottom of the popularity charts that could send her home, decides to skip out on her sleeping pill and discovers things aren’t as they seem behind the cameras — things that seem sinister and just really off.


a4The Vault of Dreamers was one I almost put down because I was feeling impatient even though the premise was KICKASS, became glad that I kept reading in the middle but the ending kind of made me twitchy and the jury will still be out on whether I’m glad I persevered until the sequel (YEA..I thought it was a standalone).  So let’s break it down because it was up and down.

The beginning: I was SO confused because I felt like I was just dropped into this story because it started a couple days into the reality show rather than day 1 or before she arrived at this school. Also we were never told if this was the future or present (but a randomly dropped sentence later on clears that up). I just felt SO confused and really struggled to care about Rosie or really what was going on. I need to care about SOMETHING and the allure of this kickass premise and general intrigue was fading with all the trying to catch up via flashbacks to why Rosie was there and what the deal with the Forge School was.

The middle until the end: HOLY CRAP. HOLY CRAP. I was racing through it. The suspense and mystery, the whole Big Brother element (I am a BIG fan of that show), the craziness of the Forge School, the way it SO COMPLETELY MESSES WITH YOUR MIND. I seriously was like OMGOMGOMG I need to know what is happening at this creepy ass school. I was tense every time Rosie was sleuthing around and audible gasps could be heard. As we get closer to the end I DID NOT EVEN KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON. Was Rosie dreaming? Is she going crazy? Is there something sinister? WHO CAN SHE TRUST? WHAT IS GOING ONNNNN? The way that the author was able to make ME so unbelievably unsure of what was going on and the whole elaborate THING happening at the Forge School was so incredibly fascinating.

The ending: I just don’t even know what happened. I just don’t.  It was a confusing blur to me in a way but at least we got a pretty big nod to the WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON HERE question.  My brain was spinning. I’m not sure I even quite understand the ending (CAN SOMEBODY EXPLAIN THE ENDING TO ME TO MAKE SURE I AM ON THE SAME PAGE??). I THOUGHT it was a standalone so it was puzzling and then I was like IT HAS TO BE A SERIES because WHAT EVEN. So then I found out it IS a series or at least a duology. It’s weird because it actually totally COULD be an ending and no need for a sequel but then the other part of me is like WHAT?!?



factors+ Plot, how I flew through it and couldn’t put it down after the slow beginning
beginning struggles, the ending, some confusing bits, a little bit of indifference to characters

Re-readability: Probably not but I might need a little refresher before the sequel.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Probably not honestly. Most of the books staying on my shelf I have a really deep connection with.

a5people who like interesting science fiction concepts that mix with a psychological thriller type read.

a8The Vault of Dreamers was quite the ride — honestly a bit like a rollercoaster. The beginning was that slow and painful ascent to where THE GOOD STUFF HAPPENS (aka the adrenaline and the stomach dropping panicky-glee thing) and then from there was this exhilarating ride that seemed to be over before I knew it — complete with that neck-breaking stop at the end of the ride. Such an interesting concept complete with psychological chaos. Was definitely a plot driven read for me because once it got good it was GOOD.


review-on-post-itThe Vault of Dreamers by Caragh O'Brien


a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does this series feel like something you’d be into?
* What did you think about the ending?? (pls mark spoilers!)


The Perpetual Page-Turner


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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Your reaction upon finishing is exactly what I kidna expect from this type of book. The premise is so incredibly promising, so it kinda sucks that you couldn’t really get into the book until about halfway in. I’m pretty sure I’m probably going to try and read it,it just sounds like such a facinating read and I need to know what all those OMG’s in your review stand for! (Like, I really really need to know!)

    • I’ll be really curious what you think!! It wasn’t a perfect read but MAN once it hit it’s stride I was DYING!

  2. I was pretty mixed on this one but I think I lean to not liking it? I loved the idea and felt that there were some strong points but overall it felt long. So many pages with not a lot happening. Do you think you’ll read the next book?

    • I totally agree with you that in some places that happened! I think I WILL read book 2 because I was leaning more to the like side! But book 2 will definitely determine whether or not I’m glad I stuck with the parts of this one that were awful for me.

  3. This book looks really interesting! I’m a fan of Caragh O’brien’s Birthmarked series, so I know I’ll like her writing style. The premise sounds quite cryptic, which is always something that draws me into a book. I’ve always disliked confusing beginnings though 😛 Have you read any of her other work? Great review!

  4. The description sounds intriguing but, like you, I’m not sure I’d be willing to commit if it’s going to take me awhile to get there…hmm. Thank you for sharing your review, as always!

    • Yeah, if you aren’t sold on it right now I’d wait and see what people (and meee) are saying about book 2. I think that’s going to be my determining factor if I recommend this one to people. The good parts were REALLY GOOD but there were just parts that were like UGh should I put this down!

  5. This is one of the next books in my tbr pile. I’ll get back to you after I read it to compare notes. I’m a Big Brother superfan (#teamderrick woo!!) and have been watching since season one, so that’s what grabbed me when I saw this book. I also love psychological thrillers. I also tend to really like odd books, do I have a feeling I’ll enjoy it.

    • Yes definitely let me know what you think!! YESSSS TEAM DERRICK (also I think it would be interesting if Big Brother did some sort of ratings the way this book did for the contestants in some way…like maybe for reward or something..or some sort of twist).

  6. Christina R. says:

    It’s awesome when a book surprises you and delivers on its concept!!

    Glad you enjoed the mystery and plot!!

    Wonderfully lovely post and review 🙂

  7. What happened with the ending? Is there a cliffhanger?

    • It’s a cliffhanger in a way but not? HAHA it’s hard to describe. Like it totally could have ended there but at the same time NOOOO.

  8. this looks and sounds very interesting! Thanks for the great review 🙂

  9. I haven’t read this one yet but I do have a copy. It sounds like it could have been a great read if the beginning and ending were more like the middle. I’m sorry this didn’t completely work for you. Maybe if you do read the sequel it will bring it together.
    Thanks for the great review!

  10. Ummmm ADORABLE new rating scale!!! (I’m sorry if you implemented this A LONG TIME AGO — this is how long it’s taking me to get back into commenting LOL)
    I agree! I enjoyed this one but I wasn’t totally sold. I finished it in a day and yet I still didn’t find myself totally riveted and really… what DID happen at the end? I guess it’s a series but I felt sooooo confused. Not sure yet if I’ll pick up book two but I’ll probably request it from Mac when the time comes LOL


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