Thursday, October 02, 2014

Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

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I received this book for free from Amulet Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat WintersThe Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
Published by Amulet Books on October 14th 2014
Genres: Historical, YA
Source: Amulet Books
Buy on Amazon

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.

Ooh what a wonderful, incredible, and perfectly cryptic story! It’s with no surprise that I absolutely adored this novel; having loved In the Shadow of Blackbirds a year back, I already knew the talents of Cat Winters’ storytelling, and I thoroughly expected to be transported into yet another fantastic tale – this time full of magic, mystery, with a dash of horror and romance.

The year is 1900, and Olivia is one of many women who’s currently fighting for the rights of women. But with a father who’s determined to shut her up, dreaming of a better life is not an easy feat. Olivia is a girl with a lot of opinions and strong views. She’s determined to have a future that is not controlled by men, to help bring change into the world. I loved her instantly. Her voice is one that immediately transported me into her world and dreams. Connecting with her was effortless, and rooting for her was a given. Her story begins when she meets Henrie Reverie, a hypnotist who chooses her to come on his stage where he demonstrates his skill. When her dentist father, who has equally large opinions on the roles of women, finds out a hypnotist is in town, he has this grand idea of shutting his daughter up for good. This is when the horror starts. Henri not only makes her unable to voice her dissent, he also makes her “see the world the way it truly is“. Well as we all know, the world has a lot of evil, and evil is what she sees. Some people now appear to her as terrifying monsters and blood thirsty vampires. Talk about some creepily awesome stuff – all vividly detailed, of course! I also loved the many references to Bram Stoker’s Dracula!

This leads me to talk about the fantastic atmosphere of this story. Just like her previous novel, Cat Winters has written this novel with such a rich, cinematic setting that you can’t help but feel yourself walking these historical streets. You can all but smell the air and feel the electricity of the coming change in the world. I feel as if I experienced something of importance that we now find in our history books. The historical details on the women’s suffrage movement is as fascinating as it is eye opening. The same could be said about the dentistry practices that are simply horrifying, yet that’s how things were really done back then. But I digress. The writing is fabulous, the tone is perfectly eerie, the dialogue is sharp and engaging, and the story is filled with wonderfully realistic and vivid personalities.

One of my favorite aspects of this novel is the relationship that develops between Olivia and Henri. They don’t jump into a romance right away. He comes off as a person of mystery at first, and as she gets to know him, she finds a partner and an equal. He’s also burdened with some darkness of his own that forces him to agree to the dentist’s evil demands – but unbeknownst to him, it makes him and Olivia grow closer. I loved the complexities of this story and its characters. No one is perfect, and sometimes you’re forced to do what you gotta do. The ending is bittersweet, but satisfying. I loved the realism, the hope, the light at the end of the tunnel. And I especially loved the magical touch. The Cure for Dreaming only cemented my admiration for Cat Winters. If you’re not a fan yet, read one of her books, asap!


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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20 Responses to “Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters”

  1. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    Whooot 5 stars! So glad that you enjoyed this one so much for the writing and atmosphere, Giselle 😀 I have still yet to read something by Cat Winters so I have to pick up my copy of In the Shadow of Blackbirds soon.

    Lovely review! <33

  2. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    YES! I’m so excited you loved this, Giselle. I’ll be reading it when it comes out and I’m thrilled to hear that it’s nothing short of amazing. I love the sound of the setting and I agree. Cat Winters definitely knows how to write a rich and cinematic story.
    Beautiful review! 🙂

  3. Tammy@ Books, Bones & Buffy

    Yay 5 stars!!! I’m super excited to read this, and it is probably coming up next. I loved Cat’s first book and I’m so excited to see her second one may be just as good, or even better. Plus I had no idea there were vampires in the story. Now I’m even more excited!

  4. Larissa Holt

    AHHHHH OMG SO GLAD YOU LOVED THIS! I adore Cat Winters, In The Shadow of Blackbirds was a 5 star read for me. I utterly love Historical Fiction and Winters always manages to the genre so well.

    Her work is undeniably athmospheric and it’s great to hear that The Cure for Dreaming is just as well done in that area as In the Shadow of the Blackbirds. I just love how Winters manages to weave in historical elements while maintaining a compulsive reading experience. Her characters are always also so complex and well done. I can’t wait to see the romance in this one.

    Amazing review girl c:

  5. ShootingStarsMag

    Whew, I really need to read this one. I’ve wanted to read Blackbirds since everyone raved about it last year but alas, it’s still on my wish list. I need to grab it soon…and then read this one too. 🙂

  6. Pili

    I haven’t read In The Shadow of Blackbirds yet, but I’ve heard such fantastic things about this one and since it’s such a feminist book with the fight for the vote and for making your own choices, that I just had to preorder it! Cannot wait to get it in my hands!

  7. Rachel

    I’ve heard great things about Cat Winters, but I have a thing against bittersweet endings. I only want sweet! Great review, Giselle! 🙂

  8. Kristen@My Friends Are

    Don’t you just love cat Winters? She better beware if she ever meets me because there will be an awkward hug. This woman writes books I love. I cant’ thank her enough for giving me these two books. *sigh* And she’s writing an adult book! Whoohoo. I would love to read a bit more romance from her because her character’s chemistry is always superb. I could go on and on about how much I love Winters and this book.

  9. Camille

    I am so so so excited to read this book! I haven’t read anything by Cat Winters before, but I guess it looks like I should. Glad to hear that the romance isn’t insta-love. Great review!

  10. Michelle @ Book Briefs

    This seems awesome. and 5 stars!? I pretty much have to read it based on that. I loved that you loved the atmosphere of the book. You have me intrigued for sure.

    Great Review Giselle!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  11. JennRenee

    Loved this book. The romance was great. slow and steady. I love the way Cat Winters develops her characters. I love to love them I love to hate them. I love to feel for them. I am a fan and yes anyone who isn’t hasn’t read her books yet. great review.