Review of The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters + International Giveaway

The Cure for DreamingThe Cure for Dreaming
By: Cat Winters
Release Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Amulet Books
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:

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.

The Story:
Well, this cements it, Cat Winters is one of my favorite authors (really there was no question) and I’ll read anything she writes. The pacing was incredibly fast and I was riveted from the very start. I dropped the other books I was reading and became solely immersed in this one. I wanted nothing more than to have my nose stuck in this book until I finished. Really, that’s what I did.

I wasn’t as drawn to the summary for The Cure for Dreaming as I was her first novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, but as soon as I began reading I knew I’d fall in love with this book. Winters’ writing was incredibly powerful, emotional and engaging. There are never slow moments. I was swept into 1900 Oregon and Olivia’s life. Actually, upon finishing I feel that dreaded book hangover. I zipped through the book and now wish I could go back and read it again for the first time.

I’ve not read much about the suffragist movement and had very little to go on but I felt that Winters was able to express the time period and how it felt to be a woman beautifully. I am ashamed that I’ve not spent more time understanding where my right to vote began and feel that I will be looking deeper into it now. This book was encouraging and opened my eyes to how much things have changed in a short amount of time.

Not only does this novel touch upon a historically significant time but we are also introduced to hypnosis. Magic, the occult and hypnosis was very much in style early in American history and I adore that Winters brings up the subjects and incorporates them into her novels. I loved the other worldly quality of this book and felt that though it was fantastical it still felt incredibly realistic and even plausible to some degree. I for one have never encountered a hypnotist so have no experience with the art but I am thoroughly intrigued to learn more.

As with In the Shadow of Blackbirds, photographs either from the time or portraying this time period are scattered throughout. This provides the reader a visual peek into the 1900’s and adds so much to the experience. If anyone can create a historical atmosphere it’s Cat Winters.

The Characters:
Olivia was immediately relatable and likeable. Winters gave her character a beautiful progression from slightly unsure of herself to realizing her inner bravery and strength. Not only was her character outstanding, attention was paid to each of the secondary characters. The interactions and dialog between characters were impeccable.

I especially loved Olivia and Henri’s relationship. I felt that they both brought out the strength in one another and I yearned for them to share scenes together. Truth be told, I could have done with many more moments between the two. Let it be known that I am crossing my fingers for a Cat Winters book that focuses on romance a tad bit heavier than the last two (update– Cat told me that an adult book coming out next year called The Uninvited will have a bit more romance in it!).

Back to Henri, our hypnotist, I adored that he began as a magical being that seemed far removed from Olivia and the reader. As the story progressed we learn about Henri as Olivia does and find that he was flawed and real. I thought that he was a very complex character that I’d love to read more about. I could see so many more stories concerning him and his sister.

Winters excels at creating and breathing life into her cast of characters. Even Olivia’s father, who was despicable and frightening, pulled at my empathy a time or two. I’m somewhat appalled at myself, but I felt for the man in one particular scene.

Final Thoughts:
I think you can tell that I adored this book as well as everything Cat Winters writes. I can’t think of another author that so seamlessly incorporates complex characters, a spooky atmosphere with historical elements. Though this story took place in 1900-elements are still applicable to our current world and resonates with readers today.

The Cure for Dreaming Book Trailer:


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  1. says

    I skimmed over your review because I’m planning to read this and don’t want to read any accidental spoilers, but wow! 5 stars? That is enough to convince me to try this one. ;D

  2. says

    Well, I certainly think it’s possible to put someone in a different state of mind – it’s a form of therapy after all, but I’m not sure about the part where people are made to do weird things. Probably not.
    In any case, I’d rather avoid it, because I’d hate to lose control over my thoughts. If you think about it, you’d have to trust the hypnotist very much!
    This book sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. says

    In psychology class our teacher tried to hypnotize us – didn’t work for me, but a few people in my class fell under her spell 🙂

    Lovely review 🙂

    thank you 🙂

  4. says

    Well, I’ve never been hypnotized or know someone who has been. I don’t really believe in this “art” of hypnotizing! If I ever see anyone hypnotized maybe then I’ll believe but until then… 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  5. says

    Wow yet another 5 star review! I definitely have to get cracking and read some Cat Winters. Her writing sounds fabulous 😀 And in regards to hypnotising. Nope, never been and I don’t know anyone who has. It would be kinda freaky, I guess?

    Great review and thanks for the giveaway, Kristen! <33

  6. says

    I’m extremely happy to hear you absolutely loved this one! I have just very recently preordered it, so I’m not entering the giveaway!
    I have become fascinated with the Suffragist movement with A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller and I cannot wait to read another book that focuses on a time period where women are finally fighting for their rights in such a vocal way!
    I’m happy to hear that the romance is on the subtle and not overpowering way in this book too!
    Fantastic review, Kristen!

  7. Alyssa says

    I have never been hypnotized nor have I known anyone who has been. Although, I had a Humanities professor once who claims he can hypnotize people (and also “magically” heal, and see spirits and summon them upon his call). It’s creepy, to be honest. But yeah I do believe that hypnotizing can be performed yet, on my teacher’s case I just don’t think what he’s saying is genuine. In fact, I don’t believe anything he says at all. Everytime he talks in class about his mystical experiences I just laugh in my head because his face says it all, that he’s just playing fools of us, his students. I’m glad he’s not our professor in Humanities anymore. Thank God. xD

  8. Kristia says

    No I haven’t been hypnotized nor seen one being hypnotized but I believe it can happen. Can’t wait for this book. Thanks for the chance to win this 🙂

  9. says

    I have never been hypnotized. I did go to one of those demonstrations and several people from the audience were hypnotized and I believe it was genuine.

  10. Courtney W says

    I’ve never been hypnotized nor do I know anyone who has. I’m not entirely sure it’s not possible but I don’t really think it could happen.

  11. Ana Death Daurte says

    I never was or met someone who was, but I think it is totally possible.

    Thanks so much for the giveaway and the chance to win <3

  12. erinf1 says

    I don’t think that it would be possible for me to be hypnotized but I would love a chance to try 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  13. Susan T. says

    I haven’t been hypnotized and I don’t think it would be possible for me because I refuse to give up control!

  14. says

    Yay. I’m so glad you enjoyed this. I’m really excited for it! I have not nor would I ever let myself be hypnotized. I’d be scared for someone to control me. Yikes!

  15. Chenise J. says

    During my university’s frosh week they had brought in a hypnotist but I never volunteered to be put under. There’s a part of me that wants to try it, but honestly, it would freak me the hell out having no clue what I had done.

  16. Courtney Parker says

    This giveaway sounds so fantastic. I’ve never read anything by this author before but I want to so bad her books sound really riveting.

  17. Mary G Loki says

    Yes I have for therapy. It is not how they show in cartoons. From what my psychiatrist who performed it on me said, it was a variation of hypnotism. The treatment I went through was strange but very beneficial. Basically he would ask me to remember a time I was extremely anxious; bc I wanted to reduce if not get of my anxiety disorder. I would tell about my memory and then he would ask me to place myself inside as if I was reliving the memory. The point was to feel as I felt in the memory; since I was anxious then and should try and be anxious now. He then would tap on my knees and staccato rhythm causes my brain to be hyperactive; causing my mind to ‘process’ the memories over again. If it works your eyes move back and forth rapidly; it weird bc you can’t control it. After the tapping I felt like cotton was stuffed in my head. It was the most mentally exhausted I ever felt. Like my brain went on a marathon.
    Anyway you feel that way until you fall asleep and when you wake up you feel normal again. Now I can remember certain traumatic events that once caused all my muscles to become ridged and make me emotional, that now cause me no mental nor physical distress! 🙂

  18. Zulfa says

    Well I know chickens can be hypnotised by drawing a chalk in a straight line. Maybe there’s a video on Youtube but I saw it on TV.

  19. nurmawati djuhawan says

    i never i don’t really know..
    but thx u for the chance…love the book’s burb…

  20. says

    My college roomate went to a group session with a friend for smoking cessation. It worked for the friend, but not my roomie. They had a code word to say everytime they wanted to smoke, and it was supposed to take the craving away. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway. 🙂

  21. says

    Right? This book was fantastic and I loved it so hard! I was also a big fan of Blackbirds and this one just showed that she has more than one story to tell. And she tells it perfectly! I also didn’t know much about the suffrage movement and she made everything so clear and eye opening. And the horror aspect of the book was amazingly well done and so cinematic! I also loved Olivia and Henri’s relationship and how they became partners and grew closer together as the story progressed. The ending was bittersweet though but perfect for the story! Great review, hun!

  22. says

    Amazing review Kristen. <3 I'm so glad you loved this book. I did too. Sigh. It was just stunning, wasn't it? 😀 I cannot wait to read more from Cat. <3 She is awesome. And this book. Sigh. SO GOOD 😀 Thank you for sharing your thoughts. <3

  23. says

    AHHH, I finished it last night and yup, this is why I’ll read anything by her now too, she just has a way with words, and making them genuine to the time but also understandable, if that makes sense. Love how the hypnotism was incorporated into it though, really fun and their relationship, YES, though I do wish there was more of it, but still, in a way, it fitted Olivia’s character. Need her next book NOW though, haha. 😉

  24. says

    So happy you loved this! I haven’t read her first book, mostly because I’m such a romance reader and the romance in that scares me a bit, but I have high hopes for this one. (Glad to hear her adult book will be more romance-focused though. :P)
    The combination of the suffragist movement and hypnosis is definitely intriguing! I can’t wait to get my copy.
    Great review, girl!

  25. simonet says

    I haven’t been hypnotized nor do I know anyone that has been.. I have only seen people on TV try. I think the idea of it is really cool.

  26. Kayla Arnold says

    I haven’t been hypnotized, but I’ve been to a show, and it was awesome! I went home and tried to hypnotize my brother and my cat…didn’t work too well 😀

  27. says

    I haven’t nor known anyone who has done! So I can’t really say if it works or that I believe it. It’s one of those things I’d have to experience myself, though I don’t have the desire to do so.

  28. says

    At our school after graduation party they hypnotized a bunch of people…. it’s pretty weird. I don’t know much about it… just that it’s odd. 0.o

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