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:
star

Summary:
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:

Extras:

Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stacking the Shelves

This past week my family has gotten a cold so this will be a lazy version of Stacking the Shelves. I’ve taken one picture of all the books from the last two weeks and I apologize for no links to Goodreads.  We are mostly on the mend but are still on cold meds and feeling out of sorts still. Hopefully we can fully recoup over the weekend. Beyond that nothing has been going on. I hope to get caught up on all the reviews I need to write. I’ve been more in the mood to read and less in the mood to write reviews.

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

For Review- Thank you Harper, Abrams, Algonquin and Disney!

August8bookhaul

THE CURE FOR DREAMING! I absolutely loved In the Shadow of Blackbirds last year and can’t wait to read Winter’s next novel. I am so thrilled. That goes for In a Handful of Dust and Killer Instinct. So many books I’m excited for in that pile. Some like, Messenger of Fear, I don’t know anything about so I’ll need to run over to Goodreads and see what I have in store.
Last Week’s Posts:

I had an issue with Akismet last week so a good day and half’s worth of comments were eaten and never to be seen again. So, if you commented on my The Perilous Sea or The Jewel review and don’t see it that’s why. I never got to read them which makes me very sad. I read Lailah and Firebug last week- one I really enjoyed and the other not as much.

I’ll be posting my interview with Will Ritter the author of Jackaby this month! I’m so excited to share it so be sure to keep your eye out for it.

I wasn’t active on Twitter this week so have no idea what’s going on with everyone. Did I miss anything?