[458]: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

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GOODREADS SUMMARY | Amulet Books | Hardcover, 388 pages
October 14th, 2014 | Young Adult | Historical Fiction | Paranormal
Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars


I’ve not have much patience with YA books lately. I can’t seem to find it in me to forgive them their shortcomings. And when every imperfections glare at me like the sun, I’ve taken to a perma-scowl look every time I bring one of them home. Unfortunately, The Cure for Dreaming did not escape my wrath.

The gist.

Olivia Mead’s father thought that the best way to silence his daughter’s political and social views was through hypnosis. He believes that she should accept her responsibility as a woman to bear children and mind the household for her husband. Olivia, however, is a head strong, opinionated individual who dreams of becoming someone who can change the world. Lucky for her, the hypnotist shares her views, and proceeds to hypnotize her into seeing the world for what it was. She saw the monster that her father had become; she saw the people for who they really were. A supernatural power that appears in the form of a vision, and depending on how evil a person is, Olivia sees them as monsters in disguise.

At a time when women’s suffrage was an issue that men in power saw as a threat, Olivia’s father planned to make an example of his daughter. By hypnotizing her into becoming docile and meek, he also saw this as a means to further his stature in a society that saw him as a mad, laughable creature. The more he suppressed Olivia, however, the harder she fought back (in her timorous way). Drawn into the mysterious, secretive world of the hypnotist, Olivia will found herself fearing for her life, and questioning the validity of her father’s sanity.

The bad.

I’ll cut to the chase. This is a well-intentioned book. If I ignore all the – dare I say it – foolishness of hypnotism, I say this is a book that young girls would benefit a great deal to read. Most of the time, however, this book contradicted itself. It talked about suffrage, and the rights of women to vote. The rights to speak; the right to dream, but for all its posturing, women still ended up being controlled by the men in their lives. What was the point, exactly? If anything, Olivia was not a convincing character. I did not feel her passion to change the lives of the Oregonian women. She was hypnotized to do as they say, and when they say it. I cannot find admiration in a character who lacked confidence, and who presented herself as a weakling easily swayed. Especially if you’re trying to garner empathy for the movement.

Dracula. God. What is the obsession with Dracula?

The good.

If your intention is to incite hatred towards the men in this book, well, congratulations! I was rightly pissed. I was so mad that I went off my rails for at least ten minutes. My poor husband. Oh my God. His face. No, I did not punch him. He looked at me like I’m some alien being descended from a world where men were hated. Sigh. If my husband could record my tirade about this book yesterday, it would be pure gold. And honestly, I did not spare his ears from f bombs that proceeded thereafter. All he could do was shake his head, and look at me in horror.

I love the pictures included in this book. While its intentions was to add a more sinister vibe to the story, I’m afraid it only succeeded in making this book a slightly tolerable read.

The end.

I should’ve enjoyed this book, but I didn’t. I’m all for the feminist movement and such. But this book fail in all the things that mattered. The message is lost among the cacophony of foolishness.

  • Oh boy. I’m glad I got rejected for this e-ARC, because I don’t think I would’ve been able to even finish this book, if it’s like what you said 😛

    • I don’t know…sometimes, I think I saw more than what everybody did, or I missed out on what everybody saw. Does that make sense?

  • I think this is the first review I’ve come across that didn’t rave about this! Less pressure for me to love it, thank you. I feel immense pressure to like something when everyone else does, which sometimes leads me to avoid something entirely. :p

    • I know right? It sucks when I’m the odd man out. I stick out like a sore thumb. :/

  • Lol. your poor husband! But kudos to him for sticking around for the ten minute rant. 😉 I’m finally getting back to my love of YA fiction, but there was a time when I too would steer clear of the genre. This one doesn’t sounds like my kind of book at all.

  • I agree. The way that the feminism/suffragism and the hypnotism were used was confusing to me. I think it would have worked better for me if Olivia had started out as a meek, obedient girl and the experience of being hypnotized made her realize that she never wanted a man to control her again. Though I guess in that scenario she wouldn’t have needed to be hypnotized. In any case, I had many of the same issues you did.
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

    • Oh Jen. I couldn’t have said it better. That is exactly what I thought, and how hypnosis could’ve been used more effectively.

  • Sorry you read a book you didn’t like. I’m not the biggest YA fan either, and I’ve never really been so. I’ve read my share of YA books, and some of them are fine enough, but usually I find the genre to be less to my liking.

    – Love, Felicia
    ( http://asillygirlsthoughts.weebly.com/ )

    • I think if I learn to balance it all out, I’ll be okay. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Felicia!

  • Cathy

    Uh, I think I’ll stay far away from this book! Thanks for the headsup Joy. Brilliant review! :]

  • Christy

    LOL – Sorry, I shouldn’t laugh, but I would’ve paid to witness your tirade. What a good husband, knew to just let you go. 🙂

    • *snorts* I knew you’d like that. 😀

  • I’ve read rave reviews for this but after reading yours, I’m leaning more towards you partly because your review sounds more grown up. I think I’ll be looking at it the same way you did, I’m a skeptic when it comes to hypnotism to begin with so CWinters has to do some mean hard selling to get me believing it.

    • I just don’t get it, yanno? I don’t get why she’d chose hypnotism as part of the foundation for this story. When it clearly nullifies the message of empowerment. I mean, did I miss something?

  • Aw sorry to hear it made you pretty mad

  • Yeah, I’m not feeling YA at the moment either.

    • Yep. I find that if I switch between adult and young adult reads, I can keep my sanity in tact. Lol.

  • 🙁 I am sad that this one was that infuriating for you. Since I loved In The Shadow of Blackbirds I will definitely be reading this one and maybe we can talk about it then since I obviously can’t form an opinion at this time hah. I am probably going to play closer attention to this book than I might otherwise have. I recently finished A May, Wicked Folly which is also about the women’s rights movement so I might inadvertently compare them too. We’ll see what happens…

    • I’ve been meaning to read my copy of that book as well. I’m glad it also has empowerment theme. I’ll be looking forward to your review on that one. 😀

  • I cannot help but giggle at your review. Your poor husband! I admit, I do this with my close friends as well, and they all look at me the same way your husband did to you. That ‘what the hell are you talking about’ look has become so common with me and my book rants! This book sounds disappointing. Weak characters make for frustrating stories, and I hate wasting my time on a book that simply pisses me off. Wonderful, detailed review (:

    • To be honest, I seem to be the only one who was reduced to a ranting lunatic about this book. I look like the only person who didn’t get the joke, yanno?

      And yes, my poor husband. My poor, poor sounding board. Lol!

  • This ones looks really good from the synopsis too bad it didn’t pan out. I like the whole idea of a book set during the time of the women’s rights movement but I’m no too sure about the hypnosis bit… never have been a fan. Thanks for your review 🙂

    • It’s just so…silly. I wish the hypnosis thing wasn’t such an annoyance, otherwise, the book would’ve given its readers so many to savour.

  • Alise (Readers in Wonderland)

    Aw, no. I loved In the Shadow of Blackbirds so I was looking forward to this one but now I’m kind of glad I didn’t go out and immediately buy it. Seems pretty frustrating!

    • You might still like it, Alise. For me, the hypnosis was so silly. And that’s a problem since it’s a major plot arch.

  • Aaww. You are having the worst luck with books lately; I’m surprised that you haven’t succumbed to the dreaded reading slump because of it. Conflicting messages make it difficult to buy into a story, and the fact that it failed on the points that mattered, but succeeded on the ones that didn’t is a huge let down.

    • I’m pretty surprised, too! I think if I religiously sneak in Adult fiction in between YA reads, then I’ll be okay. 🙂

  • I admit, the Dracula thing was a bit odd, especially since it was mentioned throughout the story.
    Sorry this wasn’t for you.

    • I’m pretty bummed, too. I hate when I’m left on the outside looking in with books. Sigh.

  • Perhaps it’s a matter of reading it at the wrong time. I liked it well enough, but I didn’t love it like I loved her Blackbirds book. That passion and emotion I felt in her debut were just missing. So in a way, I understand why this didn’t work for you.
    I hope your next read is much better.

    • Thanks, Maja. I think the main problem that I have is the correlation between hypnosis and empowerment. It just didn’t work. I’d love to read her other book, though.

  • Aw, I am so so sorry you didn’t like this book Joy 🙁 HEARTBREAK. Because I really loved it, lol. But I can see why it wouldn’t be for everyone 🙂 Maybe. Probably. I’m still a bit sad you didn’t like it, lol. But I think I understand. <3 And anyway. I love your review 😀 You are all kinds of awesome. Your poor husband, lol. 🙂 Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

    • Lol! Thanks, Carina. I know how much you loved this one. I just think that the hypnosis thing nullifies the real lesson in this book. Oh well. Maybe it’s just me…

  • Oh I’m sorry it wasn’t for you… I confess that I was really curious because I saw a lot of wonderful reviews about it. I don’t know… I think I’ll have to try to see how it is for me

    • I know right? I’m always bummed when I don’t get the deal about a book. This one, most especially have been receiving some wonderful reviews…well, except mine. :/

  • I haven’t read this book. I love historical fiction and the synopsis mostly intrigued me but like you shared in your review, the thought of hypnosis irks me. Thank you for sharing.

    • I’m still trying to find the logic between feminism/suffrage and hypnosis, to be honest. I keep coming up with nothing.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂