Letter Essay #4 12/18/16
Dear Edu Blog,
A little while ago, I finished reading, The Vault of Dreamers. This is a 418 page science fiction novel by Caragh M. O’Brien. Caragh M. O’Brien graduated from Williams College with a Bachelor of Science in physics and earned her MA; which is a medical assistant. This book was published in 2014, one of her more recent novels. The Vault of Dreamers is a series containing 2 other books, The Rule of Mirrors, and The Keep of Ages. The Vault of Dreamers is the first book in the series and the series has won various awards such as, the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults in 2011, the Beehive Young Adult’s’ Book Award Nominee in 2012, and the Arkansas Teen Book Award List in 2012 as well. I read this because, I finished a book the day before and my dad offered to let me look in the bookstore. I was roaming the book aisles and found a book, The Vault of Dreamers, and remembered I saw it while I was browsing for a new YA novel online. I was very interested in the aspect of this book and decided to give it a try. I at first did not understand the concept of the book, but once I began to read deeper into it and apply myself more to the story, I started to comprehend the plot. I was so interested that I began to read the book wherever I went, which lead to me completing the novel in around 5 days.
In the novel, The Vault of Dreamers, the author, Caragh M. O’Brien creates an imaginary plot, most likely to happen in the world we live in, where The Forge School of the Arts, is a school that everyone actually wants to travel to. The Forge School of the Arts is a prestigious school where every waking moment of the students lives are televised. The students are filmed as part of a show, The Forge Show. It is the show that almost no one can not watch. The students are allowed private time only when they are sleeping, but that private time is limited as sleep is handed to them. Literally. The students are all given a pill in which they swallow right before they climb into bed. If you do not consume the pill, and are caught, you are immediately kicked out of the school. Curiosity and new ideas are encouraged in this school, as in others. But what happens when that curiosity leads you to the idea of what the school may actually be doing. Especially when you are being given sleep and not just viewers, but the school is watching your every move. Rosie Sinclair is a girl whose life is definitely not perfect. Rosie lives in a small town, in a boxcar; which is a small section of a train. She lives with her family of 4, herself, her mom, her step dad, and her stepsister, Dubbs. Rosie has only dreamed of becoming a filmmaker, it has always seemed out of reach though. Not now though, after Rosie’s stepsister, Dubbs submitted a video Rosie filmed of Dubbs, to The Forge School, her dream is only a trip to The Forge School away. When Rosie arrives to the school, she only presents the cameras her best, hard-working self. One night, Rosie ditches the perfect reputation, and skips her pill, but she never expected to find a treacherous world behind the cameras. Rosie begins to learn that The Forge School, doesn’t just inspire creativity, they do something with it for their benefit. The only problem is Rosie cannot figure out what. Rosie begins to develop a habit of skipping her sleeping pill to figure out what is really happening at what everybody thinks is the lovely Forge School. When she begins to dig to deep and get closer to the truth, she is punished. Or is she, if the mastermind of this whole plan wanted her to seek out the truth?
At first, I noticed that the author was more focused on describing the school and how it functions, instead of letting the reader understand the main character, Rosie. The author more or less dives into illustrating Rosie later in the book, which is understandable to lay out the setting, but it took the author quite a while to actually let Rosie be the narrator and let the reader attain more information on her. The author seemed to be focused on giving knowledge to the reader mainly about the school and how distinguished the school is. Although, it may have been a little distracting from Rosie, it got you thinking at the major climax how this respected, and prominent school could be rather deceiving as to be doing something for an entirely different purpose. The climax of the plot is fascinating as the main character usually experiences their problem and begins to find the solution to their problem. In this case, Rosie undergoes her problem like most novels, but in a twist she does not solve or even begin to figure out the solution, she rather gets herself into even deeper waters. The author is pulling you into reading her next book, when she puts Rosie into the horrifying situation she did. I believe the most important theme of this book is bravery because not only Rosie, but several characters throughout the book demonstrated bravery in various different parts. Even though, the other characters in the story may have not known exactly what was happening like Rosie, they all show a side of bravery when a challenge presents itself. I feel like the author was really striving to create the sense of bravery throughout the novel. I was most interested in the section of the passage where it explains, “The dean crossed his arms over his chest. “Very little. Dr. Ash has asked a few discreet questions. Apparently, some of the suicides had problems with dizziness, deja vus, hallucinations and hearing voices before they died. That’s not exactly hard evidence of decay.” “Decay?” I said. Those were my symptoms. I took a deep breath (pg.395).” The best thing about this passage for me is it teaches you that sometimes what you’re being told can easily impact what you originally thought, or something that is happening to you. For Rosie she thought she was being helped by her mind to overcome the dean’s plans. Instead, she is simply told that, many of the suicides that formerly occurred at the school, naturally started with hallucinations and dizziness. When Rosie’s “mind” was there for all of those occurrences from her repeating dizziness and constant hallucinations, she didn’t think anything of it. Now that someone has said it to her out loud, she realizes how real it is and that her “mind” is actually controlling what she does and what she remembers so clearly. I learned that occasionally you need to hear someone tell you something, that is usually the first part to finding your problem, because sometimes you don’t know something is affecting you, until someone else discusses it with you. I am glad I picked this book up, and anyone who is interested in science-fiction and dystopian novels should give this book a try. The Vault of Dreamers is a 9 out of 10. I usually don’t re-read books, but I will most likely read this again in a couple of years.