Vanessa J.'s Reviews > The Cure for Dreaming

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
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really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, young-adult, 2015, cat-winters



3.5 out of 5 stars, but I ended up rounding to 4 because I still think everyone should read this despite the major faults I found in it.

They say the past is always better. In some instances, I can agree, but not when it comes to women's suffrage. You know how sexist society in general has always been. The time in which women have been treated as humans and not as merely bearer of children is relatively short.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were fights to obtain better treatment, and 17-year-old Olivia Mead is one of the women who want their voice heard. Her father, the dentist better known as Mead the Mad, is one of the men who don't like changes in society and is opposed to women's suffrage.

Since he thinks Olivia has a rebellious mind and it will not be "repaired" on its own, he hires the hypnotist Henri Reverie to "cure" Olivia of these dangerous thoughts by making her avoid to fight back and to accept the world as it truly is. However, Henri played with the words and instead of making her accept the world, he made her see the world as it truly is, thus giving her the ability to know who to trust by merely looking at them. In the meanwhile, the fight continues and more conflicts take place.

My overall feel while reading this book was anger. I wan angry at the society Olivia lived in. I hated seeing the way they talked about women. One of the first shocking lines of the book happened almost at the beginning. You see, the first scene of it is a show the hypnotist is giving. He asks for volunteers and Olivia steps in. In the show he sleeps her and stands on her body to show the public how rigid her body became. Later, when the show is over, Percy (one of Livie's friends) tells her his father said to him during the presentation:

That’s the type of girl you want. Silent. Alluring. Submissive.


Oh, but those are not the worst things that happen in the book. The entire atmosphere reeked of sexism. It showed how difficult it was to live in that era. Part of a newspaper article said this:

(...) body built for childbear- ing and mothering is clearly a body meant to stay in the home. If females muddle their minds with politics and other matters confusing to a woman’s head, they will abandon their wifely and motherly duties and inevitably trigger the downfall of American society.


Which demonstrates perfectly what I said before.

Olivia was a great protagonist to the story. It's through her eyes that we see everything, and we get to be in the head of one of the oppressed women. She's also a lover of books, if I might say.

“I love that books allow us to experience other lives without us ever having to change where we live or who we are."


(I don't know about you, but I completely agree with that quote)

Sadly, she was the only character I can consider well-developed. The rest... they were one-dimensional. The Henri I mentioned at the beginning? I liked him, but his personality didn't stand out, and he wasn't fleshed out enough. Olivia's father felt almost formulaic, and so did everyone else. This aspect did not prevent me of enjoying the story, but for me, characterization is one of the most important parts of a novel, so I had to mention it.

The romance was another thing that made me lower my rating. I admit it, I liked Olivia and Henri together (please, it was obvious they were gonna end up together), but their relationship was rushed, bordering on instalove. They met one Wednesday, and less than a week after they were calling themselves partenaires qui s'embrassent ("partners who kiss" in French). Much suspicious, huh?

Aside from that, though, the book was truly fantastic. The writing, as the one in Cat Winters' other novels, is beautiful and descriptive without being tedious. You could be easily transported to the 1900's and ferl that oppression and hatred. You could almost smell the city and ser its colours as if you had lived there. It was great, I tell you.

It goes as an extra to say this is a highly recommended book by me. Now I am dying for the moment when I can have another book by Cat Winters in my hands, because she has gained my admiration and respect - a literary goddess (part of the group that includes Rick Yancey and Marcus Sedgwick amongst them), is what I consider her now, and tell me, what better praise is there than to call authors gods?

______________________________

Pre-review (November 11, 2015):

I very much need Cat Winters to publish another book (I know she has one coming!). What a genius. I do have complaints, though.

Review to come.
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Reading Progress

October 8, 2014 – Shelved
November 10, 2015 –
20.0% "This book... this society makes me so mad. And the feeling is worse because every single thing that's happening was the reality at some point. Women really had it difficult over history."
November 11, 2015 – Started Reading
November 11, 2015 –
47.0% "Percy is an asshole. He deserves to die...and his father and Olivia's father too, but for other reasons."
November 11, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)

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message 1: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Look forward to your review, as this is also on my 'to-read" list.


Vanessa J. Laura wrote: "Look forward to your review, as this is also on my 'to-read" list."

Review is up. :)


Brigid So I didn't like this book, but I will say that one of the greatest things about this book was that she defined her future and didn't look at romance as her only achievement in life.


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ I did find the same flaw in her last book (about the secondary characters) but I agree, whatever flaw we can find these books are pretty much fantastic as they are anyway. Oh, and there's no romance in The Steep and Thorny Way ;)


Vanessa J. Brigid wrote: "So I didn't like this book, but I will say that one of the greatest things about this book was that she defined her future and didn't look at romance as her only achievement in life."

I loved that too. She gave priority to what she should have given the priority, unlike what happens in some books that they put romance in the first place.


Brigid The ending was spectacular, imo. I rarely see good endings.


message 7: by Laura (last edited Nov 15, 2015 04:21PM) (new) - added it

Laura I liked Olivia and Henri together (please, it was obvious they were gonna end up together), but their relationship was rushed, bordering on instalove.
That is the only problem I have had with Cat Winter's other books I have read, the intsta-love. It wonder if it was just thrown in later?

But, your review does make me want to read the book.


Vanessa J. Alienor ✘ French frowner ✘ wrote: "I did find the same flaw in her last book (about the secondary characters) but I agree, whatever flaw we can find these books are pretty much fantastic as they are anyway. Oh, and there's no romanc..."

Oooh, thanks for letting me know! I might like that one better than this, then. :) Too bad about the characters, though.


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Vane wrote: "Alienor ✘ French frowner ✘ wrote: "I did find the same flaw in her last book (about the secondary characters) but I agree, whatever flaw we can find these books are pretty much fantastic as they ar..."

You're welcome :) Well, they weren't one dimensional, but I wanted more anyway - as I said, it could be explained by the need to keep the mystery though.


Vanessa J. Laura wrote: "I liked Olivia and Henri together (please, it was obvious they were gonna end up together), but their relationship was rushed, bordering on instalove.
That is the only problem I have had with Cat ..."


In The Uninvited there was instalove but I ended up liking the book as well. In the Shadow of Blackbirds doesn't suffer from this, though. It's much better IMO.


message 11: by Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (last edited Nov 15, 2015 04:28PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Vane wrote: "Laura wrote: "I liked Olivia and Henri together (please, it was obvious they were gonna end up together), but their relationship was rushed, bordering on instalove.
That is the only problem I have..."


God I love that book. (Shadows!)


Sorry. Useless message >.<


Vanessa J. Alienor ✘ French frowner ✘ wrote: "Vane wrote: "Laura wrote: "I liked Olivia and Henri together (please, it was obvious they were gonna end up together), but their relationship was rushed, bordering on instalove.
That is the only p..."


Lololol, nevermind. I loved it too. xD (view spoiler)


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Vane wrote: "Alienor ✘ French frowner ✘ wrote: "Vane wrote: "Laura wrote: "I liked Olivia and Henri together (please, it was obvious they were gonna end up together), but their relationship was rushed, borderin..."

Haha (view spoiler)


Vanessa J. (view spoiler)


message 15: by TL (new) - rated it 4 stars

TL great review hun


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Vane wrote: "[spoilers removed]"

(view spoiler)


Vanessa J. Alienor ✘ French frowner ✘ wrote: "Vane wrote: "[spoilers removed]"

[spoilers removed]"


(view spoiler)


message 18: by Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (last edited Nov 15, 2015 04:50PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Vane wrote: "Alienor ✘ French frowner ✘ wrote: "Vane wrote: "[spoilers removed]"

[spoilers removed]"

[spoilers removed]"


(view spoiler)


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