Book Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

The Cure for DreamingPublisher: Harry N. Abrams

Release Date: October 14, 2014

Genre: YA, FEMINISM, Historical

Source: borrowed from the library

GIRD YOUR DAMN LOINS, READERS. I usually loathe feminist literature. I feel it is uninformed drivel and is too obsessed with man hating to be of any use. This book surprised me immensely at every turn, and I really, really loved it so much. This one might be a tad long, but I promise, it’ll be worth it. Here’s your synopsis from Amazon:

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.

1. So, I picked this book out for my wishlist because of the cover. I will not tell you a lie. I honestly thought this book was about hypnotism and the hypnotist. Nope!

Olivia is such an amazing character. This book is set during the suffragist movement. Olivia unwittingly finds herself a supporter of the movement, much against her father’s wishes. We’ll talk about the men later. Anyway, this book starts out with Olivia’s Halloween birthday when she gets hypnotized by the mysterious Henri Reverie. Sweet name. Anyway, after she is hypnotized, she catches the attention of Percy. And, in my personal opinion, anyone named Percy is bound to be a twat. Hello, Percy Weasley? After that, her father hires Henri to hypnotize Olivia into some horrible shit. More horrible than you can imagine, because her father loves her…RIGHT?! Well, you can decide that for yourself.

2. THE MEN. Oh sweet lawd, the men…

These men will piss you off whether your are male or female. I know the treatment of all of the women in this book is true to the time period, and therefore, I must accept it; all of these instances are historically accurate. Even though you think Olivia’s father is really just trying to get her ahead in the world, you’re totally wrong. He’s trying to get himself ahead. He worries that if Olivia is seen at a suffragist rally, he will lose clients at his dental office (Olivia has some gruesome dentist dreams *shudder*). Percy only likes Olivia because she was easily hypnotized and he believes she will be “docile.” Henri is really the only man in this book who believes in Olivia as a person and does not believe her gender hinders her ability to be an intelligent individual. Percy at one point even tells Olivia that he is better than her. ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Different time, different time…breathe.

3. Olivia uses these men to her advantage and she is so good at it.

Olivia lets the men believe that she is just an innocent little girl, clueless of the ways of the world. Her father believes this so be so because she’s female. So, when she gets the best of all of these assholes with Henri’s help, everyone is surprised. They all feel stupid for underestimating her and they ABSOLUTELY should. Go Olivia!

4. Speaking of Olivia, I love her.

It is so rare that in a YA book, the main character doesn’t do at least one thing that annoys me. Here? The only thing that annoyed me was that she didn’t listen to Henri. But, I can understand that because he was hired by her father to hypnotize her hopes and dreams out of her head (get the title now? The Cure for Dreaming? I knew you’d get there). Who could really blame her? Definitely not me. Though, once they do become a team, Henri and Olivia are an unstoppable force when it comes to womens’ suffrage and Olivia’s safety from her own father.

5. Olivia’s father is an evil, evil man. I haven’t wished death on a character so much in a long, long time.

We all have those characters. I know we do. We all want them to die because they’re just…ugh. Olivia’s father is a horrible human being and I can’t believe that he is even human. He has no feelings other than his advancement in society – not even for his own daughter who has her own hopes and dreams. He believes women should be in the home and shouldn’t “bother” with mens’ things like politics and college. Dick.

6. I hate feminist literature. I hate it so much. This changed my mind.

As an English major in college, I had to choke down my fair share of feminist literature – which is where I gained my immense hatred. However, this book made me see that not all feminist literature is a man hating bash fest. This book calls for equality for ALL people regardless of race, sex, religion, etc. It was beautiful and poetic and timeless, because we all know that we’ll be dealing with equality for years to come.

OVERALL: FIVE STARS!!!! I loved this book so, so much. I can’t even explain to you how much this impressed me. Yay for feminist literature who calls for equality for EVERYONE!!! You need this like yesterday, so click the link below to order!

Click to Order!

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

  1. missprint says:

    This one sounds like it was a lot of fun! I read In the Shadow of Blackbirds last year and enjoyed it. It sounds like this one might be even better!

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