Published February 16th 2016 by Square Fish (first published September 16th 2014)
Format read: ARC via publisher
Haunting and unforgettable, readers will not want to miss out on this book!
The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success: every moment of the students' lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students' schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first-year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What's worse, she starts to notice that the ridges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.
O'Brien brings riders to The Forge School, an art school with a bit of a twist: the lives of students are shared publicly for ratings. But when new student Rosie Sinclair disobeys the school's mandatory twelve-hour sleep cycle and slips out, she ends up discovering that in a place where life is very public, there are actually deeply, hidden secrets...
Guys. This book is so weird and creepily entertaining. I went into it not really knowing what to expect, and came out with a new appreciation for O'Brien's ability to amp up an already tense scenario - Art school! Competitive new friends! - and turn it into a thrilling mystery.
Rosie serves as an effective, solid narrator - her naïveté and desperation to fit in and remain at Forge is obvious. O'Brien makes a clear case for her rebellious streak as she disobeys school protocol and steps outside at night - setting her on the path toward an unsettling discovery.
However, O'Brien is also quick to not give away the mystery too quickly. Instead, Rosie literally peels away at the layers of the mystery like an onion, with each layer containing an unsettling new discovery, a creepy new moment, that will likely have readers looking over their shoulders nervously, as they read. This all builds up to a fantastic (though admittedly, somewhat confusing) ending, which will definitely shock readers, and have them reaching for the next book.
Rosie's journey will intrigue and shock readers as they try to solve the mystery behind The Forge School, and readers will likely also appreciate O'Brien's subtle commentaries on technology and reality TV addiction as well.
Strongly recommend for science fiction and urban fantasy fans.
Check out the rest of the tour!
· 2/17: Fiction Fare
· 2/18: A Dream Within A Dream
· 2/19: Bibliophilia, Please
· 2/20: Book Briefs
· 2/21: Fiktshun
· 2/22: Once Upon a Twilight
· 2/23: Reading Nook Reviews
· 2/24: Seeing Double in Neverland
· 2/25: Working for the Mandroid
· 2/26: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
· 2/27: Reads all the Books
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About the author:
Caragh M. O'Brien earned an MA in the writing seminars at Johns Hopkins University. Her novels Birthmarked and Prized were named YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults. Birthmarked was also a Junior Library Guild Selection and chosen for the ALA 2011 Amelia Bloomer List. She lives with her family and writes from her home in Connecticut.