Review of The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genres & Themes: YA, Historical Fiction, Gothic, Romance, Magic, Women’s Rights, Liberty of Expression.


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.


Before you start this read, prepare to be captivated, prepare to be shocked and prepare yourself for a mesmerizing story. For me, it was a very realistic one since the subject of  women’s rights felt quite accurate and I’ve seen a hypnotist work his magic before which made me believe in Henri Reverie without any doubt.

Henri Reverie has been assigned to compel our strong lovely heroine, Olivia, into shattering her dreams of college, women’s rights, and standing up for herself in front of a man principally. He has been ordered to do so by Olivia’s own father, a man I completely despised yet I couldn’t feel but pity him from time to time since he is alone with a daughter he is scared of losing and he things everything he’s doing is in her interest. It doesn’t excuse anything nonetheless. Olivia is so compelled to see the world as it truly is…which may scarier than we all think.

Olivia was a great character, but I couldn’t really connect with her. I mean, I tried and hoped I would since her interest in standing up for women is admirable and she is passionate about it. Although, I think the problem might be so because she’s not talking much about herself to us, even though there is a 1st person POV in this story. It’s like she’s rarely even thinking about herself in the story. She does but pretty rarely when I mostly wanted her to share some stories or just tell us what she likes most, doesn’t like, if you know what I mean.

The romance was wonderful. Henri and Olivia were beautiful partenaires qui s’embrassent. Partners that kiss but not only that; they both want to help men seeing how what they are doing to women is unhuman.

Their love was true and the fact that it first started with friendship was perfect. Still, be aware that there is something of a love-triangle, but an original one this time. It was very entertaining in fact.

The writing was splendid and the pacing surprisingly fast. The pages flew by! The story grips you so you’re not even going to be aware that you just read 80 pages! That is one of the things I appreciated the most about the story, the fact that the author combined a serious and heavy subject with a fast pacing that made it addictive for us to know what happens next and what photos will follow with the story. Yes, there are some photos related and, like the story, original and interesting ones.

While I did enjoy this read, I found that it was lacking of presence from the secondary characters. Olivia’s best friend, Frannie, for example, is there from time to time in the story but she is such a lovely girl I wanted to know more about that I can’t help but feel deceived for she didn’t have such a high role.

I definitely recommend this one. It made me think a lot and, while it is not necessarily what I look for in a story, it was interesting, one of a kind in my opinion and good for once to read something that is not necessarily one hundred percent entertainment.

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47 thoughts on “Review of The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

  1. This book sounds like an interesting one, that’s for sure! I’m sorry you didn’t connect with the main character, that’s usually something expected when it comes to 1st person POV 😦 but it’s great you were able to enjoy it despite that!


  2. I loved Cat Winters’ In the Shadow of Blackbirds. LOVED. IT. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one. Sounds like it’s right up my street.


  3. Wow this sounds like such an original idea and good to know the romance was more developed and realistic than other YA books, glad you enjoyed it!


  4. The Idea sounds super interesting. Sorry about the MC it happens sometimes :/. “an original love tringle” now I’m even more intrigued! I think I’m going to check this one out in the near future :)!


  5. I have to be honest with you, Lola, I am not really into historical fiction since they always tend to remind me of my boring history classes. However, this one has a unique spin to it because it isn’t every day that you stumble across books that are about hypnotists.

    And wow, you were still able to be blown away by the romance even if you were not able to relate to Olivia. Maybe the author was afraid that if Olivia’s going to think of herself, the readers might have this impression that she’s a self-absorbed girl. Ha!

    Lovely review, Lola!


    • Oh lol! I guess I’m lucky enough that my historical classes are not THAT boring. XD

      Yeah, maybe that’s what the author thought and I guess it goes well with the story since she thinks about the women she wants to save and all. I didn’t mind it more than that, cutiously, but there were a few moments when I felt unconnected to the story because of that. 😛

      Thank you! 😀


  6. Wow, this sounds scary – both the supernatural aspect and the women’s rights aspect. I just finished a book about a girl being put in an insane asylum for not conforming to her Victorian society’s expectations for her (Wildthorn by Jane Eagland) and LOVED it, so I’m in the mood for something like this. It’s too bad you couldn’t connect with the protagonist and that the secondary characters were’t great, but it sounds like the plot and the writing make up for the cast. Thanks for putting this title on my radar!


    • Oh lala, an asylum? That sounds scary. I think it would frustrate me too much you know the fact that that girl doesn’t have her place there. You’re welcome, and really, the characters are great but there are some that I wanted to be more present. 🙂


  7. Hmm. This one sounds like it could be interesting, but I ended up DNFing Cat Winter’s other book because I just couldn’t connect to it. It wasn’t that it wasn’t good, it just didn’t grab my attention as much as of hoped. I’ll keep this one in mind though, just in case I’m in the mood for something original. Great review!


  8. Oh wow, love your review! I am so excited for this book, everything sounds so amazing and I have a feeling that I will really like it! I love that it deals with women’s right and all that stuff. I’m big on that. Can’t wait to read it.

    Thanks for the review, Lola! ❤


  9. I love the new header, it’s soooo feminine and professional looking. I hope you are enjoying having the change, it took me a couple of moments to recognise the blog at first. And oooh, this sounds like an interesting read, although I am not quite sure about the whole element of the main character being called Olivia since that is my name, and I always find it bizarre to read about main characters with my own name! Great review.


    • Hhahahaha, I guess I’m surprising all my readers lol. XD I still feel like it’s strange a bit but I think I like it more this way. ^^ I found it weird too (name thing) but when the character is one I love than I’ll love the book even more hehe! 😉 Thank you!


  10. I hadn’t heard of this book before, but it looks really good. I’m sorry you had trouble connecting with the main character. Sounds like everything else was good though. (I was the 33rd person to like your review on goodreads. 🙂


  11. This sounds really good. I’ve heard a lot of Cat Winters writing is excellent. I enjoy reading reviews for her books. If only I could actually read one of her books soon. Haha Sorry that the main character was hard to connect to. A lot of gothic novels seem to be that way. This looks gothic. But it isn’t is it? Anyway great review!


  12. I started this one not too long ago and am really liking it so far. I’m not too surprised because I totally adored this author’s previous book (Shadow of Blackbirds – you’ve seen it yet?) I’m glad to see that the romance only gets better and better. I actually like Henri already, and can’t wait for their relationship to blossom ^_^

    Faye at The Social Potato


  13. I particularly requested this for review because of the feminist aspect, so I’m glad that part didn’t let you down. I’m hoping I enjoy this book as much as you did, if not more. I haven’t yet started it, but HOPEFULLY I’ll get to in soon. I’m feeling SO behind in my reading, especially now that I’m doing that readathon (I couldn’t have picked a worse time to join such a thing), but at the same time I’ve never been so organized with posting, so I guess it’s a give and take sort of thing.

    I’m sorry you were disappointed with the secondary characters. I always seem to connect more to a book that has a strong set of characters all around to make it seem more… real, I guess. Great review! 🙂


    • I’m glad you got approved as well. 🙂 LOL, hahah, that’s why I don’t really subscribe to challenges–except for the LGBT one. Well I wasn’t too disappointed but I wanted them to be more present. 😛 And there weren’t that many. Thank you and I cross my fingers for you, Jessica. xx


  14. What a curious and unqiue mix, women rights and a tough of gothic/paranormal. I’m glad you enjoyed it for the most part, I can see how it would be hard to connect to a character when they are not (really) speaking their thoughts. Thanks for sharing, Lola & lovely review 🙂


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