Olivia is a girl living in Portland, Oregon in the early 1900s. She and her friends have become tangled up in the movement for women’s suffrage and her dentist father is not happy about it. He hires a traveling hypnotist to cure his daughter of her dreams. Unfortunately for him, the hypnotist uses careful wording to create a different cure. He hypnotizes Olivia to see the world how it truly is. When Olivia comes out of her trance she sees her father as a vampire, the hypnotist’s sister as a flickering candle, and the women against suffrage in cages.
What I liked: I thought the premise of this book was really interesting as I haven’t come across many YA books about hypnotism or women’s suffrage. I really liked the way this author realistically portrayed all of her characters and the situations they find themselves in. Olivia was a very strong female lead and I thought that Henry was a very realistic character as well. The only character I wasn’t sure about was Olivia’s father. I just didn’t know if I could buy him as being realistic. He seemed too much. Too explosive, too drastic, and too…well, mean. He drove his daughter away and didn’t seem to notice or care that he was doing it.
What I didn’t like: While Olivia herself was a realistic character, I didn’t feel like she reacted to her new “vision” realistically. In one scene she goes to a dinner party with a boy and the entire table seems to be filled with young vampires drinking blood. Olivia freaks out. To me it seemed obvious that, of course, they’re not real vampires and I didn’t understand why she was about to faint every time she saw one. Putting myself in her position, I think I might have felt a little frightened, but I think I would have been fine… Who really knows though? I get pretty freaked out at haunted houses even though I know they’re not real so maybe I would have had a similar reaction to Olivia.
Without giving any spoilers, I thought the ending was really well done and fit with the tone of the rest of the book.
Overall Rating: 4
Sexual Content: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Mild. Scenes with beer.