The Vault of Dreamers, by Caragh M. O'Brien. I'll say right up front that the author is a friend, but the attraction for me with this book was its something-creepy-is-going-on-at-this-boa
Cross a performing-arts school with a reality show, and you have the school that forms the setting for The Vault of Dreamers. The students are filmed and recorded all day long. They're required to go to sleep at the same time every night, and this requirement is enforced with sleeping pills. When main character Rosie skips her sleeping pill, she sees troubling events that makes her wonder what's really going on at this school, especially during the hours that the reality show's live feed is off the air. When she tries to find out, the school's ever-present surveillance serves as a formidable obstacle and source of constant pressure. Most intriguingly, the book plays with the question of narrator reliability--there are times when we're not sure what is real, who's acting, who's lying, and what has been dreamed rather than really lived. At the end, there are unanswered questions with plenty of territory left to explore in the rest of the trilogy, although the book provides plenty of food for thought on the topics of privacy, surveillance, and the interplay between technology and ethics.