Series: Asylum #1
Genre: Horror, Young Adult, Mystery
Published by HarperTeen on August 20th, 2013
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-novel perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.Did you read the title of this post? Did you notice it rhymed? Did you smile a little on the inside? Yes? No? Great.
For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it's a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.
As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it's no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.
Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux's teen debut, Asylum, is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity.
The first time I saw this book I was looking at the Halloween Reads table in a bookstore with my boyfriend. I wanted it so bad but couldn't decide whether to flesh out the high cost for a hardcover or not. And if you know me, I'm terrible when it comes to decisions. On top of that, my boyfriend is the exact opposite so when asked his opinion he said just get it, and when I told him of the cost he said, just don't get it, and then when I couldn't come to a conclusion that would satisfy my little anxious, awful decision making heart, I left without the book.
And for months, I couldn't remember the title or author. But while back in the bookstore in January, months later, I finally found it - I knew I couldn't pass it up the second time around. So I bought it and here we are today.
Before anyone considers reading this, I want to get something out there. There are real pictures throughout the book taken in real asylums over the years, and though some mind not agree with me, I found some of them to be a bit disturbing. They weren't gory, but the ones showing real people freaked me out, especially the one with the little girl with the scar and the other with the nurses and doctor outside the one asylum. It gave me such chills that I actually went to my mom and said, "you need to smudge this, right now, because I am freaking the **** out."
If you don't know what smudging is, it's when you take a smudge stick or put some in a bowl, light it on fire and move the smoke around your house or over an object to clear the bad energy from it. It's a practice common in natives and my mom does it around the house a lot.
So to sum this up because I'm dilly-daddling, she smudged it, I didn't touch the book for a day and when I came back I actually wasn't freaked out anymore and any negative energy I associated with the pictures was gone. Basically what I'm trying to say is that if you don't like creepy pictures, you might want to flip through the book in a bookstore before reading it. I, being the weird me, actually loved the creepy pictures after I stopped being a scaredy-cat.
Plot-wise, I think Roux did a great job creating suspense, cliffhangers and adding mystery around the characters that built up throughout the novel. Certain situations kept me pointing fingers in different directions and kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire book. I enjoyed reading about the characters, though they are easily forgettable, and I think the renovated asylum could have been creepier than it was described.
But just a little note about something that annoyed me about the characters - somebody dies, somebody else almost dies, somebody almost kills them, AND THEY STAY AT THE SCHOOL. ANY RATIONAL PERSON WOULD LEAVE, WHY WOULD YOU STAY?
Now onto the part I didn't like about the book - and there aren't going to be any spoilers because that's too mean, but I warn you, if you read ahead, you might be expecting something if you read the book. What I didn't like was the ending. In fact, I think I'm being pretty generous in giving the book four stars because the ending ruined almost the entire book for me. Not only did it make so little sense that you had to piece it together yourself, it was stupid. And I don't mean like it was a stupid idea, I mean it like there was no elaboration whatsoever, no reason for what happened to happen unless maybe piece it together yourself. And then it ends. Sure, every good book should leave a few threads untied, but this was just RIDICULOUS. I literally closed the book and said, "I don't know what just happened."
Overall, it was actually a great read despite what I just said, and the pictures were really good to look at while I read. I recommend it to anyone who likes the horror genre, or wants to dip their toes into it!
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