Title/Author: Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Publisher/Year: Harper Children’s on August 20, 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal/Horror
Other Books by Author: Allison Hewitt Is Trapped, Sadie Walker is Stranded (both adult books)
How I got this Book: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review – Thanks HarperCollins!
Summary From Goodreads: 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.
Asylum by Madeleine Roux was one of my most anticipated reads of 2013. Unfortunately, I was let down :( I had wanted to get my greedy little hands on this book ever since I read the synopsis of it months and months ago, and you have no idea how excited I was when I got it in the mail!!! But, the excitement quickly drained from me after I began reading this book…
The synopsis of this book sounds great. In fact, the premise of Asylum isn’t half bad! However, the execution of said premise is slightly lacking… The blurb says it all, right? Dan shows up at his summer college prep program at New Hampshire college, all excited to have the time of his life and make new friends and blah blah blah. He and his two new besties Abby and Jordan start hanging out, and then they realize that their summer dorms used to be an asylum for the criminally insane!!! :O
Now, the blurb mentions something about how they realize it was not a coincidence that they all ended up there together, however, this was not touched upon in the book. In fact, I noticed that this book left many things to be desired in terms of actually following a storyline through until the very end. It doesn’t really seem to be anything more than a coincidence that Dan, Abby, and Jordan all ended up at this summer program.
And of course, what is a book about an Asylum without a love interest??? Well… an attempt at writing some sort of love interest into the story. *** SPOILER ALERT*** Dan and Abby end up going on a little date sort of thing, and then they have a falling out for a very brief period of time, and then they end up back together… sort of. This is another area where the author failed to wrap things up for us! This is only a summer program after all, so I think we deserve to be told whether or not Abby and Dan decide to keep in touch or keep things going long distance!
As for the main character, Daniel Crawford, there just isn’t anything that special about him. To be honest, he was kind of boring. He wasn’t an amazing MC in the slightest. Sadly, I can’t say much more for his friends either. Abby was your classic arty girl, and Jordan was your typical teen boy who has to keep his parents thinking he is at Camp Come-Home-Straight-Or-Else (that was not the actual name BTW). These characters were all very two-dimensional, and don’t really show any growth or chance throughout the book. I couldn’t connect with any of them.
Finally, the ending. I’m not going to give anything away, but I’ll say this: it just didn’t do it for me. It was predictable – for the most part – and AGAIN left things a little too ambiguous for my liking!!! But of course, not ambiguous enough to require a sequel or anything. One thing I did like about this book though, was the incorporation of pictures from real asylums, and creepy edited photos of people. I’ll give you a few points for that there.
Like I said above – Asylum just didn’t do it for me. I was expecting a really creepy book (which I did get) with an amazing twist/explanation for everything at the end (which I did not get.) But yay for the pictures :P
April says “Asylum is an okay read…”
Have you read Asylum yet? Do you think you will after if comes out? How about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children? I haven’t got around to reading that one yet, but I hear amazing things about it! Do you enjoy mixed-media books such as these? LET ME KNOW!