Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-novel perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
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.
I am so upset! Asylum was one of my MOST anticipated novels this year. I even spent 99.9% of my time at ALA stalking the Harper Collins booth to see if it would be brought out. After finally getting my hands on a copy I was beyond excited and I settled in to read it and now that I have finished I am left in a dark hole of pure sadness. This was not at all what I was expecting and I just don't know what to do =/
This book was just a mess. The characters were hot and cold throughout the book with histories that we never get to see. Jordan had so much going on and at one point his room looked the set of A Beautiful Mind but do we get to see why he is this way..NOPE! We learn that each character in the story has somewhat of a strange past or strange family history and even though these pasts definitely seem relevant to the story we never learn more than just a few details. This really bothered me because I felt like I was missing something huge. Not to mention the fact that the whole story seemed to be based on a certain characters family and we are just left hanging.
Like I said the Dan, Abby, & Jordan spent more time fighting with each other than actually building this long lasting friendship we are expected to believe. I didn't buy their friendship at all. When things got tough they just gave up and ran away from each other, that does not sound like best friend material to me.
The story itself was okay I suppose. We have the creepy factor brought in by the kids staying in the newly renovated dorms that used to be an asylum. This is what initially caught my attention. I mean asylum just screams creepy, but this story didn't do a good job at delivering. When I read thrillers I want a lead up that leaves goosebumps on my arms. This didn't do that. From the get go we are thrown into the thick of things and we are just supposed to believe that Dan is creeped out. Again I didn't buy it. I need more time to find clues, to feel like something is breathing down my neck, and to jump when I hear a scream.
The one thing about this book that did give me goosbumps were the pictures. I received an ARC copy of this so quite a few pictures were left out of my copy, but the ones that were there were CREEPY! I have never seen what an asylum looks like and if these pictures are any indication I am truly creeped out. I loved that the author included these throughout her book. If the story had been tighter and the character believable I think this would have been an incredible addition and would have made her book stand out in the crowd.
Unfortunately this book didn't work out for me. What I read was a weak storyline, an ending that sort of made sense, and characters that needed to just find new friends. I'm thinking I might want to stick with adult books when I want creepy.