Asylum by Madeleine Roux – Review

November 11, 2013 Review 1 ★★★★

inanutshell2The writing is solid, if not a bit younger in tone than expected for YA, but overall the creep factor and unsolved mystery make up for its shortcomings. It took some time to get to it, but there was a point in the story where suddenly I couldn’t put it down.
 

Asylum by Madeleine Roux – ReviewRelease Date: August 20, 2013
Title: Asylum
Author: Madeleine Roux
Pages: 310
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ARC Tour
Available: Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBookstore | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: 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.
4 Stars

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book ever since I discovered it would be laced with creepy photos. I’ve always had a fascination with asylums (I’d totally love to go explore an abandoned one!) so this one was definitely a must read.

But it really wasn’t what I expected.

I haven’t yet decided if my hesitancy is because I couldn’t figure out what was going on before it happened or if it really was just because I got something different from what I expected.

I was expecting an asylum full of ghosts and scary unexplained noises. Instead, we got unexplained notes and memories and visions. And in the end, I really didn’t get a solid explanation for what had happened. I have a general idea for what was intended, but it wasn’t spelled out in a tidy bow the way I like my stories.

It was very heavy on the creepy factor though. That made the read totally worth it, even if I didn’t get the tidy ending I wanted.

What Others Are Saying:

  • NerdophilesIf you’re a fan of the horror genre and looking for a quick, compelling read then Asylum is a good choice. It’s a fairly solid YA debut and Madeleine Roux’s writing is – as always – very well put together.
  • YA StandsVoice and tone are crucial for a horror novel, and the tone of Asylum just wasn’t working for me. The prose is so simplistic that sometimes I wondered if this really was YA and not a lower reading level. The narration kept beating me over the head, repeating things over and over, as if to make sure there was no possible way us dumb readers could have missed our cue.
  • Book Loving MeI wanted a creepy mystery type story enhanced with photos, but what I got was a predictable story that I wasn’t able to get into, with characters I didn’t like or didn’t care about. I think that this book will have it’s audience that enjoys it, but I wasn’t one of them.

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