Thursday, August 15, 2013

Book Review: Asylum, by Madeleine Roux

Asylum gets a high five rating for creep factor. I felt goosebumps at times while reading it.

Dan is a high school student who is attending a summer program for gifted students at a college in New Hampshire. He is a geeky kid who has had emotional problems. He was adopted after spending his early years in foster care. So, when he meets the outgoing Abby, he is smitten. Too bad her friendship comes with Jordan, a gay student who is running from his family because they want to "cure" him.

These three end up exploring their dorm, which everyone knows was a former insane asylum. They end up behind some locked doors and find creepy pictures and records from the former patients. This experience is causing Dan to have nightmares.

Some violence ensues, Jordan ends up angry with Dan, and Dan's roommate, Felix is just plain weird. There's always something in Asylum that's making you think, "why is he/she acting like that?" You know there are unknown things going on, but it's not easy to figure out.

Although I loved the creepiness of Asylum, I felt there were parts of the behaviors that were unexplained. For example, Dan's prior visits to a therapist are alluded to, but we never know what his problems are. I didn't really understand Jordan's behavior. For a while he's obsessed with math and always scribbling math equations. Then he stops -- but we never really know why. I just didn't thing the characterizations were quite complete. But the story...

I enjoyed how Asylum wrapped up. There are some creative connections between the past and the present. The scenes in the basement are described so vividly that I found myself cringing. The use of photographs in the text adds to the macabre feeling -- although reading the eARC some of them weren't as clear and some of them weren't available yet. So, I'm sure the final product will be even better.

If you like horror stories about mad doctors and teens trying to solve a dark mystery, then Asylum should make you happy, well maybe not happy -- but perhaps freaked!

Published by HarperCollins, August 20, 2013
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
320 pages

Rating: 4/5





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5 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughtful review, Annette. This sounds like a book I'd like - I love mystery and creepiness. :)

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  2. Do you have this book in your library? How do teens respond to it? When are you back to work. I'm on the phase in...slowly, so slowly i am creepy back to school.

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    1. I don't have it yet (it's not out until next week.) I think it's unique enough and I have kids who will really like it, so I'll probably order it. I've been back since Tuesday -- kids came back today...Here we go!!!

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  3. I am definitely going to add this to our list to buy since we always have students asking for horror books other than RL Stein or Stephen King :-)

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  4. I like the creepiness of the cover and I'm glad that part is incorporated in the book well. Adding this to my TBR list. Thanks for the review!

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