Publisher: Harper Children's
Readership: Young adult
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. (harpercollins)
I really loved Madeleine's first novel Allison Hewitt is Trapped so when I heard about Asylum I knew I had to read it. Plus it had two of my favourite things: abandoned asylums and a boarding school/dorm setting. It was basically a must-read.
I enjoyed the photographs that were peppered throughout the book. Some were clearly found while others were made or photoshopped to compliment the story which I thought was pretty clever. It gave me goosebumps once or twice. I'm really curious to pick up a final copy to see what photos made it into the book and if any changed from the ARC. That said, I wish the photoshopped ones were less obviously photoshopped. I hope they were tweaked for the final version.
I enjoyed the characters as well. They were well developed from beginning to end even if a few of them got on my nerves once or twice. Dan was a good main character but sometimes I found him a little too whiny and in need of a good sit-down talking to but it was just who he was. I found it endearing that he had anxiety issues, which so many of us do and it isn't really talked about. I thought it was refreshing to see. I liked Abby but my feelings for her didn't go much farther than that. I thought she was a good character but I didn't really see how Dan and her meshed. I thought they would be better off as great friends than anything else. Jordan was my favorite of them all. He was realistic rock telling them that it wasn't the best idea to go rummaging around in an abandoned wing of a place that used to be an asylum.
The plot was intricate and well thought out. I liked how Roux kept me on the edge of my seat with twists and turns at every corner. There were definitely parts that I found super creepy and made me wish I wasn't reading it in the middle of the night. There were some horror movie cliches peppered throughout from time to time but sometimes cliches work and in Asylum's case, they did. As endings go, I guessed it early on but it was still a very good reveal that I enjoyed.
Asylum is definitely a book you need to read if you like easy, creepy reads. If you're a fan of old-school horror movies you should definitely check it out!
I LIKED IT
*Thank you so much Harper Collins Canada for providing an ARC!! Follow @HCCFrenzy on twitter and HarperCollinsCanada on Facebook!