- Publisher: Harper Children's
- Publication date: 8/20/2013
- Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review
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 went into this thinking it would be a creepy and atmospheric read, but was very disappointed to find it was nothing like I was expecting. It was ridiculously predictable, not atmospheric, and the characters drove me insane. I was hoping that they would discover I was a criminally insane serial killer so I could be the one to kill them all off. But really... I always feel bad when writing reviews for books that I didn't enjoy because I know I come across a bit harsh. I wish I could be positive about it, but sometimes I feel like I am punishing myself by continuing on. The one thing that I thought was good about this was the photos, though since I had an eARC not all of them were in it. I am a visual reader, so those little snippets I got were actually good. I could somewhat get a sense of how things were. That was the only redeeming point for me.
The story is told from Dan's POV and I wish I could have liked him, but I just didn't. He wasn't a bad character, but he was just that, a character. I didn't care whether I got to know him, there was no emotion, no feeling. Also, it's like right of the bat, he's convinced that someone is after him. I mean, dude, paranoid much! And he is BFF's with these two random people he just met instantly. I make friends easy too, but not BFF's overnight. That's extreme. I thought that he should have been more developed than he was too.
I won't go into the other characters separately since I don't have much to say. I definitely couldn't stand Jordan. Right away he just rubbed me the wrong way, and then he turned into a super jerk. I don't know if I just missed over the reason for his mini meltdown/freak out stuff, or if it wasn't actually brought to our attention, but I never really understood why he turned the way he did. (Unless of course he was just sick of Dan and Abby like I was) Then Abby was crying or getting pissy every other minute. She's very bossy and easy to fly off the handle also. The whole friendship, then not friend, then BFF's who all love each other again just didn't make sense to me. It's not like they have known each other since they were kids. They just met at this college prep course. It seemed very far fetched.
If I go into all the reasons this didn't work for me, I will spoil it for anyone who wants to read it. I just thought that the reasons behind everything didn't make sense, and it was too easy to know where the story was going very early on. I 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.
*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.