Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Review: Asylum by Madeleine Roux

  • Publisher: Harper Children's 
  • Publication date: 8/20/2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

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.

My Thoughts

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.


  1. Oh bleh. This book. Yuck. I know I shouldn't be judging this book as I haven't read it but GAH. I have it coming up and I'm as excited as a slug.

    Fantastic review, Amy! <33

    1. When I first saw this I was so excited. Talk about disappointment.

  2. Everyone I know who has read this book had a similar reaction to this book as you did. I can tell that this is not going to be my kind of book either.
    I would have expected it to be pretty scary and atmospheric as well. It's a shame it wasn't.
    And the characters don't sound any better either. It's such a shame because it has an interesting concept.
    I'm sorry this didn't work out for you, Amy!
    I hope your next book is better!
    Great honest review!

    1. I didn't start seeing the negative reviews until right before I started it. I was really hoping for something creepy....

  3. Ahh noo this is the second negative review I've seen from one of my bloggy friends, so I will definitely be passing this one up. The fact that it wasn't even remotely creepy? Sigh. I usually get freaked out really easily, which is why I usually stay away from creepy books since I'm way too easy to scare, but I can definitely see why this disappointed you. The characters also sound really annoying and unrealistic, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one, Amy D:

    Fantastic review, though! <33

  4. I can tell you right now, I wouldn't read this one. LOL Even a hint at creepy and I can't do it. Although! I do LOVE The Experiment in Terror Series!

  5. Aw, boo. That sucks. I'll probably still read it anyway because I want to see the pictures. :) Hopefully I can get it through my library.

  6. Ahh that's too bad. I hate it when books are so easy to figure out. Thanks for being honest and sharing your review.

  7. Well I didn't have much interest in reading this before, but I definitely don't now! Sorry it didn't work for you though!

  8. Yikes! Sorry you had such a disappointing experience, Amy.

  9. Yikes! I struggle with the honest/harsh line when writing reviews for books I really didn't like. I know I cross over to the mean side but it also pisses me off that I wasted my time on it.
    I think the last good Harper Teen book I read was Sweet Peril...

  10. Oh my. I was just looking at this one. Guess I know now to pass on it. Sorry it was such a poor experience for you.

  11. What a shame that you didn't enjoy this one Amy! That cover is creeptastic too. *sigh* Another one bites the dust. I just feel like when a book describes it as creepy or scary, it's the exact opposite thus it's disappointing! I'm so sorry that this one was not enjoyable. And girl, you were not harsh about this book at all. You stated what you didn't like and even noted on the positive side to it even if the negatives totally out way the positives. And this line: "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" - I think I laughed for a good 5 minutes! I totally feel you on not being able to care for characters. If I can't care for them when good shit is happening why in the hell would care when bad stuff was happening?! I think it's important to establish a connection like that with characters. And you mentioned that it was predictable! Blah. Worst thing ever. Nothing like a predictably creepy read, for seriously. Your review is honest and it's straight to the point and it doesn't sugar coat and that's awesome. You convey exactly how you felt and that's important. Amazing review, Amy. I appreciate your thoughts on this book! :D

  12. Aw man, this looked like it had potential, too. I swear, I can't find any thriller/gory book (not too horror) I liked nowadays for some reason. They all disappoint! Great review Amy!

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

  13. Oh no! This sounded so promising. :( I so want a creepy read and I thought this would be it, but if you're picturing yourself as the insane killer so you can off the characters, that's not the sign of a good book at all.

    Oh, well. The search goes on. *sigh*

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  14. Yikes, oh man I'm sorry you had to go through that Amy! I know A LOT of other people had HIGH hopes for this one so it's a bummer that it wasn't all that creepy and that the characters were so unbearably unlikeable! I LOL-ed at your comment about wanting to be their killer though hahaha XD but holy hell this sounds just terrible. I wasn't into this one cause I was worried it would be too creepy for me, but I'll definitely be avoiding it regardless. Loved your review though ^^


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