TITLE: Asylum (Asylum, #1)
AUTHOR: Madeleine Roux
AGE RANGE: YA
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.
No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.
I know a lot of people feel that asylum settings in horror are overdone, or insensitive, and I can fully respect that and see where those people are coming from! That said, even as a woman who probably (definitely) would’ve been locked up with the key thrown away if I’d been alive a couple hundred years ago (I say this only half-jokingly 😂), I adore a good retired asylum setting in a scary story, so when I found out about this little series, I was pretty excited to check it out!
It was a house for those who could not take care of themselves, for those who heard voices, who had strange thoughts and did strange things. The house was meant to keep them in. Once they came, they never left.
And I have to say, the setting in Asylum really is great. It’s claustrophobic at times, atmospheric as anything, and struck me as the kind of place that I would pay good money to be allowed to explore or even just take a tour through. It seemed like a building that absolutely ought to exist in a million places all over the world, run-down and decrepit and probably terrifying the locals on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the positive things I have to say for this book begin and end there.
It was a fight against the madness, he felt like he was losing. Maybe he already had…
The characters are all solidly awful, and I don’t think I ever had a moment of liking a single one of them. On top of that, I literally predicted the ‘twist’ a few pages into the book, and having guessed it so early on made it difficult to enjoy the rest, because I kept wondering why the hell these teens couldn’t come anywhere near guessing the truth. I was frustrated, disappointed, and altogether unimpressed that I spent my money on this book or its immediate sequel, which I don’t know if I’ll ever even bother picking up.
Buddy read with Kaleena!
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