Published: August 20th 2013 by HarperTeen
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’ve had this book on my TBR for years! I recently decided to get through my Goodreads Backlog TBR by reading at least one book per month that has been on the TBR for years now! I am a sucker for horror done well and I was really excited for this book because it looked extremely promising! However, whilst it was enjoyable in its own way, I was still left feeling vaguely underwhelmed.
I was excited about the asylum aspect of this book! I think that old asylums are morbidly fascinating and I was looking forward to having photos of real asylums and history accompanying the story. Whilst it did add a little bout of uniqueness, I felt like it didn’t flow as well as it should have with the photos and the story and I think maybe it would have been better had the photos been sharper and on a glossy paper!
I liked the mystery behind Brookline and the past surrounding it! I wanted to know more about the old warden and what made him so infamous with the residents of the town! I also liked the coincidences with Dan, Abby and Jordan and I am looking forward to finding out more about them and the way their stories/pasts interlink in the rest of the series.
I also really like the character dynamics within this story. I loved the awkwardness of starting to get to know one another and the struggles to keep the friendship with the pressure they’re facing with things that have happened in everyday life and in the past (in the sense with the asylum). They had their ups and downs and I loved the fact that they were like everyday friends that would find in normal life. They argued and didn’t always agree, but, at the end of the day, they were still there for each other.
Whilst I did enjoy the mystery and the character dynamic, I was disappointed by the fact that I wasn’t creeped out… at all. I was looking forward to reading something that would have me thinking psychologically, stuck with the lights on, but I didn’t get that from this book. I’m not sure if this is because I am not particularly easy to scare – but I definitely felt like this was missing from the book!
All in all, this was an interesting, but underwhelming book. I enjoyed the storyline and the mystery behind Brookline and what links the characters to the old asylum and I am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of Sanctum. I gave this book 3/5 stars.