Book Review: Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Author: Madeleine Roux
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Horror/Paranormal/Mystery
Released: August 20th 2013
Review Source: 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.

The pictures of this book are indeed disturbing; however, the story itself is not thrilling as the cover. It felt like it took forever to reach the end.

Asylum is about a boy, Daniel Crawford who arrives at New Hampshire College on a summer program. On the day of the arrival, Dan finds a disturbing picture and questioned the mystery behind it. The book claims Dan as socially awkward and very hard of making friends. However, within hours of his arrival he meets Abby and Jordan and become extremely friendly with them. Within a week his professors are calling them “The Hydra”!

Anyways, instead of focusing on the mystery, the book is center on its dull characters. Dan becomes seriously obsessed with Abby. Their “relationship” is rushed. Their first date shouldn’t be consider a date because it was very boring. The conversations between the three amigos are very monotonous. All three characters lack personality, no one of them stand out. The only moments I enjoyed while reading are the hallucinations of the operating rooms but nothing is really explained.

With that said, I wouldn’t recommend this book. The end leaves you with many unanswered questions due to the sequel. Which the sequel is very unnecessary; in my opinion this should’ve been a standalone. I found it really hard to understand this book, leaving me very disappointed and confused.

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