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.
Guys, I really had such high hopes for this book. They were actually sky high hopes. I mean, I personally love anything to do with asylums, especially after watching American Horror Story: Asylum. Anything that has the opportunity of completely freaking me out is definitely something I look into, so I picked this one up!
I really hate when they advertise a book similar to another book. For instance, they compared this one to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which the only comparable thing I could think of is the fact that this book has pictures in it that relate to the story, but the pictures in Miss Peregrine's are beautiful, and I personally just thought these were thrown in randomly. It was really disappointing to have a book compared to one that I absolutely adored (and am eagerly awaiting the sequel that releases this week!) and then be left with what was the book, Asylum.
The storyline wasn't too bad, but I felt like there was a lot to do with these characters that was left unanswered. Dan heads to a summer program at a college. The building that Dan and the other students live in actually turns out to be an old asylum, where gruesome psychological experiments took place. Dan quickly meets Abby and Jordan, and they descend into the recesses of the asylum to explore several times throughout the novel. After the first time exploring, Dan and his friends all begin acting differently, which I'll admit had me flipping the pages pretty fast to find out why, but I was ultimately disappointed when I found out the reason why. Abby and Dan have connections to the asylum, which kind of explains why Dan starts "hallucinating," and why Abby freaks out, but Jordan begins acting stand offish, creepy, and just plain mean, and that was NEVER explained. WHY?!?! And as for the coincidence of how both Abby AND Dan have connections, that they were unaware of until this summer, and both ended up at the same program here just seemed unrealistic to me, but hey, it's a book, so anything can happen, right?
Over the summer, there are attacks in the dorm on other students, so the race is on to figure out the reasons and person(s) behind it. It is fast-paced for the most part, but at times, I felt the pace dragging a bit until the characters went exploring for answers again. Honestly, this book was hard altogether to leave a review for the mere fact that it's a mystery.
I will say that I saw the end coming, and easily guessed what was going on, even though the reason why it was happening and how, was never really touched on. I actually just found out this is part of a series, and there will be a second novel, Sanctum, but right now, there isn't a synopsis on goodreads for it. So maybe Roux will explain some of the things that really irked me about Asylum. Will I pick up Sanctum? Probably not. The unanswered questions I had aren't bugging me enough to pick up the sequel.