Book Review: Asylum

Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
Page Count: 310
Source: Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Paranormal Thriller/Horror

I was so excited to read this one. I have always been interested in learning more about the treatment in asylums in the early 1900's. The treatment of the mentally ill is an area of medicine that is constantly evolving. Sadly, throughout most of history, the treatment of the mentally ill was unfair and cruel. I was interested to see how this historical element would play out in this novel. 

Asylum also steps up the creepy factor by including photographs. This element was by far the freakiest part of the book. There were some pictures I had to flip past quickly because they gave me the chills.

While I think this novel had a lot of potential, it didn't deliver for me. For one, the pacing is awkward. Some moments drag while other more crucial moments speed along. The pacing made the sense of apprehension waver. I was invested in the characters and I wanted to know how things would end up - otherwise I might not have forced myself to keep reading. 

I also did enjoy the plot overall, but there were several large holes. So many elements were not fully explained. The ending frustrated me. I also found that not all of my questions were answered before this one ended. My frustration level was quite high while reading this one. The big reveal at the end was also predictable.

One Last Gripe: I'm still frustrated I never figured out what was going on with Jordan and all of his math.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I think the premise had a lot of potential. I wish it had been executed better.

First Sentence: They built it out of stone - dark gray stone, pried loose from the unforgiving mountains.

Favorite Character: Abby

Least Favorite Character: Professor Reyes 

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.