Author: Madeleine Roux
Date(s) read: August 13, 2013
Genre: YA Horror
Source: Aylee @ Recovering Potter Addict (ARC)
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 love a good horror story. Well, usually, I’m all about the horror movies, but since I try to READ more, I have been on the lookout for that perfect horror story FOREVER. Something that gives me the creeps and makes me want to keep the lights on.
Asylum is a book I read during the day, mainly because it had pictures in it and pictures CREEP ME OUT. It was very much like Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children — images scattered throughout that are just enough to unsettle you. Unfortunately, since this was an ARC, I didn’t get to see ALL the images, but I do plan on getting a finished copy just so I can see what I missed.
One thing I loved was that this book was told from the point of view of Dan, our 16-year-old male narrator. His narrative wasn’t exactly a light narrative — nothing fluffy about it — but that’s what made the book awesome. I didn’t want anything light and fluffy. I’ll take my horror as creepy as I can get it! Dan also had issues in the past, growing up in foster homes, and having to see psychiatrists. His sidekicks of the story, Abby and Jordan, were also great. We didn’t get to know Jordan too much, but we caught glimpses of their pasts as the story went on — and also the pasts of some of the people who were at the asylum back when it was open and running.
I think the reason I loved this book so much was that it took place in an old asylum-turned-dorm. I mean, how creepy is that? Especially a mental asylum where so many horrible things took place — and where there are still remnants of what took place back when it was open. How could that not be terrifying?
The only things I really didn’t like about the story were that some of the images that were included were photos of a note or other calligraphic writing. Not very scary. I would’ve preferred more images of the asylum or things that took place in it. There definitely are scary images throughout, but I just wish there had been more. The other thing I didn’t like was that the book was compared to Miss Peregrine, which I really wouldn’t classify as a YA horror. Really, the only thing these two books have in common is the layout and images. I loved Miss Peregrine but feel like this book just can’t live up to that story — there are probably a lot of readers who will be disappointed thinking that it will be exactly like it.
This story is perfect for the horror lover — maybe a book to cuddle up with on a cold, autumn night as the coyotes howl in the distance. It will definitely have you looking over your shoulder and maybe keeping a light or two on after you finish!