winged reviews
Review, Young Adult / March 19, 2015
Asylum by Madeleine RouxAsylum
Author: Madeleine Roux
Series: Asylum #1
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date: August 2014
336 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Buy the BookGoodreads

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.

This book has the look and feel of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children but do not be fooled, that is where is the similarity ends. The book jacket and photos have the look for a really creepy story that will haunt your dreams but that doesn’t happen.

The story starts out shaky when the main character, Dan Crawford, attends an 8-week summer school program. Since there is a rooming issue that forces everyone to stay in an asylum for the length of the program, that is when creepy and unusual things start happening to Dan. Well, it is intended to be creepy but comes across as just odd. Mysterious photos appear in Dan’s room and strange dreams occur yet Dan is not really rattled by any of this. Dan seems to have some strange connection to the asylum and knows the stories before anyone tells them to him. Dan does make friends, Abby and Jordan, and convinces them to check the asylum out with him. They start to explore the office where they find more creepy old photos, hospital records and bloody hand-prints. As the story goes on, they explore farther and farther into the off-limits wing and discover more hidden secrets.

All of these characters have great potential but seem to fall short. They started out a little bit flat but I expected them to flesh out or mature throughout the story. Instead I was left feeling like their actions were forced and their motivations weren’t believable. The plot was well written and some twits and turns were thrown in, but it seemed a bit predictable. I did not feel that sense of suspense or surprise while reading this story. I felt I knew how the story was going to end halfway through the book.

I do not feel as if I really attached or connected with the characters, I was not very motivated to devour this book. I felt there was a lot of promise for this book and there was potential, but it did not meet my expectations.

2 Stars

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