Saturday, November 29, 2014

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Publication Date: August 20, 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Series: Asylum #1
Pages: 313
Genre: Horror
Synopsis: 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.

Review: I saw this book at the library and thought it looked cool, so I borrowed it.  I read it in a day, and it was a day, in my opinion, wasted. 

First of all, the writing.  It was forgettable at best...  This is supposed to be a suspenseful thriller with terrifying photographs.  The plot was substandard and the writing was mediocre.  It is lacking in the scare department and I guessed all of the 'big reveals' a dozen chapters ahead.  The 'clues' were like giant, flashing neon signs.  I was sorely disappointed. 

The characters, God, the characters.  They had no dimension, not one bit.  There is also no character development.  They act without thinking, and when they do think, I'm bored. When they are in danger, I would be happy if they died if only something vaguely exciting and complex would happen.  And not only that, the characters are unconvincing.  I refuse to believe that people so all over the place and shallow even exist.  The characters aren't even really there.  They have the personalities of a random side character that appears for two minutes.  They are practically nonexistent. 

Everything felt disordered.  It was like a puzzle where all the wrong pieces had been forced to fit together.  The biggest failure, though, was how utterly not scary this book was.  The photographs were dull and the villains were laughable.  I've been scared more by Scooby Doo

Asylum tells you that you should be scared, but fails to show you why.  I was hoping for better.  The story was wearisome. Here is my advice: skip it.  It isn't worth the energy exuded to read it.     

2 Stars

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