Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Happy Halloween, everyone! This week I decided to give into the ‘spooky days’ allure and I picked up a creepy read to share with you all. Like with horror movies, I have to be in the mood and set the scene. Eerie music, steaming mug of tea, my favorite Scooby Doo socks, and a big fluffy blanket. Then boom! I am ready to do some monster mash and thriller dancing because hello Halloween! My hubby and I have spent the last week binge watching Ghost Hunters International and carving some amazing pumpkins. So at last, I was ready to crack the cover on my special Halloween read.

Asylum was the first book of Madeleine Roux’s that I have had the pleasure of reading. The whole concept and plot of the book is brilliant and intriguing. This book flew by and before I knew it, I was halfway through. By the end of the day, I was done; still snuggled in my chair only now with an empty mug and a finished book.

This tale is told from the view of Dan Crawford, a junior in high school, who, while intellectually gifted; he struggles to find a place among his peers. During a summer break, he gains admittance to a five week college prep course. Basically, it is a summer camp for brilliant students. They have a vast assortment of courses to choose from and they get to switch them up weekly. Now I am a confirmed nerd, so this sounds like an amazing time. That was Dan’s thinking too; these were his kinds of people. Right off the get-go this kid just wants friends. That is his main goal. The further you get in, you realize why he is so desperate to be accepted and, to be honest, I really just want to give this kid a hug. Then things started to get weird. A creepy photo found in a drawer with its eyes scratched out kicks off the tumultuous fall into obsession and torment that Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, get put through. I forgot to mention, the setting of this book is a super creepy sanitariums that this college turned into a door,. Let’s just say, that comes can to bite them in their butts.

There are a few things that Dan does right off the bat that seemed totally out of character for who he was set up to be. For example, breaking and entering into a notably off limits office in the basement of the dorms, on his first day, all to find out more about that photo I mentioned before. But then as I though more about it, I remembered how much Dan wanted to make friends and then it made sense. Especially because he wanted to show off and impress the beautiful Abby he had just met.

From that point, things accelerate and Dan’s reality becomes blurred with flashbacks. Flashbacks that are not his own. When a fellow attendee turns up dead and other on the verge, he begins to doubt if he truly is in control of himself anymore, or if someone else is stalking the halls and the hidden rooms of the old asylum below.

My one complaint was for the ending; as I mentioned with my post on Before I Disappear a few weeks ago, I hate ending without answers. The one thing that stopped me from complete frustration and pulling my hair out was remembering that this is a series. However, I still wish it had a different ending; at least pace wise. The ending to me was kinda weird and rushed. There was no explanation for the ‘coincidences’ for the name similarities and familial connections. Plus at the conclusion, I refuse to believe that the police would be as cold and understating in in real life as they were at the end of this book. There was just so much that was shoved into the last pages that it felt a bit awkward and, though I hate to use the word, anti-climatic...

I will have to add Sanctum, the next book in the series, to my list to see if these questions are answered. Unfortunately until then I will have to use my imagination as to the answers I still desire.

For my Halloween spooky read, this wasn’t as horrifying as I was hoping, but the book itself was a good read with a eerie edge, the phones definitely gave me goosebumps, but next year I think I will have to aim more for an adult horror instead of the young adult genre I went with.

Overall, anyone who is a fan of softer horror, this book is one for you! Stephen King or Saw fans, I would maybe skip the one and go for something a little more hard core if fear is what you are going for.

What is your favorite scary read? What did you pick up this Halloween?


Top Quotes

The house was meant to keep them in. Once they cam, they never left.

The thing about memories was, you never could control when they came up again.


Stay awesome and spread the light!

JR Molt

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