madeleine roux · review

Review: Asylum by Madeleine Roux


For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, the New Hampshire College Prep program is the chance of a lifetime. Except that when Dan arrives, he finds that the usual summer housing has been closed, forcing students to stay in the crumbling Brookline Dorm – formerly a psychiatric hospital.
As Dan and his new friends Abby and Jordan start exploring Brookline’s twisty halls and hidden basement, they uncover disturbing secrets about what really went on here … secrets that link Dan and his friends to the asylum’s dark past. Because it turn out Brookline was no ordinary psych ward. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.”

This book was a bit different from my usual reads, but still very entertaining. I liked the photographs which made the book more alluring. The structure of the text was good. It made you feel like you are a fast reader because you were sailing through the book with an ease. Format of the book was perfect – easy to hold, small enough to take with you anywhere and different, exciting to the touch.

The book sucked me in with the first chapter. Story began in the first chapter. Sometimes there are so called fill-in chapters to keep the story going, but I didn’t feel like this book had those chapters. With every chapter the book sucked me in deeper.

My favorite character was probably Abby. She had many so called mood swings, but she was still very cool and poised. She was braver than she seemed. I like a strong female character that is not depending on boys, but can get herself out of trouble if she needs to.

Characters at times didn’t feel real to me, but I still liked them well enough to continue. Characters didn’t really develop through the story, but I have high hopes they will through the next books.

Story kept me guessing through the whole book. I had to stop reading a couple of time to form a new theory in my head before continuing. From the very beginning I thought that I had the ending figured out, but it still managed to elude me and caught me by surprise. Story was good. Plot twists were more than satisfying.

My favorite parts of the book had to be the ones that happened in the old wing. I liked the mystery and kept on guessing what they are going to find, what secret they will uncover next. Scary scenes were written quite well for my taste.

The book didn’t make me laugh nor cry. It did, however, make me caught my breath for a sentence or two, before realizing what was going on.

Story had it’s claws deep inside me and I had no will to fight it. I kept on reading even though it was late. I kept saying one more chapter before I finally convinced myself that I will continue the book first thing in the morning, which I did. And I finished it in a heartbeat.

The ending was awesome. I don’t mind if an ending is a cliffhanger, when I have a sequel laying around. But sadly this was not the case here, so I was very frustrated.

At times I was angry at Dan, because he didn’t share his life story with Jordan or Abby … but hey, there are still two more books for him to do so.

I found the theme very interesting and compelling. I love watching horror movies and always wanted to read a horror book. Of course I was not as scared as I am when I watch the movies, but not because I wouldn’t like the story, but because there were no special effects and loud music. A contemporary story happening in an old, remodeled Asylum … I was so excited to start reading it!

I saw a lot of people didn’t like the story. Some didn’t even finish it. I think that is because before they started reading it, they created a little image (expectations) in their head of what the story will be and what will happen, and obviously when things didn’t happen that way and they got frustrated.

Yes, the story wasn’t very scary, but it was still good. They started reading it expecting to get scared as hell, but that didn’t happen. Books are not movies.

Honestly, I don’t know for sure why they didn’t like the book. I just know that I am not sorry for reading it and will be picking up the sequel in the near future.

If you decide to read this book, don’t have high expectations to begin with or don’t have any expectations at all. Let yourself be surprised by the book and it’s story. Read every book with low expectations or none at all and you won’t be disappointed (as much).

I heard a lot of people comparing this book to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, but honestly besides the picture, I don’t see any other similarities.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Review by Anya Blackhart-Clark

Check out the book here.


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