Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Link to buy Asylum
Story Rating: 2 out of 5
Madeleine Roux's New York Times bestselling Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-illustrated novel that Publishers Weekly called "a strong YA debut that reveals the enduring impact of buried trauma on a place." Featuring found photographs from real asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Asylum is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity, perfect for fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
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 Brookline was no ordinary mental hospital, and there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.
While this title is sold as YA it falls close to the NA classification. The book is packaged and promoted to be much scarier than it really is. At first glance it looks an awful lot like Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, but it is completely different. This story tries but it is so unbelievable that even though it is fiction it is distracting. The characters are not fully developed and that makes it hard to care about them. The photos used don't work like they do in Miss Peregrine.
I read Miss Peregrine and so I thought this would be a "younger" sort of version of the same concept using old photographs within a creepy story but it just didn't work for me. I wanted to like it but the depth just wasn't there. It's obvious the author can write but it would be nice to see them try to attempt something original because this just seems to be a copycat of something else.
Reviewed by Catherine