Asylum (YA) by Madeleine Roux

asylum

No doubt about it, the cover is creepy. This was one of those books with a promising premise. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the wildly successful Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children in its use of odd, black and white photos. But where that book was creative and different, this one fails to deliver. Don’t get me wrong- it’s not awful, it’s just not exceptional.

Sixteen year old, Dan spends part of the summer at a college prep program. His dorm is a former psychiatric facility. When things start to happen, the reader wonders if the school is haunted, Dan is going mad, or whether something else is going on. That part of the book works. Several murders and attacks ensue along with Dan becoming a possible suspect, but when a few too many co-incidents occur, the action starts to feel campy. In the end, the storyline is partially resolved but big questions remain (I guess this is so the author gets to produce a sequel. Anyone else tired of that ploy?). The initial idea, Dan’s history, and the location should have produced a better book.