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on 11 December 2017
A complete let down - I knew this book was YA when I bought it - doesn't bother me, a book well written is enjoyable regardless. But this was sold as a bestseller (and there are more in the series) and I have just finished it after a YEAR reading it. To begin, with Dan is the only interesting character with any depth. The rest are tick box caricatures at worst.. There are flashes of interesting writing but I think this was sold on the basis of the black and white photos unrelated to anything in the book. The worst part is the plot - it is very very slow and little happens. I was more acquainted with what Abby, Jordan and Dan ate at their various meet ups in the college restaurant than any growing or interesting story line. I normally love books like this, but I'd seriously give this a miss. Won't be trying the others.
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on 21 January 2018
So since it's that time around Halloween, that could mean only one thing, right? Time to read SPOOKY BOOKS! And if the title of 'Asylum' with the picture of that girl on the front cover doesn't get you into the scary book mood, then I have no idea what will.

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.

There are so many elements of this book that make it as good as it is. There are the pictures (think Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children), there is the locked, mysterious door that leads to other chambers, there are the murders that are happening on campus, and there is Dan's link to the asylum.

“If someone tells you you're crazy enough times, eventually it becomes true. It's that old psychiatrist's joke: insanity's all in your head.”

― Madeleine Roux, Asylum

I flew through this book, I think that I read it in a matter of a few hours. Roux had written this book at the perfect pace. You aren't thrown into the action straight away, there's a gradual build-up to the main plot points and scares. First, we are introduced to Dan and his new friends, then we are told that there is a locked door in one of the corridors, so what does Dan do? He goes to explore it, and see what is inside. If this was a horror movie, this would be the point where you are shouting at the TV for the stupid actors not to go into that dark, cobweb-ridden room. But no... Dan goes in, and his interest in the school's past (an aslyum if you hadn't guess by now), is piqued. He tries to focus all of his energy on finding out what happened there and drags his new friends into his 'adventure' as well.

Whilst all of this terror was going on, there are murders happening on the school campus, so Dan tries to figure out who is the murderer on top of discovering information about the school. Bloody hell, he's a busy guy, isn't he?

I did have a slight inkling as to who was behind all of this mayhem, but then I kept second guessing myself throughout the book and gave up on my theory. I shouldn't have though because it turns out that my bad feeling about that character was spot on. (Really, I should be the next Sherlock!)

Asylum had a brilliant ending, it definitely keeps you on your toes and wanting to find out what happens next (which is book, 2 - Sanctum). I bought the second book straight after finishing the first and even though I have yet to read Sanctum, I can't wait as I know it's going to be a brilliant read!
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on 4 September 2016
"Prepare to be lost in…Asylum"

With a tag line like that and a creepy photo on the cover how could I resist buying Asylum? A quick flick through gave me a glimpse of some of the creepy photos inside which include some images from actual asylums and as I read this, the pictures really added to the atmosphere of the story and just creeped me out even more! Loved it!

So, let's get down to business!

"It was a house for those who could not take care of themselves, for those who heard voices, who had strange thoughts and did strange things. The house was meant to keep them in. Once they came, they never left."

Taking place in an old asylum that has been converted into a temporary dormitory, the plot follows main character Daniel Crawford as he arrives at Brookline asylum for summer prep school. Very quickly he and his friends Jordan and Abby start to realise that things may not all be completely normal at Brookline. Are there some sort of supernatural forces at work? What really did happen all those years ago when Brookline was closed so suddenly? And more importantly, what happened to its most dangerous patient of all – the serial killer known as The Sculptor?

What follows is a dark and twisted story of mystery and discovery. The characters find themselves drawn deeper into the secrets of Brookline and the horrors that it hides in rooms and floors that are off limits. When strange things start happening to them and people start turning up dead, the trio know that something has to be done to stop the evil forces at work here.

"Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage."

I loved this book from start to finish. The writing was superb and wasted very little time in getting into the nitty gritty of this macabre tale. I quite liked Dan from the beginning, he was pretty laid back and fit the bill of an average teenager. I also found him to be very believable, the decisions he made and his reactions to the events in the book were realistic and this is a big thing for me in stories like this. I've never been a fan of a main character who just ploughs into scary basements like Rambo. Most people would be scared and I liked that I felt Dan’s fear and his confusion throughout this.

The mystery itself is very well paced, little details are revealed regularly but are just enough to keep you guessing. I was so riveted by it that I read the whole thing in one sitting – staying up until the early hours! I was then so unnerved by the sinister plot that I regretted staying up so late because suddenly the dark didn't seem so welcoming!

The evil forces at work fit into the storyline excellently. I liked that there were two elements to the plot, the direct danger which came from one side and then the underlying mystery that came from the other – both of which had different sources and different characters driving them but that tied in with each other too.
"They are walking the line between genius and insanity. You know the line well."

A very thrilling and unnerving read, scary and intriguing in all the right places, a must-read for fans of dark and thrilling mysteries with a splash of the supernatural.

Asylum is the first book in a trilogy which offers several spin-off stories also, so Dan’s story continues in the next instalment Sanctum which I'm off to order now because I can't wait to see what the author has in store for these guys next!

"I'll be seeing you real soon Daniel Crawford."
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on 26 June 2016
I love this book and would definitely recommend to anyone into more darker reads. It was gripping and tense, made even better by the cheap price tag! Will definitely be ordering the others in the series from same seller. The reason I did not give it five stars was that it is a very flimsy book made from almost newspaper type pages which disappointed me but otherwise all good.
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on 18 February 2017
This book was imaginative and intriguing from start to end! It gets a little long winded in places, but it is one of the best horror books I have ever read! The start can be confusing, and if you get lost, DO NOT STOP READING! Just get through it, you get a better understanding of it later!
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all fans of the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children series, but only 12+. Seriously.
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on 2 July 2016
So so so so good!
I can never usually get into books like this, I'm typically a contemporary, romance or fantasy girl, but this completely converted me. Loved the creepiness of the whole thing. Although some parts were pretty predictable, but that's generally expected of a YA novel, but the twist at the end left me sat there for a while just thinking about what had happened! I was absolutely hooked, probably helped that I read it on Halloween too.
Waiting for this October to start the next book!
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on 1 July 2016
I read a few chapters of this but didn't like it so couldn't continue. I found the way the book was written was too colloquial, but so much so that it didn't seem to flow very well and I did not find it very interesting. The conversations between the characters in these two chapters seemed very forced and not easy to read.

It's a shame, the book description made it sound excellent.
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on 21 April 2016
It had a lot of potential that seemed to fall a little short sometimes. However I loved the photo's and if you pick it up wanting an easy read with a little light horror then it's perfect. I still enjoyed it despite the 3-star rating.
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on 14 August 2017
Read this in two days. I couldn't put it down.
Some spine chilling moments and a good storyline.
Can't wait to read the second in the series.
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on 14 October 2017
Clichéd and boring
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