Book Review: Asylum By Madeleine Roux

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I asked my sister for a book of her choice after finishing The Fault In Our Stars and she gave me one she had finished and enjoyed. My sister is a working mom so getting reading time is hard to come by, so if she made it to the end of any book it’s worth a read.

She chose Asylum by Madelein Roux for me. The cover intrigued me quite a bit and I jumped right in.

The story centers around a boy named Dan who, though he is high school age, is attending a summer academic program at a college in New Hampshire, the dormitories of which were once a mental hospital. Many of the residents of the hospital were criminally insane.

Dan is somewhat of a nerd who is pretty socially inept.Still, he meets some people when he gets to the college. There is his roommate Felix , who Dan seems to think of as a boring, pretentious scholarly type. He also meets a girl named Abbey and a boy named Jordan. Good for Dan.

There’s a room in the dorms that the students are discouraged from entering, but when Dan hears about this room from his roommate, in the first conversation they ever have, he must go.

I won’t give anything away and though this was not a terrible read for me, it felt a bit predictable. There were times when I wanted to walk into the pages and bitch slap the three friends as they would argue and offend each other in EVERY dialogue scene they share. I wanted to say, “Either shit or get off the I-wanna-be-your-friend pot”. Dan’s jealousy and need to get with Abbey at times feels a bit Bella/Edward in the way that he will make things worse at the chance to get her attention and affection. His relationship with Jordan is even more cringeworthy. They are called best friends, but they seem to, underneath the facade of best friends seems to be zero actual love for each other.

The story itself is your basic let’s go on a terrifying treasure hunt in an old insane asylum type thing. It neither wowed me or bored me.

As for the authors writing style, I had one major gripe. Whenever Dan is mentioned, he is rarely referred to as he or him…even if he is the only character in the scene. The number of times I read the name Dan on one page made me want to scream at times.

I do know that I may have missed some points in the fact that I’m pretty removed from my youth and perhaps I’m a bit judgemental towards the younger generation putting ‘getting him/her to like me’ mentality before all else. I do remember sacrificing a lot in my teens to get a crushes attention…maybe not creep around a hospital for the criminally insane…then again, I wasn’t presented with said insane asylum.

I’m interested in what others thought of this. My sis loved it and we have been known to have differing opinions on books before. Let me know your thoughts.

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