Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, Asylum by Madeleine Roux.

I've been putting this book off for two reasons: 1) the horror genre is a bit outside my comfort zone, and 2) I was a little bit nervous about the pictures, especially because of the horror genre.

But, I finally decided to pick it up and I'm not sure how I feel.

The story follows 16 year-old-year Dan who is away at a college prep class. He arrives to find a strange roommate in his asylum turned dorm. Then things start happening. Creepy notes get left in his room even though he's sure he locked the door. Pictures left with eyes scratched out. He begins to explore the locked, off-limits portion of the building with his new friends Jordan and Abby.

First off, when I started the book, I immediately thought of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The layout was very similar, the chapter header on a separate page, the cursive first letter, etc. And that's not a bad thing, it's just a formatting thing and truthfully, I'm not sure which book was formatted first.

Story-wise, it was fairly interesting. I liked the mystery aspect of the story, finding out who was behind everything. But I didn't really understand the big reveal at the end. How was that even possible? I feel like I missed a part of the story where things were explained.

The pacing was good, I flew through this book. I'm not sure if it was a combination of the writing style, the large font size and the pictures on every other page.

I didn't love the narration though and I think that messed things up for me. It's told in third-person so there is already some disconnect with the story. And then, I wasn't really a fan of Dan's internal voice. He felt really young to me and his voice kind of irritated me. The narration felt like it was coming from a middle-grade character, not a higher aged YA.

I felt like the relationship between Dan and Abby was kind of pointless. I mean it didn't really add to the story at all and they didn't even acknowledge the situation. There were just some awkward comments that were random. I also felt that their characters were lacking. I don't know if I could tell you one dynamic detail that is specific to each of the characters. They felt so flat that there were times when I could only tell them apart by their cliches, awkward super-student = Dan, quirky, artsy girl = Abby, moody jerk = Jordan.

I'm not too sure what else to say about this book. I definitely didn't love it, but at the same time, it was interesting enough to finish it. It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. In fact, I only got genuinely scared two or three times, all those times it was just a quick thing that got resolved on the next page. The book had a lingering creepiness, but it didn't constantly scare me.

I was expecting a lot more from this book and unfortunately, it didn't deliver as well as I had hoped.

Overall, I don't think it is worth the read.