Asylum

Overview

Once you get in, there's no getting out.

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 ...

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Asylum

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Overview

Once you get in, there's no getting out.

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 it turns out Brookline was no ordinary psych ward. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Featuring haunting found photographs from real asylums, this mind-bending reading experience blurs the lines between past and present, friendship and obsession, genius and insanity.

And don't miss the spine-tingling sequel, Sanctum.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Recently graduated from a high school where he never fitted in, Dan Crawford finds a happy new home at New Hampshire College Prep-or so he first thinks. It's true that he becomes close friends almost immediately with fellow students Abby and Jordan, but at the outset, none of them fully realized that their dorm's previous function as an asylum for the criminally insane was not just a fascinating fact; it was a history that continues to insinuate itself into the present. A suspenseful, cleverly creepy novel by Zombie series author Madeleine Roux. Now in trade paperback. (P.S. This fiction's allure is enhanced by its eerie photographs and simulated journals.)

Heather Brewer
“Days after reading Asylum, I’m still haunted by the images that Madeleine Roux’s words conjured. I just want to curl up inside her skull and exist for a while in its dark, twisted magnificence. Brilliant!”
Booklist
“The plentiful illustrations both advance the story line and immeasurably contribute to the spooky atmosphere. With its abundant jump scares, horror readers and fans of the TV show American Horror Story will delight in the fast-paced plot.”
Tor.com
“Madeleine Roux’s Asylum takes the fondest dream of our collective nerdy childhood and handily turns it into the scariest collective nightmare.” — Tor.com
Glamour
“I started reading this one at my desk in broad daylight and still got goose bumps.” — Glamour
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Illustrations used in this book are from actual asylums, and the author builds the tension nicely as Dan receives what may be messages from an inmate. A good choice for readers who enjoy books with scary situations that lead to a solid climax.”
Publishers Weekly
08/26/2013
Horror author Roux makes a strong YA debut with this creepy tale of a haunted asylum and the teenagers who are drawn to it. When Dan Crawford attends a summer program at New Hampshire College, he ends up housed in Brookline, a former asylum now being turned into a dorm. Along with fellow students Abby and Jordan, he starts exploring the basement of the dorm, where (conveniently) old records are stored. As they investigate, the students are plagued by horrifying dreams, and Dan starts to have blackouts, discovering strange unsent texts and emails and learning about conversations that he doesn't remember. Students are being attacked in the dorms, and as Dan begins to unravel his own ties to the asylum, he wonders if he might be responsible for the crimes. Roux (aided by unsettling photo illustrations of abandoned asylums and tormented patients) creates an entertaining and occasionally brutal horror story that reveals the enduring impact of buried trauma and terror on a place. Open questions at the end invite a sequel, though there's also a good sense of closure. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kate McKean, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. (Aug.)
VOYA - Betsy Fraser
Brookline was not quite what Dan Crawford had been expecting; while he had really been looking forward to spending the summer taking college prep courses, perhaps the crumbling facade of the student dorm should have been an omen. Their school plans change when Dan, his roommate, Felix, and their friend, Abby, stumble across some incredibly creepy photographs in an abandoned office on their first day. Further investigation leads them to find out that their dorm used to be a psychiatric hospital housing and treating dangerous criminals, and brings a more malevolent mystery when Dan starts receiving mysterious messages. It seems as though their investigation may be in danger of bringing things to light that would be safer in the past. Illustrations used in this book are from actual asylums, and the author builds the tension nicely as Dan receives what may be messages from an inmate. He is the only character of the three to be receiving the messages, as the background for his classmate is explained and handled neatly. This would be a good choice for readers who enjoy books with scary situations that lead to a solid climax, like Graham McNamee's Acceleration (Little,Brown, 2003/Voya December 2003), or a horror title with teens facing a threat like McNamee's Bonechiller (Little, Brown, 2008). Reviewer: Betsy Fraser
School Library Journal
02/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Dan is thrilled to be spending the summer before his senior year at the New Hampshire College Prep program, where he'll have a chance to meet other studious teenagers. He doesn't mind that his dorm, Brookline, was once an asylum for the criminally insane. In fact, Dan is curious about the institution's history and begins exploring Brookline's old passageways at night. At first, Dan and his best friends at NHCP, Abby and Jordan, think it's fun to sneak around in the dark and look at old patient records, but soon the things they find begin to frighten them. Dan starts receiving ominous notes, and he is plagued by nightmares in which he sees Brookline as if he were really there, all those years ago. When people start dying, Dan is convinced that the killer's identity is buried in his dorm's darkest history and that his own strange connection to the institution may be the key to stopping the murders. Eerie black-and-white pictures throughout the book add to the creep factor of this story, but unfortunately many images are redundant photographs of Dan's notes, while others seem unrelated to the text. The plot drives forward too quickly, with some circumstances and events feeling forced. Dan meets Abby and Jordan on his first day, for instance, and within hours they carry on with the rapport of lifelong friends. Mystery lovers will be disappointed with the lack of answers and explanations here. Hand this one to horror fans who don't mind a few loose ends.—Liz Overberg, Darlington School, Rome, GA
Kirkus Reviews
Roux's first teen novel uses horror staples--spooky corridors, tight-lipped townspeople and convenient coincidences--to predictable but page-turning effect. New Hampshire College Prep is a haven for gifted students: a place where kids actually want to do their homework. Its Brookline dorm is also a former psychiatric hospital whose past remains prominent not only in town, but in its own abandoned wings. Dan, anxious and awkward, is fascinated by its most infamous inpatient: a serial killer dubbed the Sculptor. His classmates have their own troubles; Abby struggles with family tensions, and Jordan's parents reject his sexuality. When they find old patient records and receive ghostly emails, they begin an investigation that ends in murder. The mock photo illustrations are eerie and occasionally disturbing, depicting the callous treatment methods of Brookline's time. A hollow-eyed, scarred child begs for her own story, as do notes from a surgeon convinced he can eradicate insanity. In contrast, the teens' back stories are more plot devices and heavy foreshadowing than character development, but their friendship is convincingly volatile. Real and ghostly elements mix clumsily and muddle the ending somewhat, but the pictures linger--a tighter focus on the photos' subjects could have made a truly haunting story. Fans of "found footage" horror will enjoy this familiar but visually creepy take on the haunted-institution setting. (Suspense. 14-18)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062220974
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/26/2014
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 220,334
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Madeleine Roux

Madeleine Roux is the New York Times bestselling author of Asylum, which has sold into nine countries around the world and which Publishers Weekly called "a strong YA debut." Sanctum is the second installment in the series about Dan, Abby, and Jordan. Madeleine is also the author of Alison Hewitt Is Trapped and Sadie Walker Is Stranded. A graduate of the Beloit College MFA program, Madeleine now lives in Minnesota.

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