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"Vaught mines a wealth of local history and urban legends to achieve her scares . . . This is still a cinematic ghost story that requires only a dark and stormy night to complete the mood." - BCCB
"Teens looking for an eerie ghost story will want to check this one out." - School Library Journal
"An illuminating, recommended read." - Kirkus Reviews on Freaks Like Us
"Vaught deftly manipulates stereotypes of a broad array of characters-"alphabets," delinquents, parents, siblings, even FBI agents-to reveal the question that reverberates through the densely constructed novel: are we defined by how we perceive ourselves or by how others see us?" - The Horn Book Magazine on Freaks Like Us
'"An original and meaningful work that provokes thought about action, consequence, redemption, and renewal." - Booklist, starred review, on Trigger
Posted June 27, 2014
Posted May 21, 2014
Lincoln psychiatric hospital in Never, Kentucky, attracts all sorts of occult and paranormal activities.
Forest has just aged out of the foster-care system and is now working at Lincoln Psychiatric with the hope to earn enough money to go to college. Darius is also working at Lincoln for the same reason, and his girlfriend Trina has left college to intern at the same place. Levi was murdered and brought back to life by his Imogene grandmother. He haunts the halls of Lincoln, helping the recently dead to cross over and keeping tabs on all of the malevolent spirits. Although all of them live in different times, they all experience a series of paranormal adventures, linked by their connection to the eerie, haunted Lincoln.
The story is told from the multiple perspectives of Forest, Darius, and Trina. All three of them introduce a different paranormal story, and they overlap and share characters. However, the transition is confusing, as the story moves from one perspective into another without warning before we really get to know any of the characters; on top of that, the perspectives are all told in the first person. It's difficult to tell when the POV is changing because it's all told in first person. Also, it's disappointing that we don’t get to know about the past of Forest, Levi, Darius, and Trina, and why they are haunted beyond imagining in the depths of Lincoln Hospital.
Insanity thrusts readers into a world of mystery, ghosts, demons, and among other forms of paranormal activity. There is darkness, rage and dark magic brewing. There is the paranormal knack that comes with the Madoc blood, and there is also witchcraft and plenty of evil. I am a kind of disappointed about the book, as we never are given a satisfactory explanation for why the characters are drawn to Lincoln or why it is such a magnet for ghosts, haints, and shades. Basically, it tells the story without giving the keys that we need to fully understand it. If you don't care about all these things and are just looking for a quick, dark, paranormal read, however, then you may enjoy this one.
Review by Alice
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Posted July 18, 2014