Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Asylum (Asylum Series #1)

Asylum (Asylum Series #1)

3.7 140
by Madeleine Roux

See All Formats & Editions

Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-novel perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

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


Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-novel perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

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.

Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux's teen debut, Asylum, is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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
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)
“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.”
“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.”
“Madeleine Roux’s Asylum takes the fondest dream of our collective nerdy childhood and handily turns it into the scariest collective nightmare.” — Tor.com
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!”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Asylum Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.92(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.08(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Madeleine Roux is the New York Times bestselling author of the Asylum series, which has sold into eleven countries around the world and whose first book was named a Teen Indie Next List Pick. A graduate of the Beloit College writing program, Madeleine now lives in Seattle, Washington.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Asylum 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 140 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was excited about the plot and use of photos. I couldn't wait to read the book being compaired to Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children. Unfortunatly, this book fell short of expectations. The characterization tried to be dynamic but instead the characters came across as unfleshed out. I never had a grasp on who they were supposed to be. The use of photos was strange because they didn't run congruently with the text, they seemed random at times. Further more, the end (and I promise not to spoil) was not a satisfactory resolution to the plot and didn't provide a compelling cliff hanger for a sequel. I have since learned this is the first in a series but I will not be reading the subsequent books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very, very disappointing. The book was so badly written that I could not suspend reality at all and the story just ended up being silly. This is a shame since it is a very good plot line. The pictures could have easily been left out as they added very little to the story. I was also very disappointed that Ms. Roux gave no thanks or credit to Ransom Rees, who had an excellent "picture" book with Ms. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which was actually written around real, unusual pictures. It is also pretty obvious that Ms. Roux did no research on how lobotomies were performed. If she had, she would have found out that they were done through the eye socket - NOT through the forehead. The characters were all, except for poor Lucy, one-dimensional and extraordinarily self-centered who were constantly throwing fits when they did not get their way. All in all they were all very pathetic. This could have been a very good the hands of a better writer or even a better editor. As it is, well, this is just my opinion, but it pretty much sucked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seriously, did the author literally write all of the five star reviews herself.  This is the deal with this book, it did set up some good storyline but it was not executed properly!  The author could not write or get into the mind of a teenage boy, she write that the main character is socially awkward but gets best friends not soon after that statement.  She makes one of the characters gay so she can relate her novel to the LGBTQ community but that's it.  She just says that he's gay and doesn't go farther than that.  I seriously hope that the writer goes back to school or at least find herself another job.  I usually don't hate books but this book, oh this book is seriously a waste of money.  The author is seriously trying to rip off Miss Peregrine's home for pecular children! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The photos are easily located on the internet. Boring book with some misuse of psychiatric labels. Hated this. And the characters were flat and uninteresting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, I was so excited to read this. I did like the real photos and the plot. However I was not very satisfied with the ending, I felt like there were a lot of questions unanswered.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love books of this genre, sadly this book didn't thrill me. I am a huge Ransom Riggs fan and ASYLUM just came across as a poorly written wannabe. It was a fast read only because I couldn't wait for it to be over. I recommend that if you are a Riggs fan, you pass on ASYLUM.......and if even if you aren't.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
After hearing about this at the Frenzy Presents event, I really wanted to read it!! A horror book that includes pictures from a real life asylum, talk about spooky!! Sixteen year old Dan is the main protagonist in this book. Dan leaves his house to go to New Hampshire College prep that is a summer program. Dan has never had any friends at school, so he was determined to make some at his summer program! He meets Abby and Jordan, and those three go on quite an adventure at school. They find hidden rooms at their school, and the decide to go in and explore. When they find weird and scary pictures of doctors and patients, Dan and Abby are determined to find out more.To be honest, I didn't find this as creepy as I expected it to be. The story line wasn't that interesting, and nothing exciting ever came up at first. Later on, some shocking stuff did happen, and the book started picking it's pace up. The pictures in the book were pretty cool as well. I have to admit, there was a lot of confusing stuff here. I'm still not clear about what really happened in the end. I thought there would be a sequel, but it does not say so on goodreads. The characters were okay, nothing special. Also, there was a bit romance, but it didn't stand out for me either.Overall, I just guess this book was bleh. Nothing great, nothing horrible either. I kind of think this turned out into a big mess in the end. I don't know if it's paranormal or fantasy or whatnot. Nothing was explained properly, and if there isn't a sequel, then how are we supposed to understand? If anyone is looking for a somewhat horror book, then I would recommend this one. I also thought it would be fit for a younger audience as well. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The end of it was something I did not expect. Yet it did help me think of new things to add to my own writing. I find that insanity, asylums, and slight drama can make a book interesting.
CJC67 More than 1 year ago
I loved it! WOW what an exceptional book. I am way past the Teen Section in the book department but, this one was wonderful!!! You are immediate thrust into an everyday occurrence but then as the writer pulls you in you get to see the real reason your there. Dan is a junior in high school going to attend a summer program for kids that enjoy learning and getting their feet were for what college will have to offer. Everything seems normal til Dan meets his roommate and finds a mysterious picture in his desk draw. This leads to more and more questions that Dan must figure out. Dan ends up questioning his own sanity and the place he will call home for the next 5 weeks. I was addicted to this book I finished it in 2 days!! I could not put it down. I was introduced to the book via my book club. We are reading it this month for our next months meeting. Very excited to discuss this book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first when I started reading it I didn't like how the author kind of just threw it all in there. I started reading it for a creative writing class and so of course I saw all the flaws in the plot. It left me more wondering what th characters looked like than what was actually going on. The author kind of failed in details, and it left you wondering more about the relationships between Dan, Abby, and Jordan. I give it 3.5 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was expecting more action or drama. You also have to asume alot all through out the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the book in my school library and th reason that it doesnt answer all of the questions is because there was a sequel. That answers them all. Its called sanctum, and its where they go ack to try and stop thier nightmares and they ind out a bunch of stuff. Good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overall, I was disappointed in Asylum, which is a shame as the cover looked so promising!  The entire novel had some good ideas, but it felt like Roux was testing the waters of authorship rather than diving in headfirst.  Although billed as a photo novel, I did not find the pictures to enhance, but detract from the storyline, they appeared to be poor reproductions or B grade PhotoShop examples.  This book was alright, I am interested in reading the second installment solely to discover if Roux developed the suggestions of Asylum. 
darbyla More than 1 year ago
I was super excited to read this book, but I'm about 1/2 way through it and am mildly disappointed. It seems to be written at more of a YA level. I feel like I'm reading a book that is trying to be eerie and suspenseful, but is falling short. The photographs are interesting, but not integrated well within the story. Overall rating 2/5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Asylum had a promising idea for a plot- a former mental hospital whose ghosts of its past are haunting current-day tennants, a group of kids taking college courses. But, in my opinion, it was less a horror story than it was just a story. As other reviews have noted, the pictures didn't always match up with what was being said and seemed out of place, so as a result, they didn't do all that much to add atmosphere to the tale. Often, what was meant to be scary or creepy was just confusing. Ms. Roux seemed to have taken a variety of good ideas and mashed them together in a fairly poor fashion. As I described it to a friend- the end strikes me as though it's trying to be a mix of the game Mad Father, the more serious or creepy aspects of the television show Supernatural, and the atmosphere of just about any horror game taking place in a mental hospital, like the game Afraid of Monsters. These are all good ideas, and when put together in the correct way in the correct form, could end up being very scary or haunting indeed. It just wasn't put together correctly, and the way the characters were used as the means
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very creepy and compelling once you get through the initial intro and set-up.
Anonymous 3 months ago
The thing that got me was the ending. Like why would a book end like that. But i said before it was an awesome book. And all those people who said it sucked or it was poorly written you guys are just really dumb. But to those people who said it great or liked the book you guys are #1. By the way this was her first teen book and there are several more Asylum books. My favorite part us when Dan finds out he going insane.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Part ghost story part mystery could not guess where this book was going and found all the characters intersting.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Keeps you questioning everything in such a fun way,
Stephanie Young More than 1 year ago
Asylum is very similar to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs, in that it is a photo-illustrated novel. Madeleine Roux found a lot of interesting, yet creppy, pictures from actual asylums. We begin with Dan, and how he is spending his summer at an asylum...what used to be an asylum. The buildings were purchased and turned into a College Prep program. Kids from all over the country attend this program in hopes of furthering their education. When Dan arrives, he finds out that he has to stay in the new dorms...the old psychiatric hospital. He then starts making a few friends, which is pretty much a first for the socially awkward sixteen year old. Weird things start happening to him, people start dying, and the town is full of strange, fearful people. What could possibly go wrong? Is someone out to get him? Are some students playing pranks on him? Could it be something entirely different? Let me ask you something, do you believe in ghosts? What about haunted buildings? Open up the book an find out!
SuperReaderChick More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued with Asylum from the beginning. I find anything dealing with mental health institutions from the past to be interesting and a bit horrific. The pictures within the book really enhanced the story and its eerie feel. Asylum did a great job of getting in my head and making me feel the confusion that Dan felt along the way. On each trip back to the office, they kept finding stranger and stranger things and I was always eager to continue reading and find out what would happen next. When the book got to the action-packed ending, I was on the edge of my seat. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!
224perweek More than 1 year ago
Why did I not pay better attention to all the reviews??!! I could have saved myself the time I wasted on this book. It was soooooo boring. I was really hoping for good things from this story based on the dust jacket which is really creepy. Nope. Nothing. Zip. Oh well.
eternalised More than 1 year ago
Asylum is a chilling, creeptastic novel about Dan, a high school student attending a summer program for gifted students at a college in New Hampshire. The college used to be an asylum, and parts of the basement still hosts the old chambers. Dan is geeky and a bit of a loner, so he’s thrilled to meet gorgeous, outgoing Abby, and her friend, Jordan. The three of them form a close bond, and they even take some classes together. But one night they go exploring in the basement of the asylum, and that’s when things start to go wrong. Dan is tormented by nightmares, people get hurt, and the three of them receive strange messages that could be from the beyond. On top of that, we see a glimpse of Dan’s past, his visits to a therapist, and some reasons are alluded to, but unfortunately never fully explained. The creepiness is high in this one, and the author does a great job describing the creepier scenes. However, the characters were problematic. Dan has so many secrets shrouding his past it’s difficult to connect to him. For a large part of the book, I thought he would be an unrealiable narrator, and this also kept me distant from him, but at the same time, heightened the mystery. Jordan and Abby felt a little underdeveloped, and their behavior was all over the place – some thanks to the asylum, some of it seemingly random. I felt like a lot of things weren’t explained yet and some issues could’ve been explored further, but overall, I had a fantastic time reading this. Plus, the photographs gave the book a nice touch.
19269684 More than 1 year ago
If you like Scooby-Doo... Asylum by Madeleine Roux is from my own audiobook collection. I'd read the actual book a while ago, but decided to hit it again, along with the other two books, Sanctum and Catacombs. One reason I wanted to read the series is due to it's sinister cover. It's a ghost photo and you can never go wrong with ghost pics, right? Well... The story is about Dan Crawford and his adventure at Brookline's NHCP (New Hampshire College Prep) program. It's for those young adults looking to gain a jump on their college education. Unbeknownst to Dan, he and his friends gained more than book lessons. They were haunted by mysterious photos, dreams, letters, ghost emails and voices. Dan even gained information concerning his genealogy... and it wasn't a good one! But their discoveries weren't innocent. Students actually died and Dan almost arrested. All because something lured them into the basement of Brookline... For the rest of this review: http://tinyurl.com/hqd8m4b Book is from my personal library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago