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Asylum
2013
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Summary

Madeleine Roux's New York Times bestselling Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-illustrated novel that Publishers Weekly called "a strong YA debut that reveals the enduring impact of buried trauma on a place." Featuring found photographs from real asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Asylum is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity, perfect for fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

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 Brookline was no ordinary mental hospital, and there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

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School Library Journal Review
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 (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford is thrilled to be attending the summer program for gifted students at New Hampshire College, but he's shocked to find that he's been housed in a dorm that was formerly an asylum for the criminally insane. Although Dan's roommate is a bit odd, he makes good friends with attractive, spunky Abby and acerbic Jordan, and together the three investigate things that clearly should be left alone, including the forbidden areas of the building, to which Dan finds himself irresistibly drawn. Roux's cinematic story includes genuinely creepy black-and-white found photographs of decaying abandoned asylums as well as unsettling drawings and altered photographs. 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 (if predictable) plot. Although it feels a little forced, the diversity among the characters (Asian, Latina, gay, rich, poor, rural, and urban) is a nice touch. Short sentences and many cliff-hangers will appeal to reluctant readers.--Carton, Debbie Copyright 2010 Booklist
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