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“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.”
Author: Madeleine Roux
Genre: YA Horror
Themes: Hauntings/paranormal/possession, murder, gore
Days I took to Read:5
ABOUT THE BOOK
The New Hampshire College Prep is more than just a summer for Dan Crawford, who wants to use the opportunity to find his way and make new friends before heading off to college himself. But this highly esteemed school has a few secrets of its own, especially when it comes to the building’s history.
On an impromptu exploration of the grounds, Dan and his new friends Abby and Jordan, discover the truth — the are studying on top of an abandoned asylum. Their curiosity gets the best of them, and things take a turn for the worse when Dan finds out he shares the same exact name as the old warden, and he begins receiving terrifying notes from a nameless sender.
Soon, these three students find themselves in a fight to survive against a house that seems to want them dead. But then again, none of them are quite sure what’s real and what’s not… Because at this school, that’s not always so clear.
As I mentioned in my review post for Amity, but I’ve been looking for the perfect YA horror novel, and I think Roux hit the nail on this one pretty darn close to the head. The story was moving a little slow towards the beginning, and it seemed to have a lot more exposition than it probably needed. But, getting to the end of the book, I can see that most of it was necessary, especially considering the few twists it throws the readers’ way.
Strangely enough, I had this book sitting on my shelf for a few years, and never thought to pick it up. To be honest, I don’t even remember buying it, but that just shows you what an obvious book-buying problem I can have sometimes. Also, when it comes to horror and ghost stories, I think a lot of people that like the genre always have a sort of “weakness” theme that they always have to see, because it’s their favorite horror trope. A few of my friends love the whole Ouija board thing used in a lot of teen ghost movies (teenagers can be really dumb sometimes…), but my favorite horror movie topic, hands down, is asylums. If I see a horror movie or book that takes place in a haunted hospital or asylum or sanitarium, because they absolutely scare the bejeezus out of me, and I LOVE IT. So, I saw this book again on my shelf and was like “OH EM GEE I NEED TO READ THIS ASAP!” And trust me, it did not disappoint for the most part, aside from the slower bits.
As for the rest of the book that wasn’t as slow… It definitely made me shiver in my boots a little! Once I got to the faster-paced portions of the book, I found myself reading it pretty darn quickly, which only fed into the scary part, because I’d be reading it all night in bed in the dark… Oops 😀 Roux’s descriptions of the creepy-as-heck asylum rooms are just the tip of this book’s terrifying iceberg, especially when (er, without spoilers here!) certain other characters begin coming into play!
I do wish some of the characters were more fleshed out, outside of Dan. I have a feeling we’ll get more of that in the rest of the series, but I think I would have felt more for them if I knew more about their background. I think it would have been cool to have this book in multiple POV, but it’ll be fun to see how this POV progresses, especially as certain factors might cause it to become a little unreliable. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
I think this is an incredible leap into the world of YA horror, and I absolutely cannot wait to read the rest of this series!