Understand before reading this review, I am biased against this style of book. I do not like scary books, horror novels, or thrillers. I read this book because all my teen reading club voted to read this book. Every one of the teens that read this book came back to tell me how much they liked it. Several have requested for me to buy the next two books in the trilogy. So, while I was not fond of this book, the rest of the group enjoyed it.
In Asylum, Dan is a teenager spending a month of his summer vacation on a college campus to take college-level classes. At first Dan is not excited—he has a weird roommate, has a hard time making friends, and is staying in a creepy converted asylum. Luckily, at the first night’s party Dan meets Abby and Jordan, and the trio becomes instant friends. As a bonding experience, the three decide to explore the restricted rooms of the asylum where they are staying. Inside these rooms, they discover creepy photos, equipment for torture, and patients’ files. Dan, Abby, and Jordan leave the room, but part of the room goes with them.
The story is written with a higher interest level, and a lower reading level. There is not a lot of character development, and the friendship between the three main characters seems forced. I found Dan’s comments about his “new best friends” impulsive and premature. I did appreciate the historical aspect of the story, as well as the clues the author hides throughout the story that aren’t discovered until the end of the book, with a couple clues that lead into the next book in the trilogy.
As far as other aspects, the story only has a little romance with one short kissing scene. There are swear words, and some disturbing images and photos of some of the tortures the patients in the asylum went through. One of the key characters in the story is homosexual, but this is more of a side note than a focus of the story.
Overall, it was a creepy story that was written without a lot of gore or sexual connotation. I would highly recommend it to people with a lower reading level because there is a lot of action, the photos keep a person reading, and it doesn’t have a lot of details or characters to keep track of. I would also recommend it to someone who wants to read a scary book without the sex and violence that seems to be in a lot of other scary stories.