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Intensely vivid descriptions and photographs bring home the full horror of what used to happen to unfortunate patients. Dan and his friends are brave and believably flawed as they attempt to make sense of ominous portents and worse events. Many scenes practically guaranteed to give the sensitive reader nightmares: a young man gets electroshock therapy to "cure" his homosexuality; a spirited year-old girl is lobotomized; and other vignettes show what passed for mental health treatment in the olden days.

Central to the plot, both past and present, is a serial killer renowned for arranging his victims in gruesome, lifelike poses -- who may or may not be connected to the murders that befall unsuspecting characters.

Dan spends a lot of time Googling. Much mention of mass-market products, mostly for atmosphere and character definition, e.

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Diet Coke, Little Debbies. Parents need to know that Asylum is a horror novel in which archaic, violent psychiatric treatments of the midth century come to terrifying life in story, illustrations, and old photographs from mental institutions. Also, someone is committing visually grotesque murders just like those of a serial killer once confined at the institution that now serves as a dorm. There's a tender budding romance between two characters, and a gay teen is traumatized by his parents' rejection.

There's also a lot of profanity, mostly "s--t," "ass," and variations. In keeping with the horror genre, characters are quite heedless of Keep Out signs and other things that would serve as warnings to the wise. Add your rating See all 2 parent reviews.

Geographies of Asylum in Europe and the Role of European Localities

Add your rating See all 12 kid reviews. Geeky year-old Dan Crawford is thrilled to be attending an elite college prep summer program in New Hampshire, where he hopes to make some real friends and soon connects with Abby and Jordan. Things start to get weird fast when the teens are housed in an old building that used to be an ASYLUM for the insane -- with which each of them turns out to have some connection.

Before long they are exploring forbidden portions of the building and discovering the horrors of the past; meanwhile, strange happenings on campus lead to killings that bear the signature of a serial killer who was once a patient there. Personal tales are revealed in both the text and illustrations -- chiefly old photographs from such institutions that suggest torture far more than medical treatment. But as a story, the novel is less successful, though some of its many disconnects and unexplained events may be resolved in the planned sequel. Things happen and revelations occur at a relentless pace, often with little internal logic other than a barrage of scariness; the cartoonishness of the characters and the horror genre author Roux turns to teen fiction from two previous zombie novels sits uneasily with the vivid, real horrors inflicted on real people that are central to the plot.

What do you know about psychiatric treatment today, especially for kids and teens? Do you know any families who sent their kid away to a treatment facility? How did it turn out? Dan has a lot of baggage from years in the foster-care system. Do you know any foster kids? What issues are they dealing with?

Asylum, Sanctum, Catacomb

How did they end up in the system? Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners. See how we rate. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase.

Asylum (Asylum, book 1) by Madeleine Roux

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Teen horror tale has promising premise, half-baked plot. Madeleine Roux Horror Rate book. Read or buy. Popular with kids. Based on 2 reviews. Based on 12 reviews. Get it now Searching for streaming and purchasing options Common Sense is a nonprofit organization.

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Get it now on Searching for streaming and purchasing options With an OverDrive account, you can save your favorite libraries for at-a-glance information about availability. Find out more about OverDrive accounts. 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.

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.

Because Brookline was no ordinary mental hospital, and there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried. 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, and the House of Furies series.