Friday, August 30, 2013

Book Talk: ASYLUM by Madeleine Roux

My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won't find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could've been better or what worked or didn't work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it's here I probably think it won't injure your brain if you read it.

Going to a college-prep summer camp is the one thing that could keep Dan Crawford sane. Being the smart kid in high school hasn't been easy, and the idea of being surrounded by his own type of people might be the one thing that can make his life bearable. List of medications in hand, Dan sets out for New Hampshire College Prep, where the kids are smart, the fog is thick... and the dorm is an old insane asylum.

Dan hasn't even moved his stuff in when he discovers an old photograph tucked into the desk of his room, the eyes of the subject mysteriously scratched out. Even though it's creepy, Dan dismisses it as a piece of trash left behind - after all, the entire lower floor has never been cleared out. The photograph slips his mind until he starts getting mysterious emails that disappear when he tries to share them with his new friends Abby and Jordan.

The basement is too much of an attraction for adventurous Abby to ignore, so she twists Dan's arm into accompanying her into the off-limits section of the asylum one night. An old office remains as it was left, dusty photos on the wall and all. Dan discovers old records signed by the last warden... whose name was Daniel Crawford.

Mysterious texts and emails turn into scrawled notes in his campus mailbox. Dan's hold on reality is slipping, even though he's keeping up with his meds, and Abby is suddenly obsessed with the picture of a young girl from the office. A young girl who had clearly been lobotomized. The present starts to blend with the past as Dan realizes there is a thing line between genius and madness, and crossing over can get you - or your friends - killed.


Rissa said...

Hi, I'm glad I stumbled upon your site! --And Oooh, that sounds pretty good! I believe I'm hooked, I'll have to check that book out pretty soon. Anytime a summary can produce the "hmmmm" sound, it must be a good read.

Mindy McGinnis said...

Rissa - thanks for stumbling onto me! Everything I do here is a free time, from the heart kind of basis :)