Escape From Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Escape From Asylum
by Madeleine Roux

  • Fiction, Horror, YA
  • 13+ for mild violence
  • Trigger Warning: violence, homophobia, transphobia
  • Published June 14th, 2016 by Harper Collins


     "In this terrifying prequel novel to the New York Times bestselling Asylum series, a teen is wrongfully committed to the Brookline psychiatric hospital and must find a way out—before he becomes the next victim of the evil warden’s experiments. With the page-turning suspense and unsettling found photographs from real asylums that led Publishers Weekly to call Asylum “a strong YA debut,” Escape from Asylum is perfect for fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

     The nightmare is just beginning.

     Ricky Desmond has been through this all before. If he could just get through to his mother, he could convince her that he doesn’t belong at Brookline. From the man who thinks he can fly to the woman who killed her husband, the other patients are nothing like him; all he did was lose his temper just a little bit, just the once. But when Ricky is selected by the sinister Warden Crawford for a very special program—a program that the warden claims will not cure him but perfect him—Ricky realizes that he may not be able to wait for his mom a second longer. With the help of a sympathetic nurse and a fellow patient, Ricky needs to escape now.

     Set long before Dan, Abby, and Jordan ever walked the hallways of the Brookline asylum—back when it was still a functioning psych ward and not a dorm—Escape from Asylum is a mind-bending and scary installment in the Asylum series that can stand on its own for new readers or provide missing puzzle pieces for series fans." -Goodreads


     As someone who was scared of the dark until recently, I was skeptical when starting Escape From Asylum. However, my somewhat misplaced fascination with torture inspired me to read on, something I'm thankful for now. The book is captivating, even during the more gruesome scenes *cough* lobotomy. Also, watching Ricky figure out the inner workings of the asylum reveals information not only about the setting, but about him. While their situation may not be typical, Kay and Ricky are relatable characters as well as representative of the LGBTQ community. I believe that Roux accurately portrayed the way many people viewed those "different" from the norm during the 1960s, the time in which the book is set. Overall, I loved Escape From Asylum and can't wait to read the rest of the series.


     While the book is fantastic, I wouldn't recommend anyone who tends to be squeamish or easily scared read this novel. There are a couple instances where Roux gets graphic in descriptions that could be unsettling for those with a weak stomach. However, if you're looking for a thriller, or even just a well written book with LGBTQ representation, I suggest you read Escape From Asylum. When reading, keep the time period in mind as there is homophobia and transphobia throughout the novel. There is a similar feel to Escape From Asylum as in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and fans of the series would most likely enjoy this novel.

About The Author

     "Madeleine Roux received her BA in Creative Writing and Acting from Beloit College in 2008. In the spring of 2009, Madeleine completed an Honors Term at Beloit College, proposing, writing and presenting a full-length historical fiction novel. Shortly after, she began the experimental fiction blog Allison Hewitt Is Trapped. Allison Hewitt Is Trapped quickly spread throughout the blogosphere, bringing a unique serial fiction experience to readers.

Born in Minnesota, she now lives and works in Wisconsin where she enjoys the local beer and preparing for the eventual and inevitable zombie apocalypse." -

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