Author: Krystal Wade
Published: 16th February 2016
Publisher: Blaze Publishing LLC.
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Thriller
Length: 338 pages
Source: PDF from publisher
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
“To cure fear, you must use fear.”
Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He’s understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they’ll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.
Every so often I’ll read a book that sucks me in completely and doesn’t let me go. It doesn’t happen as often as I would like, but when it does, I know that I’m about to read something special. Asleep is one of those books. It’s one of those reads that feels slow in the beginning, when you’re just getting to the know the characters and events and then suddenly there’s a shift in your mindset and everything starts to feel strange and wrong and you’re just as worried as the characters are and then you feel more connected to them and the outcome. Basically, if someone came near me when I was reading this they got shushed and told to go away, it was that engrossing.
Taking a deeper look at mental illness and the way it can affect a person, Asleep finds Rose Briar locked away in the Shepherd Institute after her friend’s pulled a prank on her that sent her over protective mother over the edge with concern. The institute, named after Rose’s mother’s best friend – who killed herself after being released from the same institute years ago – feels like a prison to Rose, who wants nothing more than for her friends to find her and help her to escape. But they weren’t waiting at the gates as she came in, like they promised. When her treatment begins and Rose starts to have horrific nightmares and loses huge chunks of time, she starts to believe that she really is going crazy.
So much happens in this story that had me guessing, wondering, and trying to figure out. By the time I finished, I literally had a headache from it all! The different threads of the plot weave together effortlessly to make you question everything along with Rose as she tries to survive her experience. Everything comes back to Heather Shepherd, the promising young artist who fell in with a bad crowd and committed suicide because of it – or that’s what happened according to Rose’s mother. With Rose, herself, being a promising young artist and her mother warning her away from her friends Megan and Josh, Rose can’t help but feel like her mother doesn’t see her as her own person any more, instead seeing her dead friend.
When Rose befriends, Phillip, the strange boy who sits constantly counting ‘one, one, one. Two, two, two’ and rocking back and forth, it seems that she’s finally found an ally within the walls of the institution. But slowly things begin to change. As Phillip becomes more lucid, Rose begins to lose herself and with some prodding from her doctor – Dr Underwood – she begins to believe that Phillip isn’t real. He’s just a figment of her imagination. But if the strongest link she has in the institute isn’t real, then what is? Is anything? As Rose slipped into a world where everything was terrifying and perhaps none of it real, I was beginning to wonder, along with Rose herself, whether she really was crazy.
And then there was the ending. Obviously, I’m not going to go into too much detail here because it would spoil the best part of the book, but trust me when I say that the shit hits the fan pretty hard at the end and everything goes mental. Reading this book, I felt like I had been on a rollercoaster slowly climbing up the steepest slope and at the final pages, it was rushing down the other side. All the pieces started to fit together and the events that had been set in motion started to finally make sense.
An absolute thrill ride of a book, Asleep keeps you guessing while making you question everything. An excellent read for fans of psychological thrillers.
About the Author
AUTHOR. CHICKEN (AND DOG) LOVER. MOTHER. WIFE. DREAMER.
I’m happily married to the love of my life (don’t gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. We live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day I wake up to find myself stuck in traffic trying to get there.
The horrid commute gives me plenty of time to zone out and think about my characters in full, brilliant details (I’m a safe driver; don’t worry). Stories give me a way to forget about the sometimes smelly strangers sitting next to me on the fifty mile trek into town (I pick up hitchhikers every day. True story. Check out www.slug-lines.com if you don’t believe me).
I’ve been a part of organized hitchhiking for nearly fifteen years, but that’s just one small aspect of my oh-so-large life. When I’m not working, commuting, or chasing after my three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find me outside talking to my chickens like they’re the cutest things in the world (they are), or training my amazing dogs how to herd said chickens (which they love), or curled up on the sofa with a good book (why can’t that be 100% of the time?).
I hope you love my stories (or just like them a little; that would be okay, too). And I hope that one day you find your passion, because there’s nothing in life better than doing what you love while surrounded by people you love.