Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Book Review: Insanity by Susan Vaught

*I received this book for an honest review from NetGalley*

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Never, Kentucky is not your average scenic small town. It is a crossways, a place where the dead and the living can find no peace. Not that Forest, an 18-year-old foster kid who works the graveyard shift at Lincoln Hospital, knew this when she applied for the job. Lincoln is a huge state mental institution, a good place for Forest to make some money to pay for college. But along with hundreds of very unstable patients, it also has underground tunnels, bell towers that ring unexpectedly, and a closet that holds more than just donated clothing....When the dead husband of one of Forest's patients makes an appearance late one night, seemingly accompanied by an agent of the Devil, Forest loses all sense of reality and all sense of time. Terrified, she knows she has a part to play, and when she does so, she finds a heritage that she never expected.

With her deep knowledge of mental illness and mental institutions, Susan Vaught brings readers a fascinating and completely creepy new book intertwining the stories of three young people who find themselves haunted beyond imagining in the depths of Lincoln Hospital.
My Thoughts:  I love a creepy ghost story and this one sounded like it would be a perfect read for me.  I really wanted to like this book but it fell very short for me.  I really tried to finish it and got to page 296 and then realized I still had almost 100 pages left (the book is 384 pages) and I couldn't finish it.
Insanity starts off promising.  You meet Levi, a young boy, walking home alone at night even though his Grandma has told him not to go out at night because "death was walking on two legs".  The unthinkable happens to Levi and then you get taken to a new chapter with a new character.  From the synopsis, you think Forest is going to be our main character but she only is for a short time.  The next few chapters, you get to know a little about Forest and how she came to work at Lincoln Psychiatric Hospital.  Here's where things started to get a little off for me.  Forest is working a double shift on Halloween night.  The maintenance people have discovered bones in one of the underground tunnels.  Then Forest sees two men running down the vacant that are ghosts.  Once she figures out and helps Decker, one of the men, she ends up getting fired from Lincoln and then we are onto a new part of the book.  There is mention that Forest goes to the Bell Tower of the hospital but I can't figure out if she died or is alive and just has this mysterious "Madoc blood".  There are so many questions left and then we go on to a new part of the book.
In this new part, we meet Darius.  Apparently, quite a bit of time has gone by since Forest left the hospital and now Darius is working there as a security guard to earn money for college.  We learn that Darius' grandfather kidnapped and killed little kids.  Darius' grandma killed his grandfather way before Darius was born (I think) so he never got to know him but heard stories.  As Darius is working, he hears ice cream truck music, which is how his grandfather lured the kids to him.  Then things get really funny again.  Another boy goes missing, Darius goes into a tunnel under the hospital and sees his grandfather and a witch's tree and then meets up with Forest and Levi to rid the world of his grandfather's spirit.  If it seems like I summarized that really fast it's because that is how the story read.  It was all done really fast and left out so much stuff.  

Now we are onto the next part of the book which is told from Trina's point of view.  Trina is Darius' girlfriend and apparently some kind of witch.  Trina's dad is a preacher who thinks it is his job to kill anyone with Madoc blood.  This part of the book talks about how Trina breaks away from her father and then almost gets slashed by yet another crazy ghost from Lincoln Psychiatric Hospital.  The group, which now includes Forest, Levi, Levi's grandmother, Imogene, Darius, Darius' mom, Jessie (who is Darius' friend) and Trina, her step-mom, Addie and Trina's father, must rid the world of this ghost's evil spirit.  This is where I stopped.  

I thought this book had a lot of potential if the author had stuck with one storyline.  You never really got to know any of the characters so you couldn't really connect with any of them.  There were so many questions that were unanswered and maybe they were answered in the end but I couldn't make it there.  You never really found out what Madoc blood was.  Forest researched it a little and you found out a little history of it but I never fully understood what exactly it was.  I just know it gave people powers.  I can't even really tell you what kind of powers...maybe to see to the other side or to help spirits cross over?  I'm not sure.  You never really knew what happened to Forest.  She went to the "other side" and it appears she came out alive but then she just disappears into the Bell Tower and that's all you really know.  

This book just really seemed to jump around a lot and never really fully developed one story or character.  It seemed like it was a bunch of different story outlines thrown together.  I never really felt like I was getting involved in any of the stories or the characters lives.  I didn't really find it all that creepy after the first couple chapters either.  It just seemed like a lot of the same dead spirits doing the same bad deeds that needed the same crossing over and it all happened so quickly that there was no time to build the suspense.  

So, sadly, I was disappointed in this one but that isn't to say you might not like it!  If it sounds like one you would enjoy, pick it up and let me know if you liked it!

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