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Insanity Hardcover – February 18, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—The spirits living at Lincoln Psychiatric Hospital in Never, Kentucky, are restless, creepy, and memorable. They don't play nice with the four teen employees who each tell a different story. Forest meets a dead teen whose job is to help others cross over; Darius, haunted by the words of his grandmother, must defeat the ghost of his murdering grandfather; Trina, a witch, is at odds with her father who is out to exterminate those with Madoc blood; and Levi, a lost soul, helps connect the four stories. The secrets that lurk in the tunnels of the hospital are revealed throughout. While the novel is eerie, the magical powers that are introduced tame the darker elements. Readers will appreciate the way that Vaught has brought the four tales together to an overall climax but first brings each story to its own conclusion. At times, the stories stray a bit, but readers will want to stick with it as Vaught has made the ending worth the trip. Teens looking for an eerie ghost story will want to check this one out.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI
If all was well at Lincoln Psychiatric, it wouldn’t make for much of a book, would it? The reopening of ancient tunnels beneath the facility has stirred up spirits, not all of which are nice. Vaught structures her ghost story in four sections, each centered upon and told from the point of view of a teen employee: Forest, a girl whose first night shift includes an encounter with a dead teen who helps people “cross over”; Darius, who is tasked with vanquishing the ghost of his murderous grandfather; Trina, a witch whose father is out to eradicate those with “Madoc” evil powers; and Levi, a lost soul who is, in many ways, the linchpin of the novel. The quickness at which magical powers are introduced cuts the legs out from the eeriness, but Vaught’s gradual building of her ghost-busting team nicely juggles attitude and fright, and she excels at bringing each story to a conclusion while still driving to an overall climax. Readers not ready for full-on nightmares will eagerly check into this madhouse. Grades 7-10. --Daniel Kraus
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Lincoln psychiatric hospital in Never, Kentucky, attracts all sorts of occult and paranormal activities.
Forest has just aged out of the foster-care system and is now working at Lincoln Psychiatric with the hope to earn enough money to go to college. Darius is also working at Lincoln for the same reason, and his girlfriend Trina has left college to intern at the same place. Levi was murdered and brought back to life by his Imogene grandmother. He haunts the halls of Lincoln, helping the recently dead to cross over and keeping tabs on all of the malevolent spirits. Although all of them live in different times, they all experience a series of paranormal adventures, linked by their connection to the eerie, haunted Lincoln.
The story is told from the multiple perspectives of Forest, Darius, and Trina. All three of them introduce a different paranormal story, and they overlap and share characters. However, the transition is confusing, as the story moves from one perspective into another without warning before we really get to know any of the characters; on top of that, the perspectives are all told in the first person. It's difficult to tell when the POV is changing because it's all told in first person. Also, it's disappointing that we don’t get to know about the past of Forest, Levi, Darius, and Trina, and why they are haunted beyond imagining in the depths of Lincoln Hospital.
Insanity thrusts readers into a world of mystery, ghosts, demons, and among other forms of paranormal activity. There is darkness, rage and dark magic brewing. There is the paranormal knack that comes with the Madoc blood, and there is also witchcraft and plenty of evil. I am a kind of disappointed about the book, as we never are given a satisfactory explanation for why the characters are drawn to Lincoln or why it is such a magnet for ghosts, haints, and shades. Basically, it tells the story without giving the keys that we need to fully understand it. If you don't care about all these things and are just looking for a quick, dark, paranormal read, however, then you may enjoy this one.
Review by Alice
Basically, this was three different stories told from three different POVs, all revolving around this asylum. Except, this book confused the Hades out of me!
I've got no idea how these stories are connected to one another (beside the asylum itself), I don’t know what these people are... I mean we are given a vague explanation, an explanation that apparently wasn't good enough because I am still confused!
Especially the girl Forest... and good god woman! I just didn’t like her. She was very skittish and so terrified of everything! I just found myself very frustrated with her and I just could not relate with her, even though I myself am in the medical profession, as she is. I do have to admit though, it had some amazingly creepy descriptions!
All the confusion is what made me give up on it... I really didn’t want to, but I was not enjoying it as much as I would've liked. I don’t know... I might give this book another chance in the future... Maybe. Probably not. Lol.
I didn't think I'd be a fan of the changing POV, especially with them all in first person, but I found it necessary to tell the scope of the story. Each POV change happened at a good time to evolve the story enough to bring us to the next POV, and then the next and the next until we return to the first POV we started with.
I enjoyed getting to know each person, from Forest, to Darius, to Trina, and back to Levi. There was a core romance, but it evolved slow and steady under the radar of the true action. It didn't completely take over the story as so many do, which I really appreciated. The last line had me both cheering and worried.
Overall I enjoyed the unique story, and the creepy setting and the colorful cast of characters. As they each came into their own and found their power, we were brought to the next. It seemed fitting that the last to come into his power was the first character we met all-too-briefly.
(P.S. I've read the other reviews that say it's 3 or 4 different stories that don't mesh...but I wholeheartedly disagree, it's one story that evolves based on the characters that come into the realm of Lincoln's power center...both with and without Madoc blood.)
**Disclaimer: I received this book free from netgalley. The review and my opinions are my own.
Most recent customer reviews
Quick & Dirty: I was often confused or bored with Insanity, but there were certain things that pushed the review up one star.Read more