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Insanity Hardcover – February 18, 2014

2.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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

From Booklist

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (February 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599907844
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599907840
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,533,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
2.5 stars

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: I was often confused or bored with Insanity, but there were certain things that pushed the review up one star.

Opening Sentence: There was something wrong with the dog.

The Review:

This book starts out with Forest in Lincoln, an old asylum from Never, Kentucky. Ghosts and haints and crazy people live in its walls. Readers follow four characters through four main stories, each with a different villain and plotline, each from a different point of view. My feelings are very mixed about this book. The writing style is not bad at all, but sometimes the novel gets confusing with its descriptions of ghosts, shades, ghasts, spirits. I never could keep the different ones straight. I never connected to the characters, either, so it was a struggle to push through the three hundred pages. When I finished I was relieved. Insanity was just not for me.

However, I’ll give Insanity this: when I was reading at night, and the creepiest villain of the bunch appeared, I could not stop shivering. The descriptions of a man’s body with a child’s face, giggling while chasing with a shard of sharp metal, was ruthless in its delivery. I was completely freaked out. This raised my opinion of the book because the reason I didn’t like the villains is we didn’t have enough time to let them develop and grow strong before the attack, and we basically hear about them and then the main battle happens. Bam! At least with “Maman” (villain above) I could get invested in the descriptions and a little more into the book.

First things first, the characters. Part one we follow Forest. She’s a nice character, but not interesting, not with that intriguing factor.
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Format: Hardcover
I received Insanity by Susan Vaught from NetGalley. It was published February 18, 2014. The book encompasses stories at an asylum, Lincoln Psychiatric Hospital, located in Never, Kentucky. In the first chapter we're introduced to Forest, an 18-year-old girl who has been in the Forster system. She starts working at Lincoln to make money to go to college. Six months after she started working there, strange events unfold. Forest's life becomes entwined with Levi's, a young man who's relationship will change her forever. Characters are continually introduced, and eventually we see how their lives all affect one another.

In the beginning, I was enjoying the book. Then I got to chapter eight and I was like....woah...wait a minute....what? I flipped back to chapter seven and chapter six, fearing that there was something that I missed. I was starting to think that the book was maybe a few short stories bound together. Chapter seven ended at a place that felt like an ending for the time being. Chapter eight began with a story and characters that were new and strange with no mention of the characters in previous chapters, with whom I had become familiar. I was wary, but I kept reading, and I am glad that I did. All of the stories eventually all tie together with the tie between the characters being the hospital and its history.

Susan Vaught does a terrific job of bringing the gruesome to life. The spectors, spooks, and demons are so vivid. I found myself reading into the night to see what happened to the characters, only to stop reading for fear of what might invade my dreams from reading right before bed. The main characters are likable, and even thought they are introduced quickly, they are easily relatable.
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