Asylum by Lily White
Words are funny things.
Their meaning, the pictures they paint in the minds of those that hear them: they’re not always the same and to me at least, that makes them meaningless.
Take for instance the phrase ‘black widow’. Those words conjure the image of a spider, an eight-legged creature with the red imprint of an hourglass on its abdomen.
However, instead of speaking of an arachnid, of the resident of a spindly and dew-laden web, the people who whisper those words are talking about something much different.
They’re talking about me.
From what I’m told, I’m called the Black Widow because no man I’ve ever loved has survived.
Yet, I have no memory of any of it.
My new home leads me to the definition of another vague and meaningless word.
It’s a place where I’m supposed to seek refuge.
A place of retreat and security.
It’s a place where I’m supposed to be kept safe because I’m sick.
But the definition for this place is wrong and the word becomes meaningless when you’re tucked away and made silent by drugs and pretty white jackets.
My name is Alexandra Sutton and this is the story of what happened when I was imprisoned inside an Asylum.
★★★ 3 ½ ★★★
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Lily White and her extremely dark and intriguing stories. The woman can come up with some major originality which is one reason why she's a definite auto-buy for me. Asylum in particular stood out the most for me out of every other book of hers that I've read, and while I was entertained, I was also left with mixed emotions about the story... Did I hate this book? No. ...But I can't say that I really loved it that much either. At least as much as some of her other books.
Known as the ‘Black Widow,’ the heroine Alexandra Sutton is condemned to a well-known mental institution for further evaluation after being considered as the prime suspect of a murder... A murder she doesn’t even remember committing. She has absolutely no memory of certain key and traumatic events in her life, but the one thing she is certain of is that she didn't commit the murders that she was accused of. Unfortunately, no memory of what happened also means no escape from the asylum.
Dr. Jeremy Hutchins is considered the story's hero, and he's Alex’s newly assigned psychiatrist who seems dedicated in solving her case. For once, Alex feels safe when she's close to Jeremy. Aside from her brother, no one believes in her innocence so it's a breath of fresh air to be around someone who seems to be on her side and isn't repulsed by her mental instability or the crimes she may or may not have committed.
I won't give away anything else in regards to the plot or what happens throughout this book- But I will say that although it was unlike any book I've read before, I wasn't that impressed. In fact, I was a bit disappointed. I should have known just by reading the synopsis that this story wasn't going to focus on the romance- I wouldn't really consider any of the Lily White books I've read to be romance per se, but this particular book really lacked in that particular aspect. Not to mention, I felt that the hero Jeremy was a little one-dimensional. Not much is known about him or his background which left me... Well... Not really feeling anything for his character. In fact, I didn't really have much feeling for any character involved in this book which was a big let-down for me in general.
If you're familiar with Lily White, then you know she can definitely produce one hell of a mind-fuck... It was something I was expecting in this novel; In fact, I was highly anticipating it... Yet, the reveal of the big plot twist just left me feeling meh. Throughout the entire story I kept waiting for that big twist lurking around the corner, and then once I turned the last page I was let down by how un-epic it all turned out to be. I needed thatBAM moment that was so brilliant it just pieced everything together for me in ways that I couldn't have imagined... Instead, while the ending was shocking and different from the many theories I had running through my mind, I just kept thinking "Is that all there really was to it? This was the ending I was looking forward to?"
Over-all, I really don't have much of anything to say in regards to this book. Some of the characters lacked some major development and the big, dramatic plot twist left a lot to be desired. All of that aside though, it was still extremely well-researched and well-written... Not that I'd expect anything less from Lily White. However, this is definitely a story that you'd have to be in the mood for as long as you won't mind being disappointed in the fact that it focuses way more on the mystery and thriller elements rather than romance.