{ARC Review} The Dollhouse Asylum

12:00 AM

Pages: 296
Publication date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
How I got the copy: from Spencer Hill Press for review (Thank you!)
Rating:  3 Stars
  
     
  
From Goodreads:
A virus that had once been contained has returned, and soon no place will be left untouched by its destruction. But when Cheyenne wakes up in Elysian Fields--a subdivision cut off from the world and its monster-creating virus--she is thrilled to have a chance at survival.

At first, Elysian Fields,with its beautiful houses and manicured lawns, is perfect. Teo Richardson, the older man who stole Cheyenne's heart, built it so they could be together. But when Teo tells Cheyenne there are tests that she and seven other couples must pass to be worthy of salvation, Cheyenne begins to question the perfection of his world.

The people they were before are gone. Cheyenne is now "Persephone," and each couple has been re-named to reflect the most tragic romances ever told. Everyone is fighting to pass the test, to remain in Elysian Fields. Teo dresses them up, tells them when to move and how to act, and in order to pass the test, they must play along.

If they play it right, then they'll be safe.

But if they play it wrong, they'll die.

    I won't lie.  My first thought about rating this was one star.  But after really thinking about what I didn't like in this story I could only come up with one thing that would push me to rate it one star.  And that is the main character Cheyenne.  Oh how I wanted to shake her into reality.

Cheyenne had Bella Syndrome.  She's blindly in love and doesn't care about anyone else except her lover.  When she's kidnapped she's not concerned that he used chloroform on her.  When he pushes her she thinks she deserves it.  She doesn't even care about her mom dying from the virus or being eaten alive.  And sadly, I could go on.  I thought once she realized Teo was a bad person she'd stop liking him.  But no.  He still gave her the tingly swoons.  And I could have respected her if she still cared about him after he shows his true colors.  I mean they did sort of date(ish) for a year so of course she would want him to get better right?  Wrong.  She doesn't care about him at all, but yet she still wants to make babies with him.  Oh and now she wants to make babies with another character too. On top of that, the world has ended and all she can think about is who she wants to kiss more.  I tend to like character development more than plot development so when I don't like a character it makes me not like the book.  So while I recognize Cheyenne had to have these flaws for there to be conflict in the plot I just couldn't get past her personality.   

If Cheyenne hadn't been the main character I think I would have rated this four or five stars.  The plot was phenomenal.  The idea of each couple being a tragic literary couple was brilliance.  I loved watching their stories unfold like the original stories.  Zombies were reinvented in this story and the world was really creepy.  The only complaint I have is that the ending felt really rushed and like it was too convenient how it all wrapped up.  [Highlight for spoiler] plus why wouldn't their parents try to save them?  That didn't seem realistic.

Marcus was another part of the book that made me want to rate this higher.  He had a lot of layers and was sweet.  It was awesome to see the nice guy getting some attention for once (even if it's only after the hot one turns evil).  And he seemed realistic.  He had some skeletons in his closet.  

What I really loved was Teo.  He was so sick and twisted and unlike any other villain I've ever read.  I didn't love him like I love Warner from Shatter Me.  But it's more I was just shocked by his pure evilness.  Literally no character was safe from Teo's wrath and the anticipation and suspense of who he would attack next kept me on the edge of my seat.  

So I couldn't rate this one star because that would have meant I was close to DNFing it and I'm not sure I could have stopped reading even if I wanted to.  I had this need to know what the ending was.  Plus it was really fast paced so I finished it in almost a day.  And even though my eyes almost broke from all the times I rolled my eyes at Cheyenne's naiveté, I think it was still a pretty good reading experience.  This book is great for people who want a dark and creepy October read or for people who enjoy plot development over character development.  Thank you Spencer Hill Press for sending me this book.  


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Author Bio
Mary Gray has a fascination with all things creepy. That’s why all her favorite stories usually involve panic attacks and hyperventilating. In real life, she prefers to type away on her computer, ogle over her favorite TV shows, and savor fiction. When she’s not immersed in other worlds, she and her husband get their exercise by chasing after their three children.  The Dollhouse Asylum is her first novel.



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