Monday, March 31, 2014

Asylum (Birch Harbor #1) by Kristen Selleck

Release Date: October 27, 2011
Publisher: Brother Maynard Publications
Series: Birch Harbor series

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Chloe Adams wanted a place to start her life over. After dealing with a less than ideal life at home and school, she picked a college in a little town called Birch Harbor, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. With no one from her past around, Chloe began to find a place for herself among the other college freshman and became best friends with her dorm roommate. It didn't matter much that the college was once intended to be used as an insane asylum.

Then strange things began happening on her dorm floor. Flickering lights, whispers in the night and strange writings were enough to scare the most practical person. But for Chloe, each instance had a particular meaning - a reminder that she can't outrun her past. Will she flee from Birch Harbor, the only place she felt safe? Will she stand and fight against those wanting to drive her mad?

I bought this book for my Kindle when I was playing around at Amazon one day. I was intrigued by the synopsis of the book because I wondered exactly what would happen if a woman, formerly of a mental hospital, were to begin classes in a building slated to be a mental hospital. If you tossed a bit of romance, freshman year of college and liberal amounts of paranormal activity, you'd have this book in a nutshell. But that wasn't all the book had to offer, as I found out the further I read.

Part of me identified with Chloe. No, it wasn't the certifiable part either. I was a shy, bookish type of girl in school that found it difficult to make friends. On that level, I related to her very well. Of course, other characters filled the stereotypical cast found at many colleges nowadays including the go-to party girl, the uber jocks, and even the one weird professor that nearly everyone misunderstands. They each brought their individual elements to the book and their interactions kept the story moving forward.

It did take a few chapters for the book to find its footing. I was happy that the pacing of the book slipped into a steady rhythm. I would have devoured this book in a day or two if I had no other obligations to attend to. I still found it to be a fairly quick read that ended with a good resolution. There were some doors left open for the next offering in the series but I felt that there were enough answers to keep me satisfied for the time being.

There were only a few issues that kept me from completely enjoying the book. Within the first few chapters of the book, I came across several grammar mistakes such as using commas in place of periods or not capitalizing the first word of a sentence. While I understand that some of these issues can be explained by their being used within dialogue, it was confusing for me to read four or five sentences connected by commas. It made that part of the conversation seemed rushed, almost like Six, the best friend from Blossom, was trying to speak for the character instead.

Overall, I liked the story and the place where it lead the characters. The idea was a great one for many other stories to come. In my honest opinion, if this book were to have a thorough editing, it would be a much bigger hit. In the end, it was a great way to pass the time. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good ghost story mixed with a bit of adventure and possibly reliving that dreaded freshman year of college!

Asylum (Birch Harbor #1) by Kristen Selleck is available at several online retailers in either paperback or Kindle form. You can get a copy from Amazon by clicking the link provided below. 
Asylum (Birch Harbor #1) by Kristen Selleck

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