InsanityInsanity by Susan Vaught
Published: 2-18-14 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Get the book: Amazon, The Book Depository

Never, Kentucky is not your average scenic small town. It is a crossways, a place where the dead and the living can find no peace. Not that Forest, an 18-year-old foster kid who works the graveyard shift at Lincoln Hospital, knew this when she applied for the job. Lincoln is a huge state mental institution, a good place for Forest to make some money to pay for college. But along with hundreds of very unstable patients, it also has underground tunnels, bell towers that ring unexpectedly, and a closet that holds more than just donated clothing….When the dead husband of one of Forest’s patients makes an appearance late one night, seemingly accompanied by an agent of the Devil, Forest loses all sense of reality and all sense of time. Terrified, she knows she has a part to play, and when she does so, she finds a heritage that she never expected.


Book design – Amanda Bartlett     Typeset – Westchester Book Composition     Rating – 4/5

I really like this cover. The background is simple as a composition, but detailed enough to look like an abandoned psych ward. I love the way the girl is solid, but not solid, and looks like she’s moving, but not moving. She looks like a spirit of some sort and the white dress suggests that she’s not violent, but her environment makes that impossible to decide. My favorite thing about this cover is the simple, bold title and how it fades into nothingness while still being legible. The color scheme is a nice balance between spooky, antique, and pretty. The only things I would change are the color of the author’s name to make it stand out more and I would remove the publisher’s name because no one puts that on the front cover.

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Insanity left me feeling confused and misled by the summary. The summary, about Forest and her job at a creepy mental hospital made Insanity sound like an eerie paranormal mystery. It started out that way too – the beginning was spooky, dark, and full of action that made me excited for the rest of the story….then it ended. Forest’s story came screeching to an abrupt halt. Suddenly, I was reading about someone named Darius, after 7 chapters about Forest with no mention of any Darius. Then it was Trina. Then it was Levi. Everything felt so disjointed and I hated that.

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  • opening – The only thing I can honestly say I liked, besides the cover, is the beginning, which was Forest’s story up until she got zapped through time or whatever. It was interesting and it was eerie. It made me excited to read the book, but everything after Forest was just a letdown.

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  • POV changes – My main issue with Insanity is how abrupt the POV shifts are. It was like I was reading a set of 4 completely separate books. Seriously, I didn’t even realize what was happening when Darius’ story began, and it took a long time for Forest to come into Darius’ life in Ch. 16. Maybe it’s just that I wasn’t prepared, but I was really into Forest’s story – her meeting Levi and her narration were so interesting. Then it just ended. Darius’ story began and the only overlap was Lincoln. Darius’ fight was strange, and then came Trina’s story. At least Trina was introduced before her narration started. But Trina’s story is even less interesting than Darius’, and those 2 have the biggest chunks of the book. The ending of each story in this book is so confusing. Forest’s story ended an unknown number of years after it began, as did Trina’s. With Forest’s, I couldn’t even tell if she was still alive. Trina’s story had nothing to do with Darius or Forest’s story, and Levi’s narrative was like it wasn’t about him, but just a too little, too late clean up of what the heck happened with Forest all those chapters ago at the beginning of the book.
  • disjointed – This is like 3 different stories, told by 4 different people. The only thing connecting the stories is Lincoln, the setting for all the craziness that happens, and it makes for a really confusing read. Forest’s story is about her finding Levi and having Madoc blood. Darius has to fight the evil spirit of his child-killing grandfather. Trina…the bad guy is her dad? I don’t remember, but I remember not caring. She’s a witch or something. Levi’s story is just a cleanup. It reads super quickly. He and Trina fight her dad again, and then they fight to save Forest, who’s been dead all this time anyway. I don’t even know who’s alive at this point. People are dead, people went forward in time but I think they’re alive when they come back, and Darius is maybe alive the whole time? I’m so confused. These stories aren’t connected in a way that makes sense, and I wish that it had just stuck with Forest’s story.
  • typos/format – This is an e-ARC, but whoa were there mistakes. I really hope things got edited and cleaned up before Insanity was officially released into the world. The ebook wasn’t formatted at all. Chapter start in the middle of pages, there are page numbers next to big black dots everywhere except the bottom or top of pages. If you’re going to release a book for anyone to read, you should make it at least a little polished.

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Levi rolled his eyes. Then he cleared his throat and said, “You were right, and I was wrong.”
“See? I’m not the only one who can learn lessons”
“And rabbits aren’t the only thing I can feed my hounds.”
I wiggled my fingers right in front of his nose. “Ooh. Scary. Why do you act like such a bad guy?”
His grin was wicked. “Maybe I am bad.”      – Levi + Forest    Loc.800/3385

Trina yelled and so did I. Cain scrambled backward, and Trina and I leaped sideways as a black cloud boiled out of the girl’s room. It rolled toward us, covering the floor and blotting out light as it came.         – Levi    Loc. 2939

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2 Robots

Acquired: NetGalley (ebook)


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