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#Blogtour ASLEEP by Krystal Wade (@KrystalWade) A fairy-tale nightmare and psychological chiller #TuesdayBookBlog.

Hi all:

As I’ve told you a few times, I’m a big fan of fairy tales, and I when I was approached to participate in the blog tour for Asleep, I could not resist. You’ll see why in a minute.

 


Title: Asleep

Author: Krystal Wade
Genre: YA Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Blaze Publishing
Blurb:
“To cure fear, you must use fear.”
Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He’s understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they’ll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.

My review:

I obtained a copy of Asleep in exchange for an honest review as part of a book review tour.

I love fairy tales. I loved them as a child and although I’m a child no longer (well, opinions might differ on that) I still love them. When I heard that this YA book was a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty, and after reading the details, I decided to read it. The fabulous cover also drew me in.

The story of Rose Briar is set in a rather undefined time (perhaps now, but it is not specified and neither location nor gadgets or medications give much of a clue. I guess it is ‘once upon a time’) and starts at a point of crisis. She’s being taken by her parents to a psychiatric clinic, for reasons not completely clear. Although the story is written in the third person, it is told from Rose’s point of view, and we’re not sure her version of events is correct. The psychiatric clinic appears a bit peculiar at first sight, and is connected to Rose’s family in strange ways (her mother’s best friend, Heather, was a patient there years back and she committed suicide shortly after leaving the clinic), but we don’t realise quite how peculiar until Rose starts to experiment strange events, that neither her nor us, the readers, know if are true, or nightmares. Is she being physically tortured? Are other patients locked up and inhumanely treated there? Why does she seem to lose time?

Luckily, she meets Phillip, although he prefers to be called Greg, a boy of a similar age to hers. At times he seems completely out of it, bruised, battered and mumbling numbers, but at others, he is not only protective of her, but insists that she is like him. She can’t help but be intrigued by him at first, and later she ends up feeling the connection he mentions, although she is not a hundred percent sure.

The longer Rose spends at the clinic, the more confused she becomes as to whom she can trust and what the agenda behind her stay there is. The friends she believed in don’t seem to be as reliable as she thought; Dr. Underwood is nice and caring but seems to have a strange attachment to Heather and Rose suspects that in his mind, she and Heather have become connected. He is definitely hiding something. And although she blames her parents, particularly her mother, for her internment, she desperately wants to go back home.

The experience of reading this book is a strange one. I’m a psychiatrist and I was intrigued by the idea of setting the story in a psychiatric hospital. Leaving the horror aspects of the story related to what might be happening at the clinic (and I’m trying not to reveal any spoilers here) aside, the way in which the readers are placed inside of Rose’s head and share her feelings and perceptions make it a confusing and nerve-wracking reading experience. You might not agree with what she does, but you are given no option but to follow her and share in her confusion and her difficulty making decisions. You keep trying to find clues to turn it into a linear narrative, but keep being wrong-footed along the way. At some point, I wasn’t sure if the present or the past were real, or if anything was real at all.

The reading is vivid although being inside of Rose’s head we don’t get the chance to see the place and the people as they are (talk about an unreliable narrator!). We might objectively think we’d never have ended up in such situation, but we join the story at a point where she has not many options, and none of the ones left seem good. Rose’s difficulty expressing herself through her art is a good metaphor for her problems. The author has the eye of an artist and some of her descriptions of the hallucinations and the works of art are beautiful (and sometimes horrific at the same time).

I enjoyed the end, but for me, there were many things not fully explained, and more in keeping with a fairy tale than a realistic novel. If we want to compare it to Sleeping Beauty, this turns the story of the attempts at rescuing her (she had done nothing wrong and it was fate and a bad fairy who played a part in her imprisonment), and twists it into a possible version of what was happening to the princess whilst she was supposed to be asleep. She is no longer the passive female figure waiting for the prince to come and find her. Instead, she has to fight her own demons and she and the prince work together to get free. The character of Doctor Underwood is one of the strongest ones in the book, and it brought to my mind the film Peeping Tom (but again I won’t elaborate to avoid giving you too many clues).

This is a story that will keep people guessing, although it’s not a typical horror story but rather a psychological eerie tale. If you enjoy a reading that will get you out of your comfort zone and challenge your sense of narrative, this could well be it. Ah, and the writing and the cover are true beauties.

Krystal Wade can be found in the sluglines outside Washington D.C. every morning, Monday through Friday. With coffee in hand, iPod plugged in, and strangers-who sometimes snore, smell, or have incredibly bad gas-sitting next to her, she zones out and thinks of fantastical worlds for you and me to read. How else can she cope with a fifty-mile commute?
Good thing she has her husband and three kids to go home to. They keep her sane.
Author Links:
Buy Links:



 

Thanks so much to Lady Amber´s Reviews & PR for organising the book blog tour, to Krystal Wade for her novel and to all of you for reading, and don’t forget to like, share, comment, and CLICK!

By OlgaNunez

I was born in Barcelona and after living in the UK for many years have now returned home. I teach English, volunteer at Sants 3 Ràdio, a local radio station, I'm a writer, translator (English-Spanish and vice-versa) and I'm a medical doctor and worked in Forensic Psychiatry many years. I also have a BA and a PhD in American Literature and Film, and a Masters in Criminology. I've always loved books and apart from writing them I review them often.
I write a bit of everything, check my books for more information and my about page for links.
My blog is bilingual, English and Spanish.

16 replies on “#Blogtour ASLEEP by Krystal Wade (@KrystalWade) A fairy-tale nightmare and psychological chiller #TuesdayBookBlog.”

Comparison with Powell’s film ‘Peeping Tom’ caught my attention. That’s one of my favourite British films of the 1960s.
I am sure this will attract a following, and wish Krystal success with her new book.
Best wishes, Pete.

It’s a fabulous film, indeed. I remember watching it many years back in Spain. A disturbing film. What I was talking about (now that nobody is listening) was the scenes where Powell played the father of the protagonist and his experiments.

Thanks, Janet. I’m coming back in October for a bit but must be back to sort out paperwork and appointments. Trying to juggle quite a few balls. I hope you’re well too. 🙂

I have to confess that the story sounds like my worst nightmare and having recently gone through a situation where I thought I was going doolally, I’m not sure I could cope with it at the moment! It sounds very interesting, though. Thanks, Olga.

Thanks, Sarah. I’m sorry you’ve had such hard time and pleased, to see that you’re feeling better. If it’s any consolation, most people who are truly psychotic never think they are unwell at all. When they realise they might have been unwell (if they ever do) they tend to be on the way to recovery. I must admit when reading about the treatment she was being subject to, perhaps (as we don’t know what’s real and what’s not), I found it difficult, but I’m used to psychiatrists being portrayed as dubious characters. Do take lots of care and thanks for the comment.

Oooo it sounds creepy cool. Thanks for describing your reaction to the story. By doing that you help me find a balance when a book is “difficult” in one way or another. Good luck to Krystal. Huge hugs.

Thanks, Teagan. I think in part, in my case, it was because it was set in a psychiatric hospital, although the style of the storytelling is very effective, for sure. Big hugs to you too.

Thank you for such a wonderful review of Asleep. I love how well you understood the story, and it’s every author’s dream to hear about writing being beautiful. There may have been a few tears in my eyes when reading that. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Thank you, Krystal for sharing such a wonderful book. It will keep me thinking for a long time. I wish you all success with your writing and I’ll be more than happy to share future books. 🙂

Thanks, Lorna. If you think about it, quite a few of the traditional fairy tales are quite gruesome, although we’re used to adulterated versions. This one veers towards horror, but although there are some violent events, it’s more the psychological aspect that’s scary. I must confess to reading all kinds of things when I was young and watching horror movies even then…I’ve read far more explicit addressed to the same market, and far less well written, that’s for sure. Have a lovely weekend.

Thanks, Vashti. I must admit that although I don’t normally get books because of the cover, this one caught my attention and when I read what it was about I knew I had to read it. I hope you enjoy it!

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