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 an 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.
My Thoughts :
(**I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)
The Dollhouse Asylum is the book that makes you stop for a moment, think, and realize that this, this is the reason why you love reading. This book makes the list of those really awesome reads that capture you in their brilliance.
I’m not gonna lie, at first the book sounded like a deranged spin-off of The Hunger Games (if that’s possible), and honestly, Teo reminded me of Edward Cullen with his captivating and confusing language. As I got further into the story, those thoughts washed away pretty quickly; little did I know what I was getting myself into.
Cheyenne is a pretty average girl – smart, shy, underappreciated – except for the fact that she is in love with the man that is her teacher and kidnapper. Pronounced “tay-o” (like Matteo), Teo has a personality that is insanely whacky, but also charming. He is the polar opposite of Cheyenne; because of that, I think the two fit really well. Even though he is introduced as a kidnapper, Cheyenne is pretty persuasive in getting you to think otherwise. I found myself battling my own thoughts about Teo’s wit and charm, just as Cheyenne does; it was so interesting – and disturbing – to put myself in her shoes as she fell for this maniac.
While this book is filled with an insane amount of action, I really appreciated Cheyenne’s character development throughout the story. In the beginning, you see her as this innocent girl who is completely infatuated with and dependent on Teo. As the story continues and Teo reveals his true self to the citizens of Elysian Fields, Cheyenne matures and realizes that some things are more important than love. I loved seeing Cheyenne not only find her confidence, but also herself, even though she has to go through a whole lot of devastation to do so.
The Dollhouse Asylum is a very gripping novel. Not only that, but I absolutely LOVED all of the literature allusions intricately woven into the plot. When I first heard about this book, the concept of a dollhouse was interesting – I didn’t realize Gray had come up with this magnificent plot for the couples to act out the stories of famous couples! The originality of this book blew my mind and I’m upset that the story is over.
The Dollhouse Asylum is a fantastic debut. I’m looking forward to any other books Mary Gray publishes in the future. If you hadn’t already come to the conclusion of needing to get the book for yourself, well, what are you waiting for?
About the Author: Mary Gray
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.
Mary Gray’s Website.
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