Author: Susan Vaught
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
Release Date: February 18, 2014
Source: For Review
Purchase: Amazon•TBD (affiliate link)
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.
With her deep knowledge of mental illness and mental institutions, Susan Vaught brings readers a fascinating and completely creepy new book intertwining the stories of three young people who find themselves haunted beyond imagining in the depths of Lincoln Hospital.
Insanity is one big ol’ jumbled mess. The cover and blurb make it sound super creepy and interesting, but it’s just not. Well, it started off weird and creepy and I was into it, but then it changed, and I wasn’t liking it anymore. I can’t even explain what the story was about, other than a group of “special” people fighting ghosts in an old psychiatric hospital. There’s a lot more going on than that, but the narrative was so jumpy that I couldn’t keep up. The description is actually just the first quarter of the book. The rest is completely different.
Insanity starts off with Forest working her first double shift at the hospital. She’s an orphan who just got out of the foster system and she really needs this job. That night was super creepy! Forest is seeing and hearing things and she can’t tell whether it’s real or not. Then she loses a whole two hours! Needless to say that didn’t go over well with her boss, especially since Forest can’t explain what happened without sounding crazy herself. Of course, she learns from one of the “ghosts” that she’s special and she goes to visit someone who’s like her in order to learn about her abilities. Then the story shifts to something else entirely.
Next we meet Darius who’s a new security guard at the hospital. His first shift is the tunnels under the hospital. He starts hearing stuff, too, but this time it’s the song “Pop Goes the Weasel.” There’s also a missing child, and Darius is the grandson of a child serial killer who he believes may be back from the dead and has the little boy. This is super scary and weird stuff, but this gets resolved quite quickly before the focus of Insanity shifts yet again to Darius’ girlfriend!
Trina is a witch, her father is a pastor and a witch, and her step-mom can use powers but isn’t a witch. Okay…well…her father believes it’s his mission to rid the world of the people who are special and can talk to ghosts or whatever. If you guess that this magically gets resolved before switching POV again, you would be correct. Insanity ends with Levi, who we met in the prologue and by this point I was over it. This is not how multiple POV should be done. It was very episodic and I couldn’t become invested since the story changed focus so much!
In the end, I didn’t like Insanity. The psychiatric hospital in a small town in the middle of nowhere is an amazing setting with a ton of potential, but the author simply didn’t take advantage of it. I don’t have the slightest clue what the plot was suppose to be, and it didn’t help that time didn’t pass in a linear fashion as characters moved between words. It was just confusing and jumpy.