The Dollhouse Asylum
by Mary Gray
A group of teenagers are granted asylum from the apocalypse, only to be forced to reenact some of the most famous, tragic literary couples... or die.
A novel about escaping psychological abuse.
When the world is breaking all someone wants is safety. A virus that had once been contained has returned, and soon no place will be left untouched. But when eighteen-year-old 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 her 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. Teo dresses them up, tells them when to move and how to act, and in order to pass the test, they must play along. Play it right, then they'll be safe. But play it wrong, they'll die.
The Dollhouse Asylum is a fast-paced psychological thriller in the vein of Wayward Pines or The Girl with All the Gifts. If you like unpredictable plots, nightmarish settings, and dangerous love interests, then you'll love Gray's novel about escaping unhealthy love.
"The Dollhouse Asylum is a total mind warp. With undertones similar to Hitchcock and King, author Mary Gray has delivered a twisted, psychological, thriller. It is not for the faint of heart. The villain, Teo, is intelligent, dashing, and crazy all rolled into one. He kidnaps 14 students and deposits them into his Eden, which he calls Elysian Fields. Here he pairs the teenagers into "couples" in a twisted attempt at recreating Shakespearian tragic love stories. The final piece to his plan is Cheyenne; Teo's Persephone and MC of the story. Cheyenne is a naive introvert, and at first, goes along with his perversion. But when Teo has the couples "proving their worth" and killing those who do not, Cheyenne wises up. I am not a fan of a weak female character but Cheyenne transformed from a fragile caged bird into a war eagle. This fast paced, white knuckle read left me holding my breath waiting for the next couple to fall. " - Lynn, 2 Girls & A Book
"*KABOOM* That sound? My brain imploding from the amazingness of this book!! Welcome to your new home. Welcome to Elysian Fields. Welcome to your worst nightmare!! This book was an utter masterpiece. How Mary Gray's mind works... WOW I would love for one day to be inside the very most inner working of her mind, just to see what it is that makes her come up with such an amazing story." - Keren, Goodreads
"Mary Gray... I bow down to you. The Dollhouse Asylum was such an addictive, mysterious and creep-tastic book. I really enjoyed it. Mary's writing style was just fantastic. It drew me in right from the start. I was hooked and intrigued by her incredibly unique and mysterious story line. I just had to know what was going to happen and keep reading. I was just completely taken with the storyline and the characters." - Kayleigh, K-Books
"I found myself having dreams about The Dollhouse Asylm. It’s creepy, not necessarily like horror books, but in the fact that it shows how monstrous humans can be." - Katrina, Goodreads
"The plot is unique and beyond creepy, and it does move at a good pace, with a few twists that popped up every so often. This is supposed to a beautiful paradise for these 7 couples, and from the horrible virus they believe is back. Teo's brainwashing and manipulation was brilliant on his part, all the couples did everything they are told to do." - Khalia, Goodreads
"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." - Alison, Goodreads
"The Dollhouse Asylum was much more then I expected it to be, from the characters to the development of the whole story. It was a very creepy book, but in a way that made you want to read more and more until you got to the end. It kept me intrigued throughout the whole book." - Savannah, From Words to Ashes
"Insanely intense!" - Crystal, 2 Girls & A Book
SELECT FEATURED REVIEWS
★★★★★ By Lynn, author of (dis)Abilities and the Gospel
Jo Cassidy's Good Girls Stay Quiet is a powerful, thought provoking, intense read that left me reeling in the end. Cassidy's portrayal of Cora was haunting. Her naivete. Her innocence. Her unwaning desire to make "Daddy" happy. The psychological and physical abuse Cora endured left a lasting imprint on my soul. And that ending... In a story like this can there be a happy ending? ***This story deals with intense emotional and physical abuse but does not include sexual abuse. In my opinion, the story is suitable for teens
★★★★★ By Vanessa, author and podcaster of Fabled
The Dollhouse Asylum is not your typical YA read, which is why I loved it. We all love the strong female character in modern literature, but I also enjoy diversity, an exploring of all types of people. Mary Gray does that by giving readers a peek into the inner workings of one girl's emotional journey of learning that the man she adores and looks up to, a former teacher, is actually a stone-cold killer. I found it interesting that the MC struggles with a lot of things women who are abused (both emotionally and physically) struggle with. "But that's not who he really is. He's good underneath it all. He won't do it again now that he knows it hurts me." Fans of Waywardly Pines and The Girl With All the Gifts will probably enjoy this too.
★★★★★ By Jerusha, Amazon
Haunting Nightmares ahead. This book gave me the chills. And I loved every one them. Cheyenne is a flawed character with real problems and I absolutely LOVE that about her. I was so shocked reading this story that it will stick with me for years and years. I have re-read it just to get to the end scene again. WOW!
Release date: July 11, 2017
Page count: 304
Genre: YA psychological thriller
Tropes: Coming of age, Abusive love interest, Dystopian society