At seventeen, June Hardie is everything a young woman in 1951 shouldn’t be—independent, rebellious, a dreamer. June longs to travel, to attend college and to write the dark science fiction stories that consume her waking hours. But her parents only care about making June a better young woman. Her mother grooms her to be a perfect little homemaker while her father pushes her to marry his business partner’s domineering son. When June resists, her whole world is shattered—suburbia isn’t the only prison for different women…
June’s parents commit her to Burrow Place Asylum, aka the Institution. With its sickening conditions, terrifying staff and brutal “medical treatments,” the Institution preys on June’s darkest secrets and deepest fears. And she’s not alone. The Institution terrorizes June’s fragile roommate, Eleanor, and the other women locked away within its crumbling walls. Those who dare speak up disappear…or worse. Trapped between a gruesome reality and increasingly sinister hallucinations, June isn’t sure where her nightmares end and real life begins. But she does know one thing: in order to survive, she must destroy the Institution before it finally claims them all. (From Goodreads)
Thank you to Harlequin Teen for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.
I rate this book a 3 out of 5 Stars.
I am not even going to lie, I requested this book based on the cover first, than synopsis. It looked and sounded dark, and super creepy, and like the perfect book to get into the Halloween spirit. First off, let me say, I like the Historical Fiction part the most. I liked watching June fight her parents on wanting to be more than a homemaker, fighting to write her stories, and to be more than a wife, to the man her father picked out.
However, once it got to the part in the asylum, it lost me a bit, now I know that this was based back in the 50’s and the way they treated mental health was barbaric, as far as things like overly medicating, electric shock therapy, and etc. I actually enjoyed that aspect. What I couldn’t get on board with was the interactions between June, the nurse, and the doctor. It was all so bizarre (I’m guessing that’s the point) and trying to keep track of what was June’s hallucinations, and what was real. I liked the alternating chapters/timeline I liked seeing what led June to being institutionalized. There was something huge that happened in June’s younger years, but it’s not clearly stated, you sort of draw your own conclusion.
This is another book that has an ending you will either hate, or love. I actually loved it. It is how I would have wanted it to end, with an extra strange twist. Overall, this was my first Lukavica book, and I am really interested in reading more, this one has very mixed reviews, so I’d like to read one of her older books to see if I’d love any of them. Amy Lukavica has very dark story telling capabilities.
At least here, I won’t have to continue living how I was. I won’t have to break myself into pieces just to show them that I can.
This book is out Sept. 25th I will include helpful links below.