The Dollhouse Asylum by Mary Gray
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 and 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.
Publishes in US: October 22nd 2013 by Spencer Hill Press
Genre: YA Sci fi
Source: Spencer Hill Press
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Author stalk away: Website | Blog | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
The Dollhouse Asylum has such a great premise, I knew that I had to give it a read. The subject of viruses, quarantines, and such always get my attention for whatever reason.
The Dollhouse Asylum wasn't quite what I expected and I didn't connect right away with Cheyenne, but that came later. It was a very mysterious and chilling atmosphere, and there was such big questions and consequences that it kept me flipping the pages.
I didn't like Teo from the start. I had no basis for her infatuation with him, and while there have been a few teacher/student romances that ended up working for me, this one did not. I know this isn't the case, but I kept picturing him as tall, unsightly thin with this horrible mustache from his actions. I never got what Cheyenne saw in him though, and felt like she was a puppet at times even before her survival depended on it.
I did enjoy Marcus though, I think he is a huge bright spot and helped me to get past the hump that was Teo. He was sweet and kind even when he couldn't be, he still tried to help.
The ending is sad because of all of the obvious loss, but it is still twinged with hope and it wrapped up well enough for me.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Could you live a staged life or would you rather be sick with your family?