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"To cure fear, you must use fear."

Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He’s understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they’ll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.

338 pages, Paperback

First published February 16, 2016

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About the author

Krystal Wade

8 books618 followers
I’m happily married to the love of my life (don’t gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. We live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day I wake up to find myself stuck in traffic trying to get there.

The horrid commute gives me plenty of time to zone out and think about my characters in full, brilliant details (I’m a safe driver; don’t worry). Stories give me a way to forget about the sometimes smelly strangers sitting next to me on the fifty mile trek into town (I pick up hitchhikers every day. True story. Check out www.slug-lines.com if you don’t believe me).

I’ve been a part of organized hitchhiking for nearly fifteen years, but that’s just one small aspect of my oh-so-large life. When I’m not working, commuting, or chasing after my three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find me outside talking to my chickens like they’re the cutest things in the world (they are), or training my amazing dogs how to herd said chickens (which they love), or curled up on the sofa with a good book (why can’t that be 100% of the time?).

I hope you love my stories (or just like them a little; that would be okay, too). And I hope that one day you find your passion, because there’s nothing in life better than doing what you love while surrounded by people you love.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 88 reviews
Profile Image for Brex (Bookosaurus_Rex).
104 reviews23 followers
December 21, 2016
I first saw Asleep on bookstagram and was immediately intrigued. I never really saw it around after that, but I’m glad that the cover made a big enough impact on me that I remembered it.

I opened it on Sunday afternoon, and didn’t put it down until 9pm, when I absolutely had to participate in real life. This book sinks its gnarly claws into your brain from page one, prods, stretches, stabs, massages, and semi moulds it back into proper brain shape before finally letting you go on the last page. Even then, the claws linger, which is why I stayed awake in bed after finishing it, thinking and thinking and thinking and reveling in how much I mf-ing enjoyed this.

I’ve been posting it on bookstagram, talking about it every chance I get, forcefully persuading others to read it, and stalking everything everyone else wrote about it. Why Asleep is not getting as much attention as other books on bookstagram and Booktube is beyond me.

If you like absolute mind effery, and are intrigued by the darker side of the human mind, then this book is definitely for you. If you’re into stories that make you question everything, like EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE, then read this. If you’re into books that give you a labyrinthine psychological challenge, BUY IT NOW.

I know I haven’t said much about the characters, but that’s because I don't want to give anything away. Krystal Wade writes so seamlessly that we begin seeing through Rose’s eyes on an emotional level very early on. We’re lucid with her one minute, and we’re questioning if anything is even real the next. We descend into madness (or is it even really madness?) in such a way that we can, for a moment, actually see what it must be like for someone who has severe issues with reality. But then again, is anyone really having issues with reality? We don’t know until the very end!

I will admit, if you’re someone who needs absolutely every question resolved by the end of the book, aren’t into ripping up the boundaries of your imagination, or are adverse to colouring in some grey areas in for yourself, you might not like it. But those who have an inclination for deep psychological thrills, and are a creative type, you’ll love it. To generalize, this book is probably not for the accountants, bankers, and engineers of the world, but absolutely for the writers, painters and musicians. That being said, it’s not so abstract that there is no explanation at all in the end. It’s just that there are some bits you’ll have to be content with interpreting for yourself.

In conclusion, I was rattled – hard. The adrenaline is still pumping, and it’s like neon electricity is running through my veins right now. I need more people to read this so that I can fangirl with them!

Profile Image for Martina McAtee.
Author 22 books411 followers
March 25, 2016
This was hands down one of the best thrillers I've read in a long while. Wade provides the kind of story that sucks you in on page one and doesn't let you go until the last page. I read this whole book in a day and a half. I loved the heroine, she was very relateable. Also, I have to say, as somebody who previously worked in a psych facility, she did her research. Everything was so believable and made it really easy to fall into the story. She has a great writing style and her transitions from waking to dreaming are so subtle you start to wonder which is which. I'm definitely a new fan.
Profile Image for Carla.
602 reviews97 followers
June 12, 2017
I'm such a mess right now...

This book surprised me! Not because I thought it would be bad or something like that- I just didn’t read a book that took place at an asylum before!
I liked Rose very much and I could understand her situation perfectly because it was portrayed very relatable!
It made me tear up so often!
I was confused many times, but I think that was willed.

So yeah, it’s a great book, something re-freshing and interesting!
Profile Image for Jennifer (INnerSANITY).
47 reviews8 followers
March 14, 2016
ASLEEP by Krystal Wade
​Published by Blaze Publishing on Feb.16, 2016
​GENRES: YA, Thriller, Psychological, Horror

I had the privilege of receiving an ARC (advanced reading copy) of the book ASLEEP by Krystal Wade. After reading the synopsis I was sure I was going to like the book.. It has elements which I love - INSANITY, ASYLUMS, and a possible LOVE connection. Anyone that knows me - knows I'm VERY interested in the psychologically damaged, and the freakish nature of morbid asylums.. It shows up even in my own sleep - real horrifying awful stuff goes on in my head while I'm dreaming - and it leaves me all shaky and dazed when I finally awake. Sometimes I've wondered... am I losing my sanity?? While these dreams do upset me - after the initial shock has worn off - I realize that they would certainly make for a GOOD BOOK!!! I'd love to know how author Krystal Wade gets her inspiration..??

​First off - let's talk about impressions.. as in FIRST IMPRESSIONS. Well, I ask you - how does that cover grab you? It definitely grabbed my attention! I saw it first on INSTAGRAM - the post was for her cover reveal.. and what a reveal!! I jumped right in and asked if I could review an ARC and a few emails later - I was IN! YAY! When I got my e-arc delivered to my inbox I was so excited to start reading.. I'm definitely going to be purchasing a real PHYSICAL copy of course.. I really prefer them - something tangible to hold onto and hug and flip through.. (love those flippy books!)

There was some mention of this book being a cross between Sleeping Beauty and Freddy Krueger. I suppose you could call it a fairytale retelling. Although in my opinion it's only loosely based on Sleeping Beauty.. I see more of Mr. Krueger here!!
​Our heroine Rose is sent to this asylum for her 'own good' against her will and right away we are thrust into the crazy! Half the time we don't know if Rose is asleep or awake and dreaming. She meets a whole slew of interesting people - some seeming to be on her side - and some seeming to be out to get her! We are constantly questioning the intentions of the creepy Dr. Underwood - and what is the meaning of the woman whose strange portrait is hanging on the wall above his desk - a woman whose sad story Rose had heard about from her mother. We are also left questioning the sanity of Rose as well - with vast amounts of time lost; or suddenly knowing peoples names she had no recollection of how she came to know them. And what's with all those trips to the bowels of the building - and the horrific tortures she endures.. are those real?? It gripped me from the beginning - no slow start - or slow anything in this book! It had me hooked until the very end!

​The writing flows very nicely.. it's very easy to follow. Filled with wonderful descriptions of her surroundings (the very old sanitarium and it's paint chipped walls and cement flooring.. to the grounds on which it lies) - to the creepy and disturbing 'is it a dream or not?' imagery that keeps the pages turning.

​There are a number of people we get to meet in Asleep. All of them are written very well - I got to know each character just enough to be able to get an idea or visual of them in my head which is important for me to be able to visualize the people I'm reading about.

PROS:•​Very intriguing storyline - rich with twists, surprises, LOL moments, sadness, and terror!!
•Easy flowing writing - no trip-ups with fancy hard to understand or over-intellectual writing..
•a wide variety of different characters - some likable and some very UN-likeable, and some LOVEABLE, and dare I say 'swoon' worthy!
​CONS:•​I didn't want the story to be over!! I'm left longing to read more of what happens! If only there was a sequel??

​WOW! This book was just.. amazing. If you are like me, and enjoy reading about the freaky messed up world of insane asylums.. or you like suspense, thriller, horror, romance, all mixed into one fantastic bundle of greatness - then please BUY THIS BOOK!!!

You can see my full review with photos etc on my new blog:
Profile Image for Gina .
41 reviews22 followers
February 15, 2016
Another book by Krystal Wade that goes straight to my "favorites" shelf.
It's amazing how this book can bring so many emotions out of me and leaves me being a sobbing mess in the end! Seriously, Asleep comes out tomorrow and if you haven't preordered or at least added it to your TBR list yet then you're definitely missing out on something. READ IT <3

Also, my full review will be up tomorrow on my blog.
Profile Image for Jackie -Sated Faery.
285 reviews35 followers
March 6, 2016
So, so, so good! This was impossible to put down! I couldn't figure out who was crazy, who was sane, who was good, who was evil, or whether I would be sane by the time I finished reading it! I loved the constant drama and mystery. And Rose was such a caring girl who just happened to get herself locked in an insane asylum (for reasons I cannot disclose at this time -spoilers!) but she tries her best to hang on to her sanity even when things start to look impossibly bizarre! This facility is definitely not a good place to get help; Rose is beginning to wonder if the hospital is actually making her better or much, much worse. Then there's Phillip. It's kind of hard to imagine finding your sexy prince in a mental hospital but he is definitely a hottie. There's something about him that just attracts Rose's attention, even when he's rocking back and forth, counting to himself. But hey, we're all a little crazy, right? At least I felt that way while trying to make sense of this story! But I still loved every single page! This is one I will read over and over to see what I might have missed the first time...
Profile Image for Anne Bollmann (Annelise Lestrange).
623 reviews72 followers
May 21, 2016
Review originally posted on The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange :)

I received this copy from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. Let's go :D

The Story
Goodreads' Blurb
"To cure fear, you must use fear."

Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He’s understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they’ll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.

The Analysis
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader :)

So, I think I expected too much from this book. As a kind of Sleeping Beauty retelling with an asylum and macabre themes involved, Asleep seemed to have it all to send me flying out of my seat with the chills. I’m so sad to announce that it didn’t live for the hype for me :( Don’t get me wrong, it was a cool enough book with a marvelous writing style and all, but it didn’t reach my heart. I don’t regret for a second to have read it, but Asleep ended up being just entertaining instead of mind blowing :/ Three stars!

The narrative style was third person from Rose’s point of view and it was one of the thumbs up on Asleep for me. I wasn’t Rose’s number one fan, but I wasn’t exactly on her head and that helped me to enjoy more the book :) Also, I feel the mystery intensified once I couldn’t be sure if things were indeed happening or if Rose was starting to enter the asylum’s hype. Krystal’s writing also is something fascinating, I’ll for sure keep my eyes open to grab another book from her in the future :)

The plot was complex and well executed, but it didn’t really hold my attention. It wasn’t the book at all, it was me. I wasn’t interested enough :/ I liked the way Wade wraps things up in the end and there were definitely some arching-brow-twists, so I can’t complain.

Actually, I can’t quite complain of many things but the slightly déjà vu sensation (thanks to Slumber) and my personal lack of interest :/ Seriously, Asleep is a great book. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for this kind of read, ugh.

The characters were developed enough, but I found Rose a bit of a stuck up bore in the beginning. She grows up and gets better, but the journey can be tiring for the reader, haha! To make up for it, there is Phillip, a guy highly interesting in the middle of the chaos. I just think that their relationship could have stayed platonic while in the asylum… But just my opinion, haha!

Overall, if you enjoy macabre stories, retellings, amazing writing and beautiful covers, you should consider grabbing Asleep :)

Thanks so much for reading my review! Also, thanks again to Xpresso Book Tours for my copy <3
Profile Image for E. C. McRoy.
158 reviews17 followers
May 14, 2016
I received this for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Also posted on my YA Book Blog.

So, I'm not really sure what to say about this book. I'm giving it 3.75 stars and I think I liked it, but there are so many questions... too many to ignore. So, here we go.

First, I want to say that this gets a higher rating because of the quality of the writing. I think Wade has a firm grasp of storytelling and how to give life to very abstract things, which is so difficult. I'm very impressed. I felt very close to Rose, following her down her own insanity and that makes for a very interesting read.

Now, as for the story itself... well, that's where it loses some points. I enjoyed it to an extent. It was pretty easy to get in to and while difficult to follow at times, you were invested in it pretty early on. I definitely wanted to know what happened.

I think where I had some of my issues was that it wasn't neatly wrapped up in the end, not really (though it seems that way). There were all these crazy things goi.g on and I went along with them because in the end, I expected an explanation. I only got half of one. We never really understand what the method was behind the madness. I half understand why Underwood did what he did, or his perceived reasonings, but what was the desired goal really? He had to feel on some level this was beneficial, yet how? I think I needed more info after the fact about what he was doing to help with that.

Otherwise it was goos. The crazy was believable as was the I'm not crazy. Rose wasn't perfect, but still was likable. You wanted her to win in the end. And Philip. Perfect. I won't say one way or the other about him but not knowing to the end was so frustrating and perfectly done. Awesome.

So yes, I would recommend it. Give it a shot, but be prepared for a wild ride!
Profile Image for Larkin (Wonderfilled Reads).
276 reviews28 followers
September 2, 2016
How can anyone not love a Sleeping Beauty retelling set in a creepy asylum?! This was Sleeping Beauty meets season 2 of American Horror Story. Perfection, right?

This book had everything - mystery, thrills, a little bit of horror, and even a little romance! I loved the way the story kept you guessing, constantly wondering if it was all real or if Rose was actually just crazy. Seriously, support a fabulous indie author and read this book!
Profile Image for Vivian.
158 reviews25 followers
September 30, 2016
It was alright, but way to wierd. A lot to do with extreme depression and insanity. Not my kind of thing to read. Horror can be fun, but this was more just about a lonely unwanted girl with brains issues, which is a problem bipolar depression and hallucination of some sort. It was too brutal and just to wierd to me.
Profile Image for Heather Lawson.
Author 10 books21 followers
February 17, 2016
Originally posted here: https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/...
Every so often I’ll read a book that sucks me in completely and doesn’t let me go. It doesn’t happen as often as I would like, but when it does, I know that I’m about to read something special. Asleep is one of those books. It’s one of those reads that feels slow in the beginning, when you’re just getting to the know the characters and events and then suddenly there’s a shift in your mindset and everything starts to feel strange and wrong and you’re just as worried as the characters are and then you feel more connected to them and the outcome. Basically, if someone came near me when I was reading this they got shushed and told to go away, it was that engrossing.

Taking a deeper look at mental illness and the way it can affect a person, Asleep finds Rose Briar locked away in the Shepherd Institute after her friend’s pulled a prank on her that sent her over protective mother over the edge with concern. The institute, named after Rose’s mother’s best friend – who killed herself after being released from the same institute years ago – feels like a prison to Rose, who wants nothing more than for her friends to find her and help her to escape. But they weren’t waiting at the gates as she came in, like they promised. When her treatment begins and Rose starts to have horrific nightmares and loses huge chunks of time, she starts to believe that she really is going crazy.

So much happens in this story that had me guessing, wondering, and trying to figure out. By the time I finished, I literally had a headache from it all! The different threads of the plot weave together effortlessly to make you question everything along with Rose as she tries to survive her experience. Everything comes back to Heather Shepherd, the promising young artist who fell in with a bad crowd and committed suicide because of it – or that’s what happened according to Rose’s mother. With Rose, herself, being a promising young artist and her mother warning her away from her friends Megan and Josh, Rose can’t help but feel like her mother doesn’t see her as her own person any more, instead seeing her dead friend.

When Rose befriends, Phillip, the strange boy who sits constantly counting ‘one, one, one. Two, two, two’ and rocking back and forth, it seems that she’s finally found an ally within the walls of the institution. But slowly things begin to change. As Phillip becomes more lucid, Rose begins to lose herself and with some prodding from her doctor – Dr Underwood – she begins to believe that Phillip isn’t real. He’s just a figment of her imagination. But if the strongest link she has in the institute isn’t real, then what is? Is anything? As Rose slipped into a world where everything was terrifying and perhaps none of it real, I was beginning to wonder, along with Rose herself, whether she really was crazy.

And then there was the ending. Obviously, I’m not going to go into too much detail here because it would spoil the best part of the book, but trust me when I say that the shit hits the fan pretty hard at the end and everything goes mental. Reading this book, I felt like I had been on a rollercoaster slowly climbing up the steepest slope and at the final pages, it was rushing down the other side. All the pieces started to fit together and the events that had been set in motion started to finally make sense.

An absolute thrill ride of a book, Asleep keeps you guessing while making you question everything. An excellent read for fans of psychological thrillers.
Profile Image for Ashley M. Nestler.
Author 3 books62 followers
June 7, 2016
Asleep is a new take on the fairytale, "Sleeping Beauty", and it has been marketed as a horror/thriller version of the story; however, I didn't really see how this novel related to the horror genre. Instead, I felt that the novel was more of a psychological thriller and meant strictly for young adults. The story line was a bit sugar coated, but it was still an enticing read. If you are a young adult interested in the safer side of the horror genre, then this is the perfect novel for you.

My favorite part about this novel was how Krystal Wade did incorporate different versions of the classic characters from the story, such as Rose and Phillip. She made sure that her story didn't relate too closely to the fairytale and added her own take on the characters, which was exciting. I always love a good asylum based read, and this novel was a great story based in contemporary asylums, or psychiatric hospitals. Since Rose is a teenager at the point in her life where she is struggling to find herself and who she is going to be in her adult life, I felt that teenagers will be able to relate to her well. It is a scary time in ones life when they are jumping from a child to an adult so abruptly, and Rose seemed to be mixed up inside about who she really was and wanted to be. She didn't understand why everyone thought that she was insane when she felt fine, and this showed how influenced she was by what everyone else thought of her. I felt that Wade presented us with a great novel that examined the human mind in a comfortable and safe way, while also showing how those around us can negatively impact our mental state if we let them.

Overall, I recommend this book to young adults or to adults who want a read that is lighter but surrounds a heavier topic. I can proudly say that I haven't read another book like Asleep and the originality of it was stunning. Since my reviews are based heavily on story originality, this book passed with flying colors.
Profile Image for Merissa (Archaeolibrarian).
3,395 reviews90 followers
February 16, 2016
If Charming is a twisted version of Cinderella, then Asleep is the same, but with Sleeping Beauty as the inspiration. Rose Briar is admitted into an Institution in the hopes that it will help her to "recover" - you're not sure from what to start with as she appears to be the innocent victim of overly-judgemental parents.

You stay with Rose as she goes through her therapy and tries to find some way to survive until she can go home, if indeed she ever does. She meets someone to befriend, Phillip, and Nurse Judy is on hand for emotional support too. You learn more about her history and her friends, the choices she has made in the past and the reasons for them.

This is a decidedly dark read as it deals with mental illness and physical/mental abuse. I wouldn't recommend it if these are triggers for you. However, I would definitely recommend it if you are okay with these, and want to read something that is definitely out of the ordinary.

You are left with some questions at the end, pertaining to the main characters and the situation, but on the whole it all wraps up nicely, leaving a feeling of satisfaction. With a smooth pace that builds up to the climax, this book is a moving read, dealing with the darker side of emotions. Most definitely recommended!

* I received this book from Blaze Publishing in return for a fair and honest review. *

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Profile Image for Katie Hamstead.
Author 18 books218 followers
April 13, 2017
How can I wrap my head around what I want to say about this book. The twists and turns definitely had me wondering throughout the entire book. I'm afraid if I say too much, I'll give out spoilers unintentionally.
Rose isn't exactly what I'd describe as likable, but considering the situation, I don't think likability is important to the story. She's made some bad choices, and ended up at the wrong end of the stick. Throughout the book she undergoes a great deal of growth, which gave me the desire to root for her.
Phillip is great, right from the beginning. He figures everything out and works his hardest to help Rose through. Despite their awful circumstances, he slots in as the perfect hero in her plight.
Although this is technically a "fairy tale" retelling, there isn't much of the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty involved, so don't expect that at all. It's very raw, and there are parts that are truly sad. It's a psychological story, as you watch the people around Rose mess with her head. But she fights back, refusing to believe the lies.
I saw several things coming, but not the conclusion, Again, no spoilers!
I'd consider it a clean read, in the sense that there's no sex or explicit violence. It does leave you wondering, what is going on? though, as almost archaic treatments are implemented.
Profile Image for Ryan Hill.
Author 8 books153 followers
May 2, 2016
With each book, Krystal Wade only gets better and better. Asleep is a fantastic mind-bender that'll keep you guessing until the final page. Seriously. The final page. It's awesome.
Profile Image for Andy Kornylo.
1,211 reviews4 followers
January 21, 2018
See full review for Asleep at: https://toomanybooksnotenoughshelves....

For someone who doesn’t like reading about insane asylums you would think I wouldn’t read this book. And normally you would be right, but this was another book subscription box monthly selection and I figured I would try and read it first before I sold it off to my second hand book dealer. (Doesn’t the second half of that statement sound shady? lol.). Anyway, the insane asylum thing aside this book kind of caught my interest anyway, because it reminded me a lot of Sleeping Beauty. Only instead of a fairy tale world it would take place in a mental hospital.

Yeah. No. Other than the name of our MC and the name of the MC’s friend/love interest during the novel there are no other comparisons to Sleeping Beauty in this book.
Profile Image for Selena.
456 reviews
March 7, 2016
Asleep by Krystal Wade
I was trying to describe Asleep to a coworker before I finished reading it. I told her it was a great story about a girl who is put into a mental institution by her parents, she either doesn’t know why or refuses to reveal why. I hadn’t decided where the title “Asleep” comes from. Is it because she’s drifting asleep through life? Are her parents asleep and not understanding or caring what she’s been through? Is she asleep due to the medications she’s been forced to take in the asylum? Is asleep referring to what she believes is happening to her while she’s asleep?
I’ve finished Asleep now. The title is so fitting and I completely understand.
Rose has been taken to the Shepperd Institute by her parents and claims she got was brought in by her parents because her best friends played a joke on them. They, Megan and Josh, waited until she fell asleep and dressed her up like she committed suicide, took a picture and taped it to her parent’s front door. She soon begins to realize that may not be the only reason.
While in the asylum she begins to trust a boy her age. Upon seeing him the first day she tries to stay away from him- he’s crazy. He won’t let her, he’s always there, he seems to be following her. When she gives in and he finally gives her a name it’s MacGregor. He soon shortens it to Greg, but is real name is Phillip.
Asleep is amazing. So many times I caught myself wondering if she was asleep or awake. She has dreams of being tied to chairs and punched. Phillip is tortured in order to make her create art. She doesn’t know who she can trust.
Rose Briar sounded familiar at first glance. I had to do a double-take. Rose Briar aka Briar Rose aka Sleeping Beauty. Rose is taken to Shepperd Institute by her parents Stephen and Leah, the parents of Sleeping Beauty. She does befriend Phillip, but he may just be a figment of her imagination. Maleficent is not in this story, but there are a couple characters that could match her for evil. This story is an easy 5 star read!
I was given the opportunity to read Asleep by Krystal Wade by Blaze Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Krystal.
57 reviews6 followers
February 6, 2017
“I would love to see you draw something,” he said. “I bet it’s how the sun felt as it watched God create the world.”

I almost passed this book up because the cover looked so middle grade. Nothing against middle grade books, but I was looking for something more complex (which I ended up receiving).

Asleep is really hard to describe. I see a lot of reviews describing it as a Sleeping Beauty retelling, but I do not see that connection at all.

This book is like going for a drive and getting lost along the way. Then, right when you think you have found the destination - you crash.

Krystal Wade certainly knows how to weave a story together and keep a great pace. I found myself wanting more and finished the book in about a day.

Asleep follows Rose Briar on a downward spin through her forced entry to a mental institution. During her stay, the reader has to fight with her to determine what is real and what is delirium. I think people will find this book and its conclusion satisfying.
Profile Image for Kari (BookandCoffeeLover).
112 reviews27 followers
May 6, 2016
I received a copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Despite the fantastic sounding plot (a psychiatric hospital combined with a fairy tale retelling is completely my jam) this book failed to impress. The start was promising but as a whole, it was difficult for Asleep to hold my interest. Uninteresting characters and a slow pace dominated this story. There were some genuinely creepy parts but overall I found the plot rather predictable.
Profile Image for lauren ♡.
525 reviews107 followers
June 9, 2016
Read this review @ my blog Wonderless Reviews

Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours, Blaze Publishing & Krystal Wade for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Trigger Warnings: This book mentions topics such as: mental health facilities, unethical psychiatric treatment, drugs, mental illness and suicide.

I want to preface this by saying that I'm not even sure how to begin reviewing this book. It is 100% a book that you need to experience completely for yourself. So with that said, I apologise for how vague and short this might be!

Asleep focuses on a girl's struggle with being placed in a mental health institution. Rose Briar, much to her horror, is being forced by her parents to stay at Shepperd Institute. During her stay she will be under the care of Dr. Underwood, who is highly regarded in his field. Rose insists that she is fine and that her parents are completely overreacting. Rose thinks she is totally alone at the institute until she meets another patient, Phillip. Rose and Phillip form a close bond as they realise that Shepperd Institute and Dr. Underwood are hiding a lot of dark secrets. Rose's grip on reality begins to fade in and out as she starts searching for answers, until the only thing she knows for certain is that she needs to escape Shepperd Institute and fast.

This book is a complete and utter head trip. Like, 100% it will Mess You Up. I'm still reeling from it. I'm still confused. I actually felt disorientated whilst I was reading this. I was constantly second guessing myself the entire time I was reading. You think you've got it all figured out, but then something will happen and you'll be questioning EVERYTHING. The way Krystal writes Rose losing touch with reality is so realistic that I didn't even know what scenes were real and what ones weren't. I STILL DON'T KNOW.

Asleep by Krystal Wade
"You can't wake up, this is not a dream"

At first you feel so bad for Rose and angry on her behalf. I couldn't believe that her parents pretty much threw her in this institute simply because she wasn't talking to them and because she wanted to move away to go to Art School. Rose's mother seemed to be really overprotective and kept thinking Rose was going to turn out like a friend of hers, Heather Shepperd (yeah, have fun solving that mystery ;) ), who committed suicide. As more as the story progressed I started wondering if there was a lot more to the story than we were being told. I started to believe Dr. Underwood when he kept pushing Rose to say why she was really here. Rose reveals that her "friends", Josh & Megs, decided to play a "prank" and make it look like she had attempted suicide and then sent the photo to her parents. The same friends were supposed to show up to help Rose escape but not surprisingly they didn't. When I read what they did I was honestly ??? Forgive my lack of words bUT WHO THINKS THAT IS A GOOD IDEA FOR A PRANK? Rose, sweetie, I'm sorry but your mum was right; you need some new friends. Even though I mostly believed Rose's explanation, Dr. Underwood kept pushing and at the back of my mind I kept wondering if there was more. Rose also had a relationship with Josh, but she finds out that he wasn't being honest to her or Megs. I was so scared when this happened because I thought Rose was still going to defend him, BUT SHE DIDN'T. I honestly wanted to hug Krystal for making Rose call Josh out on his behaviour and instantly realise she could do so much better.

Rose is a fantastic main character and her relationship with Phillip is believable and not instalovey at all. I think I would have preferred if it stayed completely platonic, but that's a personal thing and the romance wasn't in anyway annoying or the focus. When you take into consideration where Rose was, what was happening to her and how alone she felt, I was actually so happy when she found Philip and had someone who was helping and listening to her. He really helped give her strength when she was feeling completely hopeless. I really can't say anything else about Rose and Phillip's relationship because I don't want to take the "what the actual hell is going on!?" fun out of this book. Just be aware that nothing is ever as it seems... Dr. Underwood is extremely creepy and unnerving, but what's even more unnerving is when you start wondering; "what if he's not the bad guy?".

Whilst I absolutely adored Asleep to pieces there were a couple of things that annoyed me... The main one being that Rose kept referring to all the other patients as "lunatics" or "insane" and like, okay... Maybe they weren't completely mentally stable, but as someone who has such a personal experience with these kind of things it just didn't sit right. I know so many people refuse to seek help in fear of being labelled "crazy". The facility and unethical treatment of the patients also made me extremely uncomfortable. The Shepperd Institute would have fit perfectly in with the 1800s. I completely understand that this is a horror and not a contemporary that's going to be giving a realistic portrayal of mental health facilities, but it was just so hard to read. It definitely did make you feel for Rose. It also made me feel sad and helpless because I know there are still probably people who don't receive proper or correct treatment from the facilities that they're placed in. I just feel like I need to mention this because I do not want anyone to get triggered if you decide to pick up this book. The ending felt a bit rushed too, everything just happened so fast and I was like "SLOW DOWN I CAN'T DEAL WITH THIS".  I would have liked a little more detail on certain people's connections and backgrounds.

It took me 5 or 6 chapters to get into Asleep, but once I did I was completely hooked. It's a captivating and disturbing read that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you try (and fail) to understand what is happening to Rose. There are twists and turns until practically the last page and even then I still can't help but wonder to myself if any of it was real.

Asleep totally has a Suckerpunch vibe to it, so if you enjoyed that movie then chances are you'll love this! I definitely recommend it to everyone who wants a good mind bending horror/thriller in their lives. I also can't not mention that cover, HOW GORGEOUS IS IT?

I'm sorry this is so.... over the place and doesn't really have any structure. I just don't want to take away the best part of this book! Going into this blind was the best thing ever and definitely how everyone should experience this book!

Thank you again to Xpresso Book Tours, Blaze Publishing & Krystal Wade for allowing me to read this incredible book. You can find out more about Krystal and her other books here .
Profile Image for Hannah Kates.
23 reviews4 followers
July 28, 2017
I tried to book this book down. I tried so hard! Alas, my poor sleep schedule suffered because I flew straight through it.

Though the story takes a little time to take off, Wade mounts the tension of this action-packed thriller with impeccable timing. She uses both ominous settings and a garbled stream of consciousness to paint a hybrid thriller/horror from the eyes of a tortured victim, challenging the realms of psychology in storytelling while keeping you on the edge of your seat. Not since Alice's adventures in THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS have I found a psychological thriller so wonderfully creepy. Through blood-chilling twists and unforgettable characters, Wade had me not only questioning Rose's grip on reality, but my own understanding of the line between treatment and abuse.

Chilling and delightful, ASLEEP will have you mesmerized.
Profile Image for Ted Duke.
152 reviews3 followers
October 20, 2019
Very different. She lost me several times, but that was good as Rose was lost. I won't make ANY other comment. Read it. I have to check her other books.
Profile Image for Jo Michaels.
Author 79 books260 followers
February 27, 2016
I picked up Asleep after attending a release party thrown by the author. There it sat, on my Kindle list, waiting to be read. Well, I have a rather impressive TBR, and I wasn't planning to dive in just yet. However, my daughter picked up the book on her device (she has access to my library), and she begged me to read it so we could talk about it. She was loving it. So, I did as I was told (good Mommy), and here we are to give you all the details about our thoughts. To start off, I'm gonna tell you: my daughter is ten. Now that you know where I got Asleep, and why I read it, let's move on to the juicy parts of this review.

From a Reader's Perspective:
Jo: Rose Briar and I could possibly be friends if she existed in the world, but I'm not sure I would like her attitude at the beginning of this story. She seemed very much the "world is out to get me" kind of teen, and those chicks make me nutso. But, she had some excellent development throughout the story, and she emerged on the other side a better person despite all the crap she went through in order to grow. I have to say, Nurse Judy was probably my favorite character, though I didn't feel a true emotional connection to anyone I was reading about.

Truth is, I didn't even feel sorry for Rose and what she was experiencing. It may be my closed off side, but it's hard to connect with someone whose thoughts I can't follow. Make sense? I mean, the girl is half crazy, so nothing she's seeing or thinking makes sense. Ha! Anyway, she was a well painted character, I just wish there were more for me as a reader to identify with (or maybe I don't... Still on the fence with that one). Pacing was perfect. I never felt bored while reading. World building was spot on, and I could picture the institute in my head well. There were also a number of twists and things I was wondering about until the end. I'm pretty good, but some of those surprises were like: WOW. I'm now going to hand the reins over to the kidling.

Warning: There are a couple of F bombs in the book. If you're a parent who's really strict about that, prolly not the best read.

IM: I was bored and decided to go on Kindle to see if any new books were any interest to me. Searching through my section, I found that my mom put a few new books on there and found this one: Asleep, by Krystal Wade. I found the cover intriguing and downloaded it immediately to soon find out that Rose was the kind of girl that thought the world was out to get her. (Isa no likey) So eventually after making it through the first chapter of it I felt as if I couldn't put it down and read through the first sixteen chapters in one sitting. Ms. Wade, the pacing was perfect, and I never felt bored or that the book was going too fast. There were jumps, twists, and turns throughout the entire book. It made me question if Phillip was real or an figment of her imagination, and I just was itching to find out. Once I had finished it, good Lord I thought I would explode of all the other endings this book could have had. But, I highly suggest that you read this book, and I hope you're gonna be itching out of your skin to read it, too. :-D

From an Editor's Perspective:
I didn't find a ton of errors, but there was just one that kept popping up that had me pausing: Dr. Underwood closed her chart. Her is referring to Rose, but the sentence reads awkwardly. I caught it twice. Now, the kidling is the one that noticed it first, so if she's pointing it out, it has to be a little confusing. Other than that, nothing to write home about.

1 Star for keeping me on my dang toes throughout
1 Star for pacing
1 Star for world building (that's one hell of an old building)
1 Star for making the character's head such a confusing place that I was never sure if I really wanted to be there or not
1 Star for grammar, plot, pacing, and consistency

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars. Highly recommended for those that enjoy a gripping thriller with lots of twists and turns.
Profile Image for Sarah.
442 reviews18 followers
September 20, 2016

I was really nervous about reading this, it is labeled to be a horror and I don't like horrors.
Never have.
Its one of those uncool things about me, I haven't seen the Walking Dead because the trailers always look so gory and I am not afraid to admit that season 1 of Supernatural spooked me out. But then again, I was only 13 so....

Anyway my point is, I don't like horrors and so I strictly read this book only during the day because we all know monsters are less scary with before sunset. However, I think the genre tagging was wrong, there wasn't anything horrific about this book, yeah some parts were spooky but nothing skin crawling scary.

The best part about this story is the main character, Rose Briar. Ever read or watch something and the whole time it seems like the character is doing exactly what you want them to do? That was me and Rose. When I screamed for her to jump, she asked how high. I loved that.

The story itself ain't half bad, Rose gets locked into this asylum for reasons that make no sense to her and she doesn't go down easily. She fights the system from day one, determined to prove herself right and get out of there. Then the nightmares, the hallucinations, the therapy sessions with Dr. Underwood and the talks with Phillip (One of the crazies there) start making Rose question her own sanity. What if everyone is right and she is crazy and deserves to be locked there for good?
Profile Image for Cara McGovern.
16 reviews2 followers
February 16, 2016
Asleep by Krystal Wade is an absolutely phenomenal novel that keeps you on your toes and questioning everything the whole way through. This novel is stuffed with twists and turns and characters you cannot help but adore (Greg and his "crazy" counting!) and at the same time feel insanely pitiful for due to the fact they are wrongfully (or rightfully?) locked up in an insane asylum! From the get go I was hooked on the storyline and also the main character, Rose. She's extremely hard not to love and rally on in her bid to get out of that creepy place! All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I felt I couldn't put it down even for a second. This really is a book you have to read if you love a creepy novel or a mystery type novel as this meet both of those criteria's.
Profile Image for Eliza Tilton.
Author 24 books200 followers
September 2, 2015
A twisted Sleeping Beauty tale where the castle is an asylum and dreams can't be discerned from reality.

I've never read a book where the MC is an unreliable narrator, and now that I have, wow, just ... wow.
Rose Briar is one confused chick. Half the time I wasn't sure if she was really crazy or everyone else in that institution was. I COULD NOT put this book down. I had to know whether she was dreaming or not. What was real, and what was not. The suspense killed me!

A must read for anyone who's into mind-bending fiction or creepy suspense reads.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
Author 11 books522 followers
March 22, 2016
A dark and twisted tale of a girl trying to cope with her mental health. I loved the incredibly creepy asylum with great disturbing images. I was constantly questioning what was real and what wasn't and trying to figure out why the craziness was happening. But not only a dark ride through strange dreams (or not dreams), but an emotional journey about how depression can affect a teen's life as well as the lives of those around her.
A great read.
Profile Image for Jacob Devlin.
Author 7 books156 followers
July 5, 2016
What a fantastic balance of action and emotion. The pace was spot-on (I can't remember the last time I got through a book of this length in less than 24 hours) and I was actively engaged with the text as the twists unfolded. What's going on in this asylum? What's real? Is everything happening in Rose's head? And in the end I was very satisfied with my answers to all these questions. Great book.
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