Published by Katherine Tegen Books on October 6th 2015
Grace Mae knows madness.
She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.
When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.
In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.
Hi friends! Today I am reviewing A MADNESS SO DISCREET by Mindy McGinnis. My wonderful friend Cat @ Kit’s Books was kind enough to give me this ARC. Without further ado!
WHAT I LIKED
The setting! A good historical novel can really transport you into that time period and location. A Madness So Discreet was definitely one of those books. Some of my many odd fascinations include asylums, prisons, mental hospitals, etc, etc. I love all books set in them. This asylum setting sure was creepy! I loved seeing the stark differences between the asylum from the beginning and the asylum in the end. It really showed me how inhumane the conditions were for mentally insane people back then as well as what used to define mentally insane. I would be mentally insane. You would be mentally insane. WE ALL WOULD BE MENTALLY INSANE.
The characters. I loved the banter between Grace and Thornhollow. Grace is such a complex, interesting characters. Being inside her head was one hell of a ride. It was obvious how much the torture she was put through by her father and at the asylum affected her sense of self and her personality. I particularly liked the moments while Grace was interacting with the other characters when her sass and bright sense of humor shined through. It gave me an idea of who Grace might have been if she was raised in better circumstances. I became deeply connected to every single character in this novel, even the minor ones. And when View Spoiler »Nell died, I died too. I cried when reading this part. She was everything to Lizzie and in a short time period, had become important to Grace too. It was so upsetting to see her character go. « Hide Spoiler
NO ROMANCE! As much as I love a good romance, it was so refreshing to read a book with no romance! The truth is, not everyone has romance in their lives. Especially teenagers. I sure don’t. I think this is problem in YA because it creates unrealistic stories. Anyways, Grace is an INDEPENDENT WOMAN WHO DON’T NEED NO MAN. Without romance and worrying about ships, it was easy to focus on Grace and her story. Also, I feel that a romance would not have been true to Grace and her personality. All of the men in her life had treated her poorly and it would have taken her a very long time to trust any man again.
The plot. I love crime tv shows and forensics and all that so of course I love a good detective story. This was a GREAT detective story. I loved the relationship and banter between Grace and Thornhollow, much more than (don’t kill me) Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.
THAT COVER. ASDFJJSAFUNWEFNBH3GWBHQ3GFQ.
WHAT I DID NOT LIKE
The pacing. The entire book was pretty slow. The plot was very minimal and overall did not affect the characters very much. I found myself getting bored at times with the lengthy descriptions. It is very much a relationship-driven novel.
A Madness So Discreet is an intriguing, relationship-driven book with a fascinating setting and complex characters. It informed me of many historical aspects of mental illness and it was full of feminism and girl power.
Have you read A Madness So Discreet? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments!