Rating: 1.5 stars
I want to give a thank you to NetGalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review!
I really liked the synopsis of this story, so I was pretty intrigued by that, and that’s why I requested to get an advanced copy. It was nothing like I had anticipated. I had to look a few times at the synopsis because I had to remind myself of what it was about and where it was taking place.
I thought this story took places in the 1800’s, but I was wrong, it was the 1950’s. I felt as though it didn’t really get that from the reading, it did a few times because of her mother’s type of living, making sure the house is neat while the husband is at work, and trying to get June to cook and clean as well. I also kind of saw it when June was set to date Robert, as basically an arranged marriage.
Another thing I was very confused about was the time change in the story. I felt as though there was no warning. It says either Institution or Days Past, and it may have been me being ignorant of that change but I also wasn’t quite sure what, Days Past meant because it didn’t make a connection to before she went into the institution.
I think this story was very confusing as well, the way the story was told during the Institution was hard to figure out what was going on. The characters are hard to keep track of and the reason why they were there. With June’s situation, I feel like that it was very under-explained, especially in the first half of the book. Also June’s roommate Eleanor was confusing too because she said she has died, but it’s hard to tell if it’s the mental illness talking or if she’s a ghost of some sort.
The idea of this novel being horror isn’t what I would call it. It was very underwhelming, it was more so of a mystery for me because I was trying to figure out what was happening throughout this book the entire time. It also had a similar sci-fi style, especially having to do with aliens. It jumps between before the institution and during, and it just keeps leaving me with trying to figure out why she’s there and trying to distinguish what’s real and what’s not. Even at the end, I still have no idea.
I will say that I did like June’s character the most because I feel like she’s well developed and she’s a very strong person. When her family disapproves of her passion for writing, and denial of her mental illness, she continues to do it regardless of their opinion, and she has gotten help. I also do feel sympathy for her since her parents refuse to accept her so they don’t visit while at the asylum.
I did also like the sexual orientation representation in this novel, I felt it gave it a little bit of diversity in this novel because I felt that the elements presented in this novel were very generic and standard that without it, it wouldn’t have made it somewhat interesting, character relation wise.
Overall, this was a very confusing novel and I’m not entirely sure if I’d read this again or purchase a copy when it comes out to give it another try.