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Alyssa Milani
Asylum of Diction

Do you find yourself having trouble committing to a full-length novel? If so, then this is the book for you! In this anthology, you'll find short stories and novellas in genres ranging from thriller, horror, and romance. Every story is written to captivate the reader, given them an outer body experience and a definite emotional rollercoaster ride. You'll shed tears for the characters, cringe with moments of tension and suspense, and find yourself smiling with heartwarming moments of joy. This anthology has it all! Winning multiple awards, what's not to love? Read this anthology today and be captivated by the writer's words.

OnlineBookClub review by Stephanie Elizabeth

[Following is an official review of "Asylum Of Diction" by Alyssa Milani.]

5 out of 5 stars

Terror, retribution, unfettered love—these are the things that move us, motivate us, and at times, leave us paralyzed. In Asylum of Diction, Alyssa Milani has deftly crafted an emotionally charged anthology of novellas and short stories that illustrate all facets of the human experience. Some stories will have readers shivering at the thought of an otherworldly creature lurking in the corner. Others will have them celebrating as a reprehensible antagonist gets their comeuppance, and a girl who's been bullied her whole life gets the taste of unconditional love—plus so much more! So settle in, and get comfortable as you become immersed in every intriguing story.

Asylum of Diction captured my interest from beginning to end with its diverse characters and unconventional storylines. As separate as they were, the eight stories had one thing in common—exceptional character development, which made me want to devour the pages in one sitting. I particularly enjoyed the psychological warfare Hardy endured in "The Ultimatum." The twisted game forced her to make grueling decisions and do deplorable things to keep her son alive. Desperation can put things into perspective. I was entranced by her ability to adapt to the ever-changing dangers she faced.

Beyond character development, the high caliber of writing ignited my senses, often causing a visceral reaction. The precise detail dedicated to describing the shadowy, slithery creature in "Paralysis" caused my skin to tingle and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Fearfully, I turned on every light in the house! While reading "Nelle and Kade," I was moved to tears by the sweet, albeit tumultuous, love story between the couple who had to overcome so much just to be together.

Moreover, despite the oddity of many of the stories, the author explored topics that would resonate universally. Most of us are familiar with feeling gutted by grief, depression, or a broken heart. We feel shameful about our pasts and sweep ugly family secrets under the rug, hoping they will disappear. We feel happy but indebted when love chooses us. In this excellent book, readers can expect the whole human experience, including the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with it.

There was nothing to dislike about the book, and I was impressed by the editing; I only found one error! That said, I have given the anthology a rating of five out of five stars for gifting me the ultimate escape from reality. Between the strong characters, vivid descriptions, and relevant topics, Asylum of Diction deserved every one of those stars and more.

I recommend the book to readers who enjoy short stories and novellas that differentiate themselves from mainstream stories. If you love books that explore things that are strange, ugly, beautiful, and everything in between, this book is for you! However, due to profanity and some violence, reader discretion is advised.

Reader Views by Rachel Dehning

“Asylum of Diction” is a competitor to many movies in the horror genre. In my younger years, I used to be a fan of scary movies but have since moved away from that genre; reading “Asylum of Diction” brings me right back to those years and experiencing the rush of psychological thrillers. There is something to be said about horror stories waking you up and getting the blood running through your veins.

“Asylum of Diction” is a collection of eight short stories and novellas by Alyssa Milani that are unique and worth reading. Stories one through five and eight are short stories that tell a lot in a short number of pages, the shortest being two pages. Stories six and seven are longer to draw in the reader. Milani’s writing is descriptive, focused, and gives off the right vibes. Select themes that run through the stories are murder, psychosis, betrayal, and, of course, fear.

I don’t think that I can name a favorite story because they all contain different elements; however, I noticed similarities to the “Saw” and “It” franchises within two of the stories. If the reader is looking for a light-hearted, feel-good set of stories, this book is not for you. I kept questioning myself why I had the drive to keep going when the short stories ended with a note of hopelessness and despair; however, it was nice that the novellas had a different vibe to them with a slightly happier ending. After some soul-searching, I figured out that while I don’t particularly care for horrible things happening to people, Milani’s writing is captivating, contagious, and included twist endings everywhere, leading me to read story after story.

The target audience for “Asylum of Diction” is adults, given the language and adult content included in the stories. Reading her short stories and novellas, I felt I was watching a motion picture in my head, and it gave me the same feelings as when I watch it on the screen. Both writing and imagination are top-notch, and I would be excited to learn of anything else written by Alyssa Milani.

B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree

Received medallion for independent authors

Reader Views 2021-2022 Literary Awards

Received Silver Medal for the short story category

The BookFest Spring Book Awards

Third place award in the Fiction-Anthologies category