Monday, December 7, 2015

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

Series: Standalone

Genera(s): Paranormal/Horror

Subjects: supernatural, ghosts, spirits, death, afterlife, hauntings, asylums

Setting: An ex-Asylum in Pennsylvania

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, past tense: Delia

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 329 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover 

List Price: $18.99

Publisher: Scholastic: Point

Summary/ product description: “In this asylum, your mind plays tricks on you all the time…

Delia’s new house isn’t just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females—an insane asylum nicknamed “Hysteria Hall.” However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant and strong willed. Kind of like Delia herself.

But the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia gets trapped.

And that’s when she learns that the house is also haunted.

Ghost girls wander the halls in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia finds that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, as well, harbors shocking truths within its walls—truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free.

But she’ll need to act quickly, before the house’s power overtakes everything she loves.

From master of suspense Katie Alender comes a riveting tale of twisted memories and betrayals, and the meaning of madness.”

My Review: I was surprised by this book. I’ve been having a hard time making time to read over the past few weeks and this is the first book that I’ve finished this fast in months. I’ve only read one other book by this author, Bad Girls Don’t Die. This is similar and different. That book was about possession, and this one is about the afterlife.

Delia and her family go to the home of her great-aunt Cordelia, which turns out to be an ex-asylum for trouble girls. This place is haunted. And very soon in the story something causes Delia to jump out a window and kill herself. Delia become a ghost, trapped on the property, forced to live out her afterlife in the last place she’d want to be.

I’ve read a few books in which the main character is a ghost. This one a kind of interesting take. There’s weird time jumps and freezes. Time becomes unpredictable for Delia and she ends up staring out a window for about two year, frozen. Four years after her death is when things get really interesting and she sees her sister as a teen. Delia’s sister Janie has been deeply affected by Delia’s death and want to contact Delia’s spirit.

Delia’s met the other ghost girls of Hysteria Hall. Florence, Eliza and Maria, and a few others. Eliza’s British and Florence is from the south. Maria’s very strange and wears a sheet like a ghost costume. There’s Theo, the dead boy on the ground who’s never entered the house and also become a love interest to Delia.

This book is very fun, creepy, light and fast. It’s a standalone. I definitely recommend it. I recommend this to those who enjoyed: Asylum by Madeleine Roux, Ashes to Ashes by Melissa Walker, Hereafter by Tara Hudson, Anna Dresses in Blood by Kendare Blake, Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, and Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke.

Cover Art Review: The cover is sparkly opalline paper. It’s creepy, ghostly. It fits the book.

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