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 becomes trapped. And that's when she learns that the house is also haunted. Ghost girls wander the hallways in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia learns that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, too, harbors shocking truths within its walls -- truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free. And she'll need to act quickly -- before the house's power overtakes everything she loves. Katie Alender brings heart-pounding suspense, gorgeous writing, and a feminist twist to this tale of memories and madness.
The Dead Girls of Hysteria HallFeatured
Let's dig into this book.
It's another ghost story from supernatural/paranormal author and extraordinaire, Katie Alender. I have loved many of her works, and I think this one proves to be my favorite from her. It seems that she gets better every passing year. I thought FAMOUS LAST WORDS was really good until I read this one. (The same thing happened to BAD GIRLS DON'T DIE.) And oh, boy, I was really in for a ride. A horror story. And it was awesome.
Delia is a strong-headed girl, who is flawed but also relatable. Was. Is. It doesn't matter. Anyway, she is trapped in a state of ghostly life and there are others like her. Other girls who are just as strong and possesses nerves of steel and never will never become the conventional girl. Furiously protective of her sister and newfound friends, she must defeat an evil spirit while being dead herself and she is awesome. And I have to mention once again the great group of (ghost) girls standing with her.
The plot is fast-paced. From the very start, it begins with a big bang. Or rather, a big death from falling. (Delia's death, to be specific.) She learns the ropes of being a ghost, and the years go by until her sister one day returns to the house. And that is when disaster strikes all over again, because the house is now targeting her baby sister. Delia has to stop it, and it's a dramatic and heartstopping (and scary) fight. I absolutely love it (and I find myself unable to sleep at night because of the darkness of the night; I blame Katie Alender for that).
The ending is stellar, and it seals up the loose ends quite nicely, leaving me satisfied. Though I would love more of each character (but especially more scenes of Delia and her sister), it's a good way of wrapping things up and leaving hope for not just the characters but also the readers.
Overall, THE DEAD GIRLS OF HYSTERIA HALL is the greatest paranormal novel from Katie Alender yet. Action-packed, spooky, and fun. I can't wait to see her top this one.
Rating: Four out of Five
Delia finds herself on a forced family outing to a house she inherited from an aunt she used to be pen-pals with. Only this isn't just any house but rather a former insane asylum with a reputation for being haunted. Delia finds out the hard way that the house is very haunted only now she's one of those stuck there. She finds other ghosts of former patients haunt the premises including a cute guy who is outside. Then her family returns and only then does she find out the house isn't done with them yet. But she'll do anything she can to make sure her younger sister won't be the next victim.
What worked: I really enjoyed this spooky tale with just enough horror elements to give me nightmares! Delia starts off as a self-absorbed teen but after the 'accident' she finds she has to set that aside if only to keep her sanity. Her flawed character makes her likable and one I really wanted to succeed in cracking the house's secrets.
The house is a huge character in this story. Alender does a great job showing the centuries old asylum with the assortment of ghosts that still linger within it's fading halls. She gives the house an evocative touch. There's an evil presence within the walls that causes madness to afflict not only the ghosts but the living as well.
Delia's plan to figure out what her dead aunt was really trying to tell her has her reaching out to the other ghosts. Sometimes these exchanges work out and others, not so well. But just when readers 'think' they get who might behind the haunted secrets, Alender throws a curve ball their way. Not all is what it seems. Who can Delia trust? Or not trust?
The only thing I wished for was more interaction between Delia and the cute ghost outside the house. There is one scene that held so much promise but then she goes back inside and nothing else happens between them until much later.
This fast-paced paranormal has just enough horror elements without going over the top. Intriguing characters set in a haunted asylum filled with secrets. The final confrontation had me guessing right to the very end. Readers who love a good horror tale, won't be disappointed.
2. Ghostly tale set in a haunted former insane asylum
3. Fast-paced paranormal