Friday, August 28, 2015

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender {review}

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall 
by Katie Alender
♦publisher: Scholastic Point
♦release date: August 25th, 2015
♦hardcover, 336 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: from publisher for honest review
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.

Review: Once again, Katie Alender gives her readers a perfect blend of great characters, horrific  moments, and emotional impact. I know I've said this before, but she is one of those authors that I can always pick up and know I'm going to get a spine-chilling great story. 

The story starts off with Delia's family moving into the "house" that her aunt left her. Upon arriving they find a daunting old mansion that they discover was once an asylum---one where many women were wrongful held and where several people died. I love the way the beginning is written. They are short chapters inserted called "Observations after the fact" so you know some huge twist is coming, but when it does it's still left me shocked and heart-wrenched. 

Delia's character grows so much throughout this story, from headstrong and a bit angsty to courageous and smart, a caring sister and good friend who only wants to see the people she cares about safe. The other characters were all well written, and I loved the different personalities from different eras all thrown together in this terrifying situation. Most seemed content to accept their captive eternity, but Delia sparks them to action.  I do wish there had been more of Theo, that he'd had a bit more involvement in the story and maybe a bit more romantic buildup, but the story was still great without it. 

It's definitely a creepy story, perfect for those moments when you just want to be spooked!  But it's also a great emotional story about family and sisterhood, friendship and finding strength, forgiveness and letting go. If you can't get to it any sooner, I highly recommend this one for a perfect Halloween read!

Find Katie Alender online:  Website  •  Twitter  •  Instagram

Purchase the book:  BookDepository  •  Indiebound   •   Amazon  


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