Saturday, September 12, 2015

Review: "The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall" by Katie Alender



Title:  The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
Author: Katie Alender
Genre: YA Horror
Publication: August 25, 2015
Pages: 336

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.

Auggie's Review

Very Enjoyable Read!

Heartbreaking. I had a very difficult time enjoying the "spooky" parts of this book because I was feeling too much empathy towards Delia's parents and her sister. The kind of grief that comes from losing someone like that too soon. It's unbelievable. I had a bit of a struggle seeing through that aspect to the bigger story, which I believe was a sort of easily predictable one, but a decent one nonetheless.

You've got a house that's been taken over (with little explanation) by a very nasty paranormal creature. We could say it's a demon, but probably something a little more elemental than that. It's not friendly. In fact... it's a total jerk. Surprise! It goes about killing off any young women who enter the house, especially if they're related to the family who claims ownership over the land. Why? Well, apparently that bloodline is the only one that can do-away with the evil that lurks there. What a lucky family heritage! 

The author is very clever with ways in which she imagines being a ghost. The peculiar idea that even as a ghost you can still feel and be hurt was a new concept to me. You may already have parted from the physical world, but your "ghostly" body can be permanently damaged and ruined by other ghostly creatures. Well, that puts a damper on things (Like being a ghost already didn't suck). 
The "goodies are bad" and the "baddies are good" aspect was expected. I think that the most intriguing part of the story was mostly about "learning" how to be a ghost and dealing with the emotions that come from loss... even if you're the one that was lost.

I wish there could have been a happy ending, but when the book starts off with the tragic death of the main character I guess you can't really expect too much of one. The story just sort of... ended. That's poetic in a way, I suppose but the reader is left feeling a bit empty... wishing it could have been different.

This book just made me kind of sad. If you can handle thinking about the message this book is conveying then this may be one of the best creepy books you read all year. 
Until Next Post,
Read On!
Auggie is the 28 year old whirlwind owner of Auggie-Talk. A Teen Librarian and bibliobibuli by nature as well as a (potentially obsessive) lover of Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman. One can normally find Auggie neck deep in reading, writing, or daydreaming (sometimes all three at once).  She's also been known to drink too much caffeine and eat too many lemon flavored sweets.

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