Book Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender
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.
It’s unusual for me to hand out a 5 star rating this early in the year. I waffled about perhaps giving this a 4 star rating but the single, tiny problem I have with the book is hardly worth dropping the rating. I won a copy of The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender during a Thanksgiving giveaway. It took a while to arrive and then I put it aside for other books. I wish I hadn’t. I ended up loving it completely. I’ve always toyed with the idea of a ghost story told from the view point of the ghost and I guess Alender beat me to the punch.
I’ve read through some other reviews of The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall and the main complaint I see is that is wasn’t spooky or scary enough. While I did find this to be true, it didn’t detract from the book for me. I love the paranormal. Seeing a ghost story from the other end was more than entertaining enough for me, even without a high creep factor. I found it fascinating reading about Delia’s experiences as a newly made ghost. Some might find this part slow or uninteresting as Delia learns the rules of her new existence, like walking through walls and picking things up, but I loved it. I found the details of the other occupants of Hysteria Hall incredible and while I could see how things would end, it made sense and felt right. It was everything I wanted out of a ghost story.
I loved the characters. All the ghosts stuck in the hall were fascinating and I felt like Delia and her family were real and solid. (I made a pun!) People who enjoy family angst in their books will like this. Those who are interested in unconventional ghost stories will like this. Those looking for a new take on ghost stories will like this. This isn’t a horror book, even with the ghostly theme. There aren’t enough chills and thrills for that. The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender is, however, thoroughly entertaining. My single, tiny problem with it is the so-called romance angle. Theo is stuck outside the hall and he and Delia spend one day together but that is apparently enough for him to kiss her and profess his feelings before the ending. It just felt unnecessary and sort of tacked on there because, obviously, it’s not a proper young adult book without some teenage romance. (eye roll) That was my only gripe.
Posted on February 17, 2016, in book review, books, fiction, paranormal fiction and tagged book review, books, Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall, ghost's POV, ghosts, Katie Alender, paranormal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.