Title: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
Author: Katie Alender
There are some pretty heavy spoilers in this review. If you don't like spoilers and haven't read the book, save the review for later.
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.
The moment I first heard about The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall, I knew it was a book I HAD TO READ! I finally had a chance to read it (did I mention I have a TBR list a mile long?!) Anyway, Katie Alender did not disappoint with this haunting yet kind of funny book. Me saying kind of funny could just be my twisted sense of humor creeping up. Now, I don't mean that the book was drop dead hilarious - I just mean that it had a few funny moments throughout.
The story, in the most basic terms, is that Delia's Great-Great Aunt Cordelia, for whom Delia is named, has passed away and left her home - an old asylum - to Delia. Delia and her family go to this house for the summer to get the home ready to sell. But the house is haunted by the ghosts of girls who died there, and the house has a secret as well. After dying in the house, Delia spends the rest of the novel fighting the evil, only to discover that the evil isn't where she thought it was.
Now let's get down to brass tacks:
The actual story is wonderful. Well written and full of surprises, everything in this story really fit. The plot worked well, and I found myself really wanting things to turn out well for Delia, her family, and the good ghosts. There wasn't a single moment in the book when I thought "Oh that would never happen!" It was great.
The characters were all well written and believable. They each had their own personalities, and the author did a good job of giving us enough insight into each characters past for me to believe that they would do exactly what they were doing throughout the book. I especially loved seeing and believe Jane's transformation from bubbly little cheerleader type to sort of goth and dark girl after her sisters death.
There was an excellent feel of mystery about the house and it's grounds. For example - you may find yourself wondering at why Delia can actually leave the house when none of the other ghosts can. Or why time passes differently for ghosts than it does for the living - like when Delia lays down on the ground outside and suddenly 6 months have passed. Very interesting.
This is a 5 star book all the way. Read it - you won't be disappointed.