Book #9 of 2016: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

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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.

I have read quite a few of Alender’s works. I don’t want to say that Alender’s writing can be childish, but some of the word used seemed a bit lower than the teen main character. That was my feeling about a few of her books. Though I didn’t care for the feel for them, I still love reading Alender and have found a few gems. The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall is a rare jewel in her works.

I could relate to the main character, I love the world Alender constructed, and I felt that the book could translate well into the big screen for a bigger audience without being a stereotypical book. I was taken back to some of my favorites that ran down a similar thread to this book (The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington). Those two books, as well as this one, pulled at the heartstrings and had you rooting for all of the characters.

Just because they had something in common, each book was different. The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall  had the haunted asylum motif going for it. It felt like a good old fashioned ghost story. It wasn’t scary, but it had parts that would have terrified me if I was in the situation.

Delia is a strong main character who seems to not know herself until one fateful night in Hysteria Hall. From that point on, she becomes stronger and finds a reason to fight. Her family is a typical family with typical issues; they are in a rough spot, but you can see the emotion in them. Each character does the things they do for a reason that make sense (even if it’s crazy).

Though there is a good looking male ghost in the book, there isn’t really any romance. The book centers more on second chances and a way to make things right again. It deals with the choices a person makes and its consequences. The romantic element is small and I didn’t see it as romance, but opprotunity in its more innocent form.

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall was a good read to get lost in. I couldn’t read fast enough near the end. I didn’t want to put it down and even debated on reading while stuck in traffic (I didn’t, but I did think about it). This is a fun read for the horror young adult fan.

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