The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender
Published August 25th 2015 by Point
Genre: Young Adult Horror
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 read this book during my October horror readathon, and I expected this to be super creepy, yet the story took a turn to a way I did not expect. Nonetheless, it was well written and I did enjoy reading this.
The protagonist, Delia is named after her grandmother who owned the house. And when her grandmother passed away, Delia inherited it. Delia has a “troubled past”, but I think it’s something most teenagers do every now and then, only she god caught so her parents are keeping a close eye on her. The house she inherited is widely known as Hysteria Hall, an asylum for “insane girls”. And it’s the old-fashioned kind of insane, we’re talking party-goers, girls who spoke their mind, etc.
I won’t reveal much about the plot since it would spoil the story, but what I will say that the writing style was really cool, especially in the first few chapters. I like how the narrator put in footnotes of her observations to further enlighten the reader. What bothered me though, was that there were a few plot holes which just really confused me. But, what I did love about this book, was minimal romance, oh my god thank you. Was there a potential love interest? Yes. Was there an opportunity for the book to go the paranormal romance route? I guess so. Did it though? No.
The side characters were really interesting. Delia’s younger sister Janie first came off as obnoxious, and what I thought lacked much depth and was portrayed a bit over the top. But whoa, awesome character development there. The other side characters were really fun too, I loved Rosie and Posie, twins who had an interest in shiny objects.
Though the plot and the conclusion wasn’t as neat as I wanted it to be, overall it’s a fun book. It’s a good story though it isn’t really scary, maybe a bit creepy at best.