"In this asylum, your mind plays tricks on you all the time…One. I have to apologize for not reviewing lately. I've been going crazy over schoolwork, and a trip vacation to my dying grandfather in China drove me crazier. (He has cancer.)
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."
But back to the review.
You want to know something? I'm never reading before bed. Because after reading this book, I saw shadows crawling up my wall and quickly turned on the lights. Obviously, it was nothing, but my nerves were so anxious and it took me a while to fall asleep. Never am I reading a story before bed (and I assure you all that this promise will be broken asap), especially not a ghost story (and this is a lie, because I have another ghost story on my to-reads list).
Let's dig into this book.
It's another ghost story from supernatural/paranormal author and extraordinaire, Katie Alender. I have loved many of her works, and I think this one proves to be my favorite from her. It seems that she gets better every passing year. I thought Famous Last Words was really good until I read this one. (The same thing happened to Bad Girls Don't Die.) And oh, boy, I was really in for a ride. A horror story. And it was awesome.
Delia is a strong-headed girl, who is flawed but also relatable. Was. Is. It doesn't matter. Anyway, she is trapped in a state of ghostly life and there are others like her. Other girls who are just as strong and possesses nerves of steel and never will never become the conventional girl. Furiously protective of her sister and newfound friends, she must defeat an evil spirit while being dead herself and she is awesome. And I have to mention once again the great group of (ghost) girls standing with her.
The plot is fast-paced. From the very start, it begins with a big bang. Or rather, a big death from falling. (Delia's death, to be specific.) She learns the ropes of being a ghost, and the years go by until her sister one day returns to the house. And that is when disaster strikes all over again, because the house is now targeting her baby sister. Delia has to stop it, and it's a dramatic and heartstopping (and scary) fight. I absolutely love it (and I find myself unable to sleep at night because of the darkness of the night; I blame Katie Alender for that).
The ending is stellar, and it seals up the loose ends quite nicely, leaving me satisfied. Though I would love more of each character (but especially more scenes of Delia and her sister), it's a good way of wrapping things up and leaving hope for not just the characters but also the readers.
Overall, The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall is the greatest paranormal novel from Katie Alender yet. Action-packed, spooky, and fun. I can't wait to see her top this one.
Rating: Four out of Five